Why Is It That When Things Are Going Good, Something Bad Always Happens?
I know that I am not the only person who has ever reached that point of utter frustration or disgusting state of self-pity, who has cried out and said, “Why does this always happen to me!” Who has ever said, “It seems like every time things start to go my way, something always has to happen!” I’d like to say that this only happened in my “early” sobriety, because it always sounds good (It sort of sounds like it’s no longer a problem for “me”). But that would only be a lie that temporarily stroked the old ego! The truth is that it is one of the easiest places to go when things don’t go my way.
I lived at a girl’s home many years ago and had a wise old preacher tell me, after one of my “rants”, that it was part of a process to make us stronger. Of course, being sober all of 60 days and walking around in a heavy fog, I responded with, “Huh?” The information that he gave me stayed with me until this day and went as follows:
Have you ever bought one of those really cheap hammers? The kind that is so fragile that if you hit a hard surface with enough force it would just break? The reason that happens is because the metal is full of impurities. But there are the other hammers that are really high dollar and will last a lifetime, because they contain almost no impurities at all.
When I would later learn about the 12-steps and how to work them, I realized that indeed what he had told me was the truth. I identify my defects of character and my shortcomings, the very impurities that for so much of my life caused me to be broken and would ask God to take them from me. But as I would find out, not everything goes quickly and more is always revealed. I have found that when things are bad my defects and shortcomings become much clearer. I then have the option to ask my Creator to remove them from me and as they are I become stronger in the knowledge and experience that God “is” always with me and that the moment, no matter how bad, “will pass!” I also have the option to ignore these defects and allow them to just settle back in, or better yet, try on my own to make them go away. Either way, nothing changes and I will remain fractured and easily broken.
So, in my final assessment, I see good reason to believe, that during the difficult times, through the use of the steps, a good sponsor and my God, who enables me to do everything, to learn what my frailties are and give them up to Him. I’m afraid I have not reached a point of “rejoicing” in hardships, but thankfully I have gained the experience, that during moments of confusion and despair, I can look back and know that I will be O.K. and that this too shall pass.
© Rebecca Balko