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Big Book 12 Steps ( early sobriety )

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This coffee is too hot...This coffee is too cold...This coffee is just right!   Hi! I'm Alcoholic, my name is ____, how do you like me so far?


 I speak for myself obviously. My experience as I live it, remember it. Selfishness is brutal and I couldn't or wouldn't last long without a drink in me unless it was addressed on some level. I want what I want, when I want it. This attitude keeps me outside looking in yet I can't let it go. I am never really happy with myself, never good enough, always in search of the next good thing I see in others that can somehow apply to me. Copy, mimic? fantasize..People, I have a people problem, I'm addicted to them. If only I had what they have, I'd be happy just as they are. self centeredness, selfishness, self-pity, self delusion, self and more self. More decisions based on self that placed me in a position to be hurt I believe it says. Me, me, what about me. How come people don't need me like I need them?


I can't care for myself. I cut myself to shreds hoping for a rescue, attention. People, somebody save me! Somebody, anybody. I whine and complain, starving for acceptance from those who are so important to me. I have nothing but their acceptance will give me high self esteem, purpose.. I have no real courage or strength to face myself and the life that goes on around me. Why can't others love me or atleast like me? It is always an overwhelming firing line. A war zone. I'm losing. My life of self centered fear. The PTSD history doesn't help. Someone came along and did to me what I have done many times since to others. They stole my Spirit and I quickly learned how to live without it just as they do or did.. That's it in a nut shell really. They stole from me and now I steal from others. I'm a thief. I steal my emotional security from others. I make arrangements mostly in my head in hopes of getting my needs met.  I think I am everything you are, I am selfish to the extreme. I place myself in every thought, everything revolves around me. I am the hopeless Alcoholic described in the Big Book 12 Steps. I don't know what it's like to live free of resentment and fear. These extreme feelings are the norm to me.


Rather than let go as suggested and find my peace? I hold on tighter, try harder. I can't comprehend letting go. I just don't get it. Sometimes I can't participate at all. I am shut off as I now only fight with myself, full of fear alone on my mountaintop. I beat myself because I cannot have control over you and now cannot make something out of nothing. Someday the happy day will arrive when I win. I move around searching, never getting too involved. Will you be my Mama? Will you love me?


I am so into you, how could you not want me? I answer your question as it's being asked, I assume what you are going to say before you do and respond with undivided attention.  I find security by doing my and your and their thinking for them at the same time. I am so involved I am everybody. I am basically talking to myself and at you. I feel myself the success as I attempt to create my high self esteem. Others are confused but not me, the more I control the more comfortable I feel. I am all things to all people. The Book describes me as probably kind, considerate, modest, and self sacrificing and also mean, egotistical, and self centered. These are my tools. My coping skills. These are the character traits I use to steal my security from others. I am really just one big producer of confusion to everyone but see myself as the one with the best of intensions.. I want your soul sure, but I also don't want to get caught stealing it. It must be painless. At my best? You will offer yourself to me.  I am the passive aggressive master of delusion. I make use of the term "just kidding" as a back door in most conversations. If you looked at me on paper? I am a ghost. Smoke and mirrors. I am not real. I am only a reflection of others. My constant manipulation of others to get my emotional needs met is a result of extreme selfishness. I am all I think about yet I deny my existence. I am nothing and all the people cannot fulfill my needs. I know enough of this about myself to hate myself but lack the strength or courage to alter my frustration. I am stuck. The best I can hope for is to change you to meet my needs. When this doesn't happen? When I lose? Fail? I am depressed, agitated, negative, the failure. The smallest mishap can leave me feeling as a complete failure at life. I am under constant fear and tension reeling from one self imposed crisis to another. When I fail, I fail at the numerous failures that are unresolved in my mind, again and again my history of failure shows itself. I carry the failures of my childhood as an adult and reveal them as if they happened yesterday or even right this moment...


If my arrangements stay put as they sometimes do? I am happy. You like me, I like me. I have made a friend. If they don't, if you already have friends? If I must jockey for position as your best friend as you have become to me?  Well, someone must pay for how I feel. I am much too self centered to compete. I grab at anything in a matter of seconds as I spiral downward into my empty emotional void. Am I losing you? Am I losing my new source of attention? Are there others you feel are better than me? Perhaps some quick character assignation of these others will save me. Perhaps I can quickly bring someone else down to my level to take the focus off me. Pretty common untreated Alcoholic conduct apparently. You're screwed up and I'm ok. They're all screwed up and I'm not, we're not, you and me. You and me right? Actually it's just you. I am me as long as you're here to use for my emotional needs but when you leave? I am empty again. You leave and take me with you. Yes, lol..there is selfishness as described in the 12/12 Step Book and then there is (((Extreme))) selfishness, as described in the Big Book 12 Steps.. If you are fortunate to find your fit it is all to the good. I have found mine. As crazy as it may seem to one who is not afflicted, to me my life is good. I am grateful for who I am and what freedom I have found.


Above all? It is key to not give up on yourself. Do your best or use all you can muster to not pick up one drink for one day, one drink for one day, hours, minutes, whatever it may be.. Sounds so easy but may not be when you find yourself alone in your head movies so, try not to compare. Remember that yes it is a day at a time but we are not all in the same day. You yourself may find yourself happy or sad while not governed by your surroundings. So what? Feel what you feel just don't pick up that drink.  For those like myself especially early on, staying away from a drink I may or probably will get blindsided with glimpses of just how whacked out I really am. It can be unnerving, sometimes a glimpse can throw me right out into emotional oncoming traffic.. Other times the opposite, my new found utopia can make me reckless, unthinking.  It is no wonder I drank like I did. I can be all over the place. One moment I am quiet and peacefull and the next I am angry over something that occurred 20 years ago. I must try and accept this, this is who I am right now. I am not yesterday or tomorrow, right now, I am who I am right now. I am Alcoholic and well? Apparently I got this Alcoholism stuff pretty bad! May as well just try to throw perfection out the window as early I possible..


Hey, I did give up on myself a few times and picked up a seemingly harmless drink hoping for a different result, it never came. I tried it again? Still nothing, actually I felt worse. So, I had to learn for myself about the insanity of the first drink, powerlessness, unmanageability, Step 1. Me, my life here. My thinking, my head especially with regards to alcohol.  Not everyone else, me, I'm seeing the real me. Small increments sure. For me small was all to the good. One foot in front of the other, don't drink go to meetings, ask for help. More and more is revealed each new day sober. Fortunately for me, not too much at once. Too much and I would wish for the rope. Again.


According to the Book, willingness is key. Unfortunately creating willingness out of nothing can be difficult. I was caught, finished, backed up against the wall. I'm the problem? People are the problem? What's left? I myself went for the whole Higher Power gag. A friend from Ptown who would meet at my house in Eastham to head to meetings down Cape would say hey, just go along with the Higher Power gag. I thought that was funny, I went along. Plus I heard about it everywhere now. My life was becoming centered around AA and the  people in AA were asking this Higher Power for help everyday and supposedly staying sober because if it. Because of this willingness offered on the Spiritual Path suggested in the Big Book. Hmm, Big Book, the blue one, I couldn't ever remember ever reading a book, my head was mush. Anyway, I figured why not? What do I have to lose? My life had been reduced to going to two AA meetings everyday with little else in between. I had nobody, no friends, only AA. Why not go ahead and make mine a "cheese" burger. So I did. I began asking for help on my knees each day. The whole knee thing seemed to be a way to surrender so I went with it. It felt right for me. Soon after I won a Big Book at the raffle. It may have been fixed. I opened it.


 As I look back it could have been much worse than being willing to believe in a Spiritual realm of life as it was suggested in the Big Book.. I could have drank Kool Aid with Jimmy boy or committed suicide with the rest of the gang waiting for the mother ship. I could be a do as I do or die religious fanatic also. There's certainly plenty of them to choose from. But I ended up in AA Big Book 12 Steps. The Book suggested that my own conception of a Spiritual Power greater than myself was sufficient to make the approach to the 12 Steps. In the big picture? Not all that difficult. There was my willingness right there. Right in front of me in my cupped hands. I was willing to believe.. Simple sure but it was my willingness just the same. The Book did say I could commence on a simple level and I did. And it did work for me. I was staying away from a drink for a day at a time and I was willing to believe in a Spiritual Power greater than myself. I kind of hoped this Higher Power would provide some courage and strength to face life. It did I guess, I can't be sure really. I do know I had the courage to move ahead to the next Step. I do know the Higher Power was providing me with willingness and willingness is what I needed, willingness is what I lacked. I wasn't going anywhere without willingness. I needed to become willing to care enough about myself to help myself. With this new found willingness I seemed to be moving at least. I understood Step 2. I can't, the Higher Power can. Simple and hard to deny as my life was getting better. It still baffles me to see how difficult and complicated I made this suggested AA 12 Step approach. It's just willingness! Man, I was a cement head.


OK, sure I was still extremely selfish. I hadn't really even touched the tip of the selfishness iceberg yet. That would come further down the Spiritual Path. All I really knew was I was involved in my life and my problem with booze and other things may not be all "their" fault, whoever "they" are. That first year or so was a blur. I hadn't changed much on the inside, maybe some awareness but that was about it. I wasn't drunk everyday so physically I was much better, better looking anyway as I paraded myself around the halls.. Outsides had improved greatly. I stopped rotting away, hemorrhaging. Knowledge of my condition I saw in others helped. Stuff I picked up by my exposer to the repetition of meetings meetings and more meetings. Fellowship. I could relax a bit around people. It was ok the be a screw up for an hour or two each day. I liked it, I liked meetings. I was with my kind. This was new to me and great but not enough to support a psychic change sufficient to overcome my alcoholism or even solve the drink problem. I had to keep going with the willingness. 


I was into the Book by now, I had been beaned off the head with it. I was waking up. The Book suggested self knowledge wouldn't fix me, I understood for once that yes it's true. I am the problem. I was tired of denying it. Fortunately for me the next thought was the Big Book 12 Steps are my solution. As they have proved to be. I had met many well educated and seemingly highly intelligent people who could not stay sober. They were no different than me as an uneducated street drunk. We all shared the same problem, we lacked willingness.


Hey, if getting and staying sober was so easy, everyone who felt themselves hopeless in life with Alcohol as their master would do it. I mean who wants to live everyday hating themselves as the failure at life who cannot stop drinking. Bombed by guilt and shame. Day after day I proved it to myself, I am Alcoholic.  I wake up, I begin my day? I get drunk and run away from myself. Running around in circles. Either chasing my tail or someone else's who I hope may save me. Basically playing the wheel. I certainly couldn't see it. I was sure , absolutely convinced my problems were everyone else's fault. If I could just get a break right? Well, I did. I did get that break. I found the power to see myself and get answers. That's all I ever really wanted. I just want to be somebody. A real boy. 



So, the good news? I'm not alone in my illness. Oh, sure I may be a sick one comparatively, but alone? unique? too far gone, not worthy of recovery? Absolutely not. In time I was ready for Step 3. I made my first honest decision sober. It was the simple willingness that had brought me this far.

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