Why was always one of my favorite questions. That three-letter word encompassed so much and it allowed me to sit and ponder all of life’s mysteries to unhealthy degrees and avoid doing anything to improve my life.
If something went wrong in my life, rather than hunker down and attempt to change or accept the situation, I would sit around and ask why is this happening to me or why do people have to act this way? In doing so I was able to feed my growing self-pity and shift blame and responsibility away from myself to others. This allowed me to never really have to take a look at myself because I was a victim of “why” and so I stayed sick in my addiction and my thoughts. It also allowed me to not accept for many years that I did indeed have a problem with addiction.
Needless to say this was not a very successful game plan for life and most of the time I walked around baffled by other people and the world. The thing that is interesting as well is that each time that I asked why, it would lead me to other questions and I would never actually arrive at an answer. There would just be questions upon questions until eventually everything boiled down to meaningless nothing and with my mind a blur with questions I would reach for the bottle or a pill.
This changed however once I got sober. I was introduced to the idea that I didn’t have to question every little thing in life. I didn’t need to know why something was the way it was. I just need to either it accept it or attempt to change it, as the Serenity Prayer says
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
This sort of thinking was radical for me but to be honest it was a much-needed reprieve for my constantly overworked mind. Learning that life was far too complicated for me to be able to comprehend and understanding that it was not my job to decipher all of life’s mysteries brought me a measure of peace that I never had before in my life.
Growing up I was raised in a pretty religious household, but yet the things that I was taught about God didn’t really sit well with me. Due to the difference in personal beliefs and a series of events that jaded me towards religion, I would constantly question whether God was real and if he was, why he would let my life be such a mess. I would look to the universe and attempt to figure everything out and in failing to do so my mind would become fractured in a way, as I couldn’t seem to comprehend the vastness of existence.
It sounds funny writing those words now and I see how asinine of an endeavor it truly was, but at the time question why we were here, and really needing an answer was of paramount importance. It was a sort of subconscious obsession of mine that needed to be fulfilled and the further that I got into my addiction the more I pondered the whys of life.
When I first got sober and told my sponsor about this, she could relate and understood what I was talking about, but she also informed me that I didn’t need to figure everything out in order to live a happy and full life. She told me that all I had to do was have faith that I was not the master and commander of the universe and everything else would take care of itself.
Being still a little skeptical I decided to give it a try and you know what, my life changed dramatically. I gave up questioning God and what he was doing and started to have faith that life was unfolding in the manner it was supposed to. I began to realize that there were too many moving parts in the world for me to be able to comprehend them all and so I stopped asking why and started just living.
I also stopped asking why I was an alcoholic and an addict. This was a huge shift for me. I came to see that there was a solution in the 12 Steps and because of this it didn’t matter why I suffered from the disease of addiction, because I had a solution out of it.
For many years the question, why I was the way I was, plagued me, but finally surrendering to the idea that this may be beyond my ability to know allowed me to focus on moving towards a solution to my problem, rather than getting wrapped up in all of the alternative versions that could have be possible.
So like the title of the post says, the whys no longer matter to me in my sobriety. I am no longer really concerned with why people act the way they do, or why sometimes terrible things happen in my life. I just try to focus on the fact that I have the ability to handle whatever comes down the pike and that there is a reason for everything. Many times this reason will not be apparent to me and that is okay as well. All I have to do is try to accept my situation and move forward.
Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.