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Cancel, postpone, delay, reschedule, suspend, shelve, wait, dispense, put off, disrupt—such verbs prod attention toward unwelcome change, still provoked by Covid-19. Few areas of our lives have escaped the implications of living around its irritant: for some, death occurs.

Quarantine, shelter in place, social distancing, masking and gloving—such nouns mess with communication, intimacy, breathing, and social relating. Gesturing hugs don’t work for me. Such inconvenience tests patience, even raises questions about government regulations, with more states opening up for business.

Such experience dulls the sharpness of the crisis and seeks the comfort/unconsciousness of “the old ways.” Yet the Covid-19 crisis remains, unabated until the protective vaccine is in place.

From my perspective, this crisis mirrors my own: living with terminal illness, also with respiratory issues. Long months of praying, study, and blogging have filled empty spaces with ultimate truth and longing for eternal life. Yet, I’m not immune to the dark games in my psyche that have always wanted me dead before my time.

Like the deadly virus, the snaky hair of the Greek Medusa stings me into unconsciousness, leaving me vulnerable to assaults: terror triggers the “I can’t do it” attitude: learned helplessness from childhood; intense sadness-bordering-on-pain; dry weeping/heaving; rage and depression, voicelessness—my self-care ritual, albeit within limits, beached upon muddy bottoms. Hands clutching my head, Monster powerlessness threatens to eat me alive.

So my spiritual warfare deepens for which there is no vaccine, other than the practice of CPA’s Twelve Steps. They do work.


Do find yourself a greening place and relax.

I’m doing similarly …


Step Twelve of Chronic Pain Anonymous – Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others with chronic pain and chronic illness, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

 Step Twelve’s spiritual awakening evidenced Higher Power’s unconditional love for me; it seized my awareness and often buoyed me above the worsening symptoms of my terminal illness. As a lodestone, His presence steadied the subtle erosion of my energy, until again surrendering and living within new limits. The only way out of total exhaustion would be my death, but that did not seem imminent.

More opportunities to study the Twelve Steps with my sponsor and to practice the Twelve Steps filled the in-between moments of each day, even pre-dawn hours. Sharing the fruits of this endeavor during conference calls also attested to Higher Power’s healing presence in our midst. And Sunday Skype meetings with a co-sponsor from Australia also deepened the spiritual awakening we shared, our hearts warming with enthusiasm.

The rub of Step Twelve came in practicing these principles in all our affairs. That required consciousness and the willingness to change, and to change often. Given decades of robot-like behaviors, I’d find myself in disassociation or idealization or some other defense mechanism—much easier to deal with than the unknown of my diminishing body. Again, I’d scrape off the muck with Higher Power’s help in Step Two and surrender in Step Three to its serenity in the present moment.

So the ultimate goal of CPA recovery is to so live in accord with Higher Power’s will that I become a co-creator with Him: New life abounds with joy, all the more reason to let go and let God.


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