The people worshipper is mentioned in the Book. People worshipper? Who knew? I thought I didn't want anything to do with people. I never realized without people I was empty? I'd need to look at myself and well, there was nothing there. So I filled my head with people. Arranged them to meet my needs real or imagined. Sought my self worth through others approval, my emotional security in acceptance.
Also a mention of the state of mental goose flesh that whole "needy" realization would bring. Ugh, needy is the worst! As if I had no choice in the matter. I couldn't simply want to be involved with people as friends or whatever no. It was always deeper than that. Always heavy. I used people for an emotional security boost . I needed them. I was needy. And to me needy means creepy.
Goose flesh? Nice one.. Some of this Big Book wording cracks me up. I mean who says "goose flesh"? It's right up there with Whoopee Party. I'm still not sure what that is. Whoopee party. Sounds like a swinger thing.. Kooky.
Goose flesh? I'll go with pretty damn uncomfortable. That fits. Like, people could make or break me depending on how my arrangement would be taken. Again with the Book, if my arrangements would stay put all would be well or atleast I'd be happy. As if they like me they really like me! . So that's how it is? Without people places and things I am just an empty void of existence? Pretty strong language but I'm afraid it's true. I've got to face the facts here. There's more to alcoholism than alcohol. There's the ism. The lack of self reliance, lack of maturity. The common coping skills that never materialized. Basically? I fell down and could never seem to get back up. So I just acted as if everyone else fell down and I was the last man standing. I knew what was best. I knew better as long as the rest of the world behaves. Me. it's all about me! damn man. The self will run riot though I usually don't think so thing from the Book..
My many years of jockeying for position, better philosophies, intellectual cures for my Spiritual malady had come to an abrupt end. Life as I had been living it was over. The alcohol no longer worked. Everything went sideways when I put the drink down. No more anesthesia. Nothing to validate me now but the big problem that's apparently been here all along, people!
Like "fear" for instance. I thought I wasn't afraid if anything yet my 4th Step inventory was riddled with fear. Self centered fear. I also fancied myself a caring generous type always the victim of circumstance while trying to be everybody's pal. As if I had so much love to give when in reality? I was driven by selfishness. It's true I always thought of others but there's a difference between wanting to be a part of something and obsessed with it.
So, booze is a symptom of underlying causes and these causes are for the most part selfishness and self centered fear. Fine. So...What now? I already knew I was screwed up. The delusional egomaniac with an inferiority complex, dangerously antisocial at times while a control freak at others. All things to all people my thoughts were in everything and everybody. I, the hopeless alcoholic without the alcohol, self centered to the extreme could no longer seem to manipulate others to meet my needs. I couldn't generate my own self esteem..
Yeah sure, lots of problem, endless problem but what about solution? I want to know what I can do to fix it! How do I break the addiction to people. Is there a pill for this? If there really is such a thing. Addiction to people? Obsessed with others thinking and the need to control it? If this is really what I'm up against then what do I do now? There's no me and I can no longer use them. What else is there? I want to have a relationship with family, others, friends, anybody. I want more than anything to be a good friend or partner, father. I'm tired of feeling alone in a crowded room. Always on the defense. Wallowing in self centered fear, hoping for some security through selfish arrangement. Like me so I can like myself.
Yikes! The future sober looks pretty bleak! Am I all that bad? Is everything this bad? Well, yes. For some of us? It is that bad. The Book uses the term "hopeless". When you are hopeless well, let me just say things are not good.
I think the first thing I realized as far as a solution was concerned? It was me. I alone was the problem. Yeah, I came from dysfunction. Fragmented upbringing, all that. But it was me now. That was the past I'd been living trying to create different endings to. The harder I tried the more chaotic I was. The more people I brought in the more confused I would become trying to juggle everybody. Hell, I couldn't have three friends at once for fear of them turning on me. It had to be just me and one best friend. So, yeah.. I was responsible for myself and as far as that went? I was the problem. The fact that others were whacked right out their minds also seemed to make little difference at this point.
Here it is in the Book, Solution for my condition. Right in front of me. I was beyond human aid. Duh! No human power could relieve my alcoholism. Double Duh! Not me or any person place or thing. So really? I was boxed in and had no choice but to be open minded to Spiritual principles although I must admit? I had no idea what a Spiritual principle was. No idea at all. I couldn't even guess. But I was now open minded. I was willing to believe in the power of the Spirit. A higher Power or God of my understanding as suggested in the Book. So I went with it. My own conception of a Spiritual Power greater than myself or any other human.
Seemingly overnight? I felt better. Actually I felt a new kind of peace come on and equated it with "better". I could feel better so I wasn't afraid to feel now, it was ok to feel, this was altogether new also! This was good. I wasn't used to feeling better. I mean without any "people strings" attached. All I knew was bad like impending doom bad. I was hopeless. There was always a horror show waiting.. This was new. I liked it. It wasn't long before I was sitting in a AA meeting and quite comfortable. Even the strangers didn't affect me. People coming in on commitments from distant places, distant AA groups. Sharing their experience strength and hope. This was great! I asked for help from my Higher Power and wasn't totally dominated by people. I knew what was happening. I was definitely on to something with this whole AA 12 Steps thing. I had heard the talk from others who came before me in AA. Not just oldtimers. People who were new also, like me. It was happening, I was reborn. Oh I didn't realize it at the time but I would never have to feel the hopelessness of alcoholism again. In time I was quite comfortable alone with myself wherever I happened to be. I was learning to care for myself now in AA. I was really doing it!
The 12 Steps seemed to be my surrogate parents. The Spiritual path? my schooling, my church, everything I was too self centered and afraid to understand when I was young. Hygiene, insides outsides, I was learning to see myself so I could be myself. I would be willing to ask the Higher Power for help to cope with life.. Something I had missed out on many years ago I was willing to develop now and it wasn't too late. I wasn't a kid anymore but as long as I didn't compare and look for validation in people I was ok. I not only put the booze down but now I was willing to let the people go too. I was becoming a free man.
So what now? Now I learn to give it all away to the new suffering man. Grow in understanding and effectiveness, be a power of example to the new man who is suffering as I once was. Show him the hopelessness of the alcoholic condition and also the Spiritual solution. Walk day by day in the path of Spiritual progress with him. It works it really does. Show him how you surrendered, made a sufficient self appraisal, cleaned up your life and are now willing to offer what has been so freely offered to you.
The occasional bouts of Selfishness and fear? An obsession is extremely rare. The sudden thought of a drink? Maybe once a year at most. The random acts of kindness. An everyday willingness to give of yourself that another may benefit. A life in balance. A life well worth living. Sober.
I spent time around AA meetings continuing to worship people, I knew nothing different. A lot of us continue to suffer in sobriety. When I was ready ? When I had enough of my self? When I could no longer use people as I used alcohol? The Big Book 12 Steps were there for me. I was blind, now I see.