Awareness, Blogging, Mindful Recovery, Spirituality

Getting My Grief Unstuck

Photo by Filip Marcus Adam on

I had recently purchased some important books as part of my own personal journey, recovery process, and spiritual growth. The first was finally getting the Alcohol Anonymous Big Book and reading through that. The next purchase was two workbooks. First of these workbooks is the Twelve Steps of Adult Children. The second workbook is the Laundry List Workbook. A third purchase is the Strengthening My Recovery – Daily Affirmations for those who identify as Adult Children of Alcoholics and Family Dysfunction. Since I already have the Big Red Book of ACA – I figured I’d complete the set.

By clicking the image above you will be able to purchase through my Amazon Associates. This is no obligation to you. I make a small commission of each purchase.

By clicking the image above you will be able to purchase through my Amazon Associates. This is no obligation to you. I make a small commission of each purchase.

By clicking the image above you will be able to purchase through my Amazon Associates. This is no obligation to you. I make a small commission of each purchase.

By clicking the image above you will be able to purchase through my Amazon Associates. This is no obligation to you. I make a small commission of each purchase.

Along with my scriptures, these help guide me toward becoming a better person. My love to live a more authentic, mindful, and spiritual life as a Christian has been quite a blessing on my part. To write and share my thoughts and inspiration is also a blessing. Dealing with life is always a challenge. And for many of us dealing with varying degrees of childhood trauma and abuse is even more significant to overcome and manage.

With this in mind. I got up and wrote out my weekly round up for this site. I also wrote up and published today’s devotion at Damascus Way Recovery. I also spent some time reading through one of my favorite devotions My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. I opened up the Strengthening My Recovery – Daily Affirmations and read today’s thought. It struck me in what it shared.

The title of the affirmation deals with stuck grief and quotes from the BRB (Big Red Book):

My ACA counselor understood what I was trying to do. She helped me understand my loss or the pain of my ‘stuck grief’ through the Fourth and Fifth Steps. – p. 150.

One of the things I attempt to do is coordinate particular images with the specific topic. Whether it is writing a devotional or working on my writing of the 8 key strategies of effective mindful writing or the weekly mindful journaling challenges. I believe that sometimes images carry the thought and expression of that particular message for the day. When I took some time to ponder on the idea of stuck grief I found the above image of an axe getting stuck in the chopping block. This brought up one of many childhood memories growing up in Shelton, Washington.

My family used to live out off Acadia road (rural part of a small logging town). Every weekend, my dad would get up, wake me up, and we go get a load of wood in his small pick up truck. Part of my chore was to split and stack wood. Something that I probably am too out of shape for today. It was quite an exercise. A grueling chore.

On numerous occasions, the axe would get stuck in the chopping block and I’d have to take the time, energy, and exertion to pry it out. On a handful of occasions my father would be pissed because I ended up breaking the axe handle in my attempt in getting the axe unstuck.

Here is what the daily affirmation says on stuck grief:

The “stuck grief” is very difficult to dislodge because we keep up an endless array of defenses to keep stuck. We can experience an overabundance of anger, sadness, food, shopping, underachieving, sloppiness, procrastination, or cleanliness – a list that only skims the surfaces of how many ways we can keep our grief embedded.

Like those times when I attempted to dislodge the axe from the chopping block – it proved quite difficult. Fortunately, once the axe was dislodged, I was able to continue splitting and stacking wood. Pondering this childhood memory, and what today’s affirmation shares I now realize how stuck I was with my own grief. And it was not merely one grief. Just as many times as I’d get into a rhythm of splitting wood, I’d get the axe stuck numerous times in one day., there are many griefs that get me stuck.

Having to come to realize my own personal struggles and issues – dealing with grief was not something I thought needed consideration. Sure, I have dealt with the grief of losing my grandparents. Of course I dealt with the grief over my own parents death. But, I never thought about being stuck in grief when it came to dealing with the impact, influence, and understanding of dysfunction within my own family. This is quite a foreign concept for me.

Despite this – there is a solution. As much as I feel stuck in my grief sometimes, there is always a way to get unstuck. And that is what this affirmation points to. Coming to a place of getting ourselves unstuck. Not just a one-time-deal and it is done unstuck. It is a constant exercise in discipline and sacrifices. Beginning with the awareness of realizing when you are experiencing moments of being stuck in grief.

See, when that axe comes down, slices through the wood, you won’t know if it is stuck or not. Give the handle a good jerking motion and it comes up to be swung again. The only time you notice the axe is stuck is when you give the handle a good yank and it does not come free.

The solution in getting unstuck from our grief is attending meetings, seeing a counselor, and giving ourselves permission to let go. The willingness to allow ourselves to be vulnerable lessens our need to resist and lower those defenses. It is difficult in the beginning. And when we willingly allow ourselves to be vulnerable, keep ourselves in a community and fellowship of others, we begin to grow in trust with God, ourselves, and others around us.

When that grief which is stuck becomes dislodged, I am free to experience my emotions for what they are. I no longer need to stand in fear. Embracing my true sense of self. And what I love about today’s affirmation is this:

Like an unstuck jam of logs, our grief begins to flow again down the river of our daily lives. We let the natural currents gently and slowly release it into the ocean of our Higher Power’s love for us.

Releasing our stuck guilt to flow into the ocean of my Heavenly Father’s love me. Quite an assurance! Quite a promise! And what is the main reason I have allowed myself to remain stuck in my own grief? Fear is the reason to remain stuck. Fear is the reason to maintain my own dysfunction. Fear of being vulnerable. Fear of placing my trust in God, myself, and others.

I hope this thought has inspired you today. Please share in the comment below how this helps you. Check out my other daily devotions at Damascus Way Recovery. Subscribe, share, and support.

Thank you.


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