Surrender was not a sign of weakness anymore. It was strength. The willingness to believe in a spiritual realm was a key element in living life I never knew existed yet, here it was in my face. The God of my own understanding. As if overnight I had calmed down. In spite of my still negative racing mind there was a new kind of peace that came over me. I wouldn't say I was accountable but I had seemingly stopped running.
My first real awareness or say, clarity came on hard and fast as I began the second look at myself while writing my 4th. Sure, the first part was easy as I listed resentments. Pointed the finger at all the people places and things that angered me, got in my way, dominated me my entire life. Yep..It's all their fault. Blame was the tool of the day seemingly everyday as far back as I remembered. Blame had gotten me this far but now without the booze? It was insanity. Untreated alcoholism. The blame was boundless. My willingness to believe in the spirit of things offered courage overpowering blame. A willingness to piece together my fragmented reality seemed to come from nowhere with no real explanation.. I couldn't put my finger on it or selfishly use it to validate myself yet, here it was. A willingness to believe followed by a willingness to put the pen to the paper. In that order.
Could they have been right? "They" meaning whoever was dominating me, jockeying for position, forcing my fear by creating my overwhelming obsession at the time? I was in completely new territory here in the Big Book 12 Steps. It wasn't as simple as them against me no, it was me against them. I had somehow created this whole distorted version of me in my life? So what now? I was not the innocent victim? Then who was I? Blame was such a powerful destructive tool, I couldn't use it against myself. I could see that acceptance was needed but how? I couldn't accept anything really. I had to be in total control in order to validate myself.
Damn! People dominated me. I had a seemingly justified resentment and was beating myself senseless over it. I thought I had the power of anger on my side when actually this anger created complete chaos. These resentments took all my energy to maintain each day. Placing all the responsibility on others for how I felt about myself. They're doing this to me! There was no other explanation. I was fighting it. Fighting to create my own emotional security.
It's who I was now, I could sort of see it when I prayed. When I would become overwhelmed, overthink things in my life while writing? I'd put the pen down and get on my knees at the table. Humbling myself as a man in need of strength.. In need of courage to see myself as I am, not as I claim to be. This was the real me on the paper. I was hate. I was resentment and fear. It was not good. I needed strength to continue to look at myself. To be willing to grow.
Fear? I saw fear and bracketed it next to my self, where I was affected by my own resentment? Fear? Really? I was so full of resentment and fight I didn't think I feared anything or anyone. I began to see that everything I was in my life was the direct result of my own self centered fear. Fear was a huge part of me. Fear had started being noticed next to where my self esteem was affected but after a few days writing? Fear was bracketed everywhere. I was full of it. I was fear. Fear and hate. Anger and resentment. Self. Self-pity, self- delusion, self-seeking motives, selfishness and fear was the root of my alcoholism like the Big Book suggested. I had no idea this is what alcoholism was. I thought if I stopped drinking all the insanity would too. Nope. The alcohol was a symptom of underlying causes. The real problem was me, not the booze. Who knew?
I began to thank my God. I was writing daily now. There was seemingly no turning back. I couldn't save myself, it didn't work. I had become spiritually openminded and willingness was the key. I could feel this newfound power of gratitude when I looked at myself and didn't run to people to save me. Didn't manipulate others to feel better about myself by putting them down or controlling them. I had the strength to see myself as I truly was. The survivor I had been, the survivor I needed to be my entire life.. The arranger, the manipulator. I would delude myself into believing anything that would generate some kind of emotional self esteem boost. Usually centered around another's handicaps real or imagined. Anything from a single person is the problem to the entire world is a ghetto.
It's really unbelievable how fast a person changes once they are willing to change. Once they humble themselves and surrender. I have seen it in many others as well as myself on the AA suggested spiritual path. I have seen how being dominated by people and my need to be accepted by them produced only chaos with the best of intentions. How suffering with extremely low self esteem placed me in a position each day to harm myself. Abuse myself. After all, the anger and resentment was killing me and I was creating it. The fear was killing me. Sure I saw the retaliation from others but this retaliation would not stop until I stopped first. Until I stopped making people pay for how I felt about myself. Until I could do something about my self centered fear problem.
It's not a 4 Step program, I know that. There's 12 suggested Steps in the AA Big Book. I am saying by surrendering in 1 and 2. In making a 3rd Step decision and humbling myself? My life began. And let me say by the 4th Step I wasn't fixed by any means, no. I was still crazy as a shithouse rat, BUT! I had hope. Hope was something I never had. Hope, willingness, a reason to live? I couldn't turn back even though at times I wanted to. I was looking at the real problem. It was here now finally and I had the strength to face it, to face myself and change.
To be living sober as a chronic hopeless alcoholic is no small feat. There are many ways to live sober for as many who are in need. I have been rescued by the AA Big Book suggested program of recovery. It has become my foundation from upon awakening to when I retire at night. In between is a daily willingness to grow in understanding and effectiveness on the suggested spiritual path. This has not made me a posterboy for kindness and love but it has offered me a way to participate in a positive way. As the fear is overcome so it the anger and resentment. The negativity. The extreme self centeredness. The day opens up and the world is exposed for what it is. I have choices today. I can be a part of it all or apart from it all. My choice to bring what I can? Offer what I can? Or steal what I can. This morning I chose to bring what I can.
I have surrendered this morning as the Big Book suggests in it's Step 11 directions on living one day at a time. This outlook and attitude does not include expectations on every intention. It isn't a day of survival. I can be vulnerable, nolonger afraid of people and the power I place upon them. I am simply who I am today and willing to be at my best. I understand I do have the benefit of long term sobriety which is not a game changer but in my case does help. I get that.
I'm willing. In my small world I am a good partner. This attitude spreads to a much larger world where I am a decent employee,, family member,friend, neighbor. I have ex wives, estranged children, and people in my life where at the time brought only fragmented understanding in my immature ability to cope yet today, I wish only for their best. And yes I too have wrongs I cannot fully make right. I pray to not run from any of it. I pray to be accountable for my actions as much as my thoughts. I am doing my best today. I am willing to grow in understanding and effectiveness in the spiritual realm. In the AA suggested Big Book 12 Steps. Today I have the ability to care enough about myself to care for myself. To seek peace in my world.