One of the most motivating ideas I have had in my entire life was I did not want to be mentally ill like my parents. I have tried to be aware of my own thinking so I could observe whether the thoughts I was having resulted in me having an increasing sense of well being, love and peace. If I did I Continued to keep those ideas and to develop them.
When I was a couple of weeks old I got very sick with Whooping Cough. An adult in the family stayed awake with me 24 hours a day. I am told everyone was totally exhausted because My breathing was so hard. It was as if the breath I was breathing at this moment was going to be my last breath.In about two weeks I gradually began to get better and finally became a very robust little boy.
I think that built the idea in me that I was was going to have to work very hard but could survive and prosper if I would keep on working at it. Another source of strength for me was the Bible I heard the Bible read in church Sunday morning twice at Sunday school and church, sunday night at youth group and church and every night at family devotions. In fact I learned to read from reading out loud from the bible stories.
In the evening we would gather on my parents bed. Each family member would read a verse, When it was my turn to read a verse my dad would point at verse. I would struggle through it trying to sound it out. When I had done the best I could could dad would tell me the word. a year down the line I had learned to read. After I learned to read words like Melchizedek in Genesis “Run Dick Run” in first grade was pretty boring.
The Bible is ground into my being.I have been Hearing, preaching, teaching and reading scripture all my life. My kids and I used to play a game called “Stump The the printedMan”. Give me a few words or some of the meaning of a verse. I could generally locate the verse. I was much better at the Epistles, less good on the Gospels and pretty good on the Old testament. It wasn’t that I memorized chapter and verse but many times I remembered the ideas and the thought each chapter contained in the flow of the logic. I might say to myself “That verse sounds like “Ephesians.” then I would check out the first chapter and go on through the chapter into which the verse best fit and in that way find the verse.
I was in such misery, always afraid and never even able to admit I was frightened. I felt like it was my job was to make everyone happy while not even being able to acknowledge I had needs. I was desperate to find comfort. There was always a can of condensed milk punctured for coffee. When I could I would sneak into the kitchen get condensed milk can and suck out the milk. I was way past nursing age but Sucking out the milk was a nursing imitation. It was comforting to me. As I write this I still feel that peace even though all that happened more than 7 decades ago. I was always careful not to drink all the milk so my family would not have milk for their coffee and I would not have reasonable deniability. I had to be wiser than I should have been at that age.
I had a dependent relationship with the Bible even though I had no intellectual sense of the words I read until decades passed. It still comforted me As the years passed I got something reassuring from the Bible that I could understand. I n fact long before I first read the 12 Steps I had tried to work them because I saw the need to act them out from reading the Bible
The moment to moment events of my life were generally pretty tough but the bible was like an anchor for me in the world of sanity. I was not aware of the sense of peace I got from all my exposure to scripture as much as I was grounded in my sub conscious mind. It was just there. I did not understand that I had an anchor consciously until I was in my fifties. Then from my fifties until these later years the understanding of the steadying effect of all I had learned.
I am a twenty four year veteran of the The 12 step movement. That has been incredibly powerful foundation of my thinking I understand the 12 step wisdom from the point of view of view of the Bible. Any preaching and teaching I have done from scripture I can also do from the wisdom of Al-Anon a meeting
As a boy I ate all kinds of anger. After I could swallow no more frustration a time came when I would explode into a verbal rage. My family often told me that I was such a nice boy. If I could get those rages under control I would be perfect .
From where I am now at eighty I think those burst of anger might of been the healthiest thing I could do. However a unhealthy result I result has been my lifelong struggle with anger. The thing I have worked hardest to make better is my recovery is anger.
I am stopping now. This piece deserved far more editing than I am going to give it. I am just going to post it. Working further on it is just to exhausting .