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Big Book 12 Steps (Step 1 our lives had become unmanagable)

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I've joined AA. I put the drink down, so far so good but the lingering insanity concerns me. I drank for a reason, will I drink again..  Kind of out of sight out of mind now I guess so I go where everyone knows my story. Meetings, two a day, there is emotional comfort there, security. I will never be alone again? Where they cheer you on as you sing your song of gratitude from the podium, making way for shocking crowd pleasing glimpses of honesty you were never aware of until now.  I love the new found attention. The fellowship awaits my arrival each day. Meetings meetings meetings. Purpose, understanding, finally I am somebody. I fit.

 

Fresh faces new and old bring hope as I connect with my common bond, I'm a drunk too! I'm Alcoholic!  I stole my Grandmothers 400 dollar savings and ran away from home when I was 15,  nobody cares! Today I am solving the drink problem. Not picking up a drink for one day..One 24 hour period. No axes to grind, no people to please? I am Alcoholic because I say I am. I become We, We are AA. We will solve the drink problem together. We'll talk about it in depth. Dissect it, arrange it, deny it, shout it out!  I am hope also, I want to help and like others I am empowered by the fellowship of AA. I have been rescued. All ahead full!

 

But my ceiling is low,  I can't rise above my Alcoholism. I can't seem to outgrow it, it's like a voice inside me saying no, it'll never work.. This is as far as you go.. All I can do is stop drinking and go to meetings. I want what others have and as my first year unfolds as an AA wannabe therapist, I will abuse this power of hope, take credit for it. Hey! I've been sober a year! It becomes clear I know what's best for everyone else except me. "We" stops there, We won't go with me this time, I am on my own, stuck in this self imposed crisis I can never postpone or evade.. We will keep on giving after I stop and begin taking again, leaving me behind to focus on my subtle expectations, my rewards for a well done sober day in AA..I tell myself it's them, it couldn't be me?  I will inevitably need help that We cannot offer. As much as I try, AA will never be all about me. I feel myself falling away. The harsh reality comes, We of AA cannot save me. I must save myself. Same as it ever was, I guess AA doesn't work for people like me, whatever I am.

 

I'm beginning to get the hint. I am alcohol free sure, yet dead inside, my insides float to the top and I am exposed. It's in my eyes, I think others can see it.. Nothing's changed. It was Daddy, all his fault! Then my girlfriends family, the police, the wife, school, the other wife, the other other wife, on and on and now the people in AA. Jim the coffee maker guy, Bob who's supposed to be my sponsor and help me..The AA girlfriend, the other AA girlfriend etc..I can't allow myself to see myself or maybe I am incapable?   I never could. You, them, others, see me even when I can't, that's the problem.. I react, I can't see how I create my troubles, I am unaccountable. Others feel pity for me and want to help, the AA girlfriend, my AA pals, so I use them. I gladly take their emotional security and return nothing, I only want more. Give me more security because as fast as I get it? My security dissipates and I need more, somebody somewhere, give me more! More people places and things! Like a year ago I would drink anything now in AA I'll use anybody.

 

 I alone can't feel beyond my reoccurring pain and suffering from long ago. I'm stuck as an emotional burn victim. I am and will always be 4 years old and afraid. I am never emotionally present, never risking any vulnerability. You and all others whoever they are will eventually betray me. The power of resentment makes me strong. I am riddled with fear yet with hate I overcome it. This is my self will. My self reliance, my courage and strength. I generate my courage with blame, and I blame everyone. Look at me! 4 years old and my Spirit was stolen. Look what they did! Look what he did to me! I am the victim of my ever changing delusion. Focused on my one sided coin toss. I rely on the power of selfishness to overcome my fear. Codependency is my friend, with it I can create a feeling of stability, acceptance for as long as it lasts. I think what I think you think and act accordingly. You will like me, I'll be happy living your life..The problem is what I think you're thinking isn't what you're thinking. Even in my best arrangements I set myself up to fail. I can't stop.

 

 

 

Thinking back, people in AA seemed to be getting better all around me. I'm losing control of them. I can't understand surrender or peace. They avoid me and refuse to follow my arrangements, I only see the backs of their heads. Ok fine! I don't want to talk to them anymore. I want someone to worship "me" now! Don't leave me behind! Save me, fix me!...Let me inhale the life out of you for a while,  be my friend for once, want to be with me. Feel like I feel, drained at the sound of your laughter.. I'm not happy for you? I'm jealous. Resentful, envious. If you don't give me what you have I can't have it. If I can't manipulate you I'll have no you. I need you, there is no me! Listen to me! I'm being honest! Isn't that what you want! You want change? Well I just don't know how to do that, doesn't seeing the problem count for anything? Can't we just talk it out? Can't anybody meet me half way? Nope, I give an inch, take an emotional risk, and expect a ticket tape parade. It doesn't happen and I go deeper into my self where it's safe. Sure there could have been a neutral zone of sorts where laughter or camaraderie opened all the cages and we were free. But that's not enough for me, I must control the neutral zone.

 

I know I'm a thief, I just can't understand why?  Why am I so full of resentment. I hate myself for who I am. It creeps out in sarcasm. Fun clever sarcasm so you accept me then dark mean sarcasm to get control. You like me in the moment but I need you forever!

 

I can't have relationships? I bait others and then take them hostage. Like, I hate myself for doing it and make myself pay with punishing thoughts of guilt and remorse. That recurring, you are or they are screwed up and I'm not, mean spirited sarcasm. I'm better than them and make fun, you agree and will like me more. Yeah! I'm in charge now! It's us, you and me together, you and me now against them, those screwed up people. I expose my two faces of self and cover back up right away. Just kidding right? Yeah, just kidding...End result? I hate everybody! It's the same old me even in AA, everyone's everything and I'm nothing. I must divide this group, arrange them, get control. Rise above them for the attention I deserve. I must be clear, there are many worse off than me here. I will rise above them. I will create my high self worth at their expense. I'll call it my truth or I'm just being brutally honest with a snicker, a nudge and wink.. Painless really. No, still the play does not suit me. My relationships are short lived. I have nothing others want. Even as I am everything I think they want, they still don't want me. I'm an airplane pilot over here, a biker over there, I am all things to all people.

 

Sometimes I just want to be invisible, I expect the same people that cheer me on in support on the good days to make the self centeredness go away when it overwhelms me on those sick days. C'mon people. care about me! like me! Sometimes I think I can control it all, fight it! I'll show you! Lift myself from loneliness and despair, get a grip by myself, buy a new shirt! Put on a new face! Who needs people, I don't!  I hate people! I hate everybody...I hate you!

 

When they can't fix me and I am lost and alone because I can't fix myself, I should just try harder? Harder at what? Grow up harder? Be an adult harder? Make my guilt and shame go away harder? what! somebody please tell me! What else is there but my arrangement of people? I show up and vent or I hide in fear of myself and what I have already said, like some kind of speaking remorse. I say something and want to take it back, I can't seem to control my mouth? Damn. I think they know what I'm really like inside. Is this paranoia? Is this what paranoia is? I am afraid yet I have no other place to go. People dominate me and I cannot get away from them.. I'm falling farther into the abyss of self-centeredness. Deeper into my alcoholism and I haven't had a drink for a year. I settle for less just as I did drinking in a Bar where I was not liked by anyone. I walk into the same bar everyday and people look away, bums and losers shake their heads and just look away. I'm not below them, I'm above them! They're no better than me! I deserve to have my drink too! Now a year later and sober in AA I see myself jumping into conversations I don't belong in like a lost puppy or using the silent treatment to arouse suspicion and concern, help me I'm perplexed. Someone fill in my blank spots and save me. Offer me some of that fresh blood, that emotional security. Like me so I can have enough self esteem to like myself. I'm standing right next to you, I'm here! Show "me" some attention..  Yup, just because I stopped drinking does not mean I have a life worth living. I worship people and people are my drug of choice. If you won't like me? I can't like me, this seems to be a big part of my problem. The drink problem aside, I can't manage my own life...

 

I sit alone and ponder. Hole crap am I sick in the head. I am a member of AA and yet I am really out there man, I just can't figure this out! I am determined to figure this mess all out myself. Take charge, be a real man! Lets see here...It begins with my initial selfish thoughts of survival and ends as I expect the happy people parade, where emotional security falls from the sky over and through me. This is what I want, what I need.. I need a multi-pass, I need a break! In stead of always the unaccountable victim of self delusion waving to the crowd, please bring on the delusion, monkey down with the sickness. It never works. I need alcohol. I need to be deluded. I can't live without some sort of anesthesia. Hopeless? Yes, I know but it's ok right? I'm letting my guard down, I'm sharing at meetings, some say this endless talking in circles is the program of recovery but I hope there is more. I suffer from sharing remorse, what did I say? what do they think? I open my mouth and freak myself out. AA..this isn't working. I don't care, I can't care, I cannot not care. My head races uncontrollably. I am caught but cannot pinpoint what wrong I have done. I'm at that place again where I just cannot go any further. Like my brain just shuts off. I don't even understand what I said that was so wrong it's just that now? Everything is wrong no matter what it is. I am self centered in everything I think so everything I think is wrong. Everything I've ever done is wrong. I am doing the best I can and it is wrong. Is not drinking wrong? Going to AA, wrong again? I am the loser, a bum a drunk...the failure to society walking around town with no license, no car.. I will never amount to anything, they were right! Daddy was right!

 The truth is I have no hope of my own, only others. I steal my emotional security from others. You like me, I like me. I will do anything for some attention, some comfort, some love and then I will want it all. I think you think. I think I know what you think, there is security there for me. I remain stunted, safe in my selfishness. Selfishness is my security. In my mind? I am in everything and everybody, I am extremely self centered, driven by fear. I hate myself so why shouldn't you? ...I am the judge, the opinion, the final say. I am the answer man, all knowing, I have done and seen it all. I fight it sure, deny it always, without the imagined thoughts of others, I am nothing and nobody can know. This secret I keep from myself. If I can't fill myself with you, obsess on you, there is no me. I am regularly reminded of the wife who left me and took me with her. She was my everything and I was obsessed and used everything up. So, when she was gone well, so was I. I was nothing and she came and made me something. She left and I was again nothing. I begged her to bring me back but no, no return. There was no deposit on me.

Despite all the kings horses and all the kings men, I spend my days struggling for my emotional security boost. Talk about the storm, holy crap my life was a mess and I hadn't had a drink in almost a year! Is there any human power strong enough to restore me to something better than this? Somebody, some person place or thing to make me something I can't seem to be on my own? A new girlfriend? I know! I'll move to a new town! ((FLORIDA))) geographical cure ?? New people means fresh blood!  The great reality within begins to show itself. Nobody can fix me. Nobody as in "I'm beyond human aid" nobody. A hopeless nobody destined to die sober and alone. The best I can hope for is wandering around AA meetings until I eventually drink again.

 

Can't I do anything right? Yes I put the drink down and yes I attend two AA meetings a day, everyday. I am sober in the fellowship. I have a free multi-pass to arrange people to suit myself which did work quite well for a time, I have a desire to not drink is my supposed only AA requirement. Really? AA has no accountability so I am unchallenged. Basically? I don't drink and do whatever I want. I am Mr. AA. and sober for a year, the one eyed man on the island of the blind. I went from "am" to "was" doing so good like.. overnight.. What happened? Now what new crisis is this? How long will the safety net hold? I'm doing the best I can in AA. The sick days are coming faster and closer together. I am barely making it to the meetings, I would rather hide in front of the TV..  I can see it on the horizon, Soon will I just be sick, without any balance, no more good moments. No good movies. My mind races, should I stay or should I go. She'll be there maybe? She'll save me tonight! No, no more people. I just can't do it anymore. This is the cycle of my life. I have never gone past this point. I put down the alcohol yes but I see now I cannot face life, I can't face myself. I cannot live without anesthesia. I am hopeless with or without AA..I am on top of the world but still afraid of heights. This is where those invisible people in my memories say they did all they could for me or, I simply don't listen! This is where I am always left behind! I am trapped, I'll never get out of myself.

 

The hits just keep coming! Why won't I die! I feel each day now, I sense it as if they are one long never ending failure, the end is near. I have failed again. Why shouldn't I fail, I am a failure! I can accept it, I have fulfilled my destiny. Whistling in the dark I spent my last days negotiating the trail through the AA people forest. I still keep showing up. My handshake has meaning that I can no longer hide.  Hello, will you save me? Hi, will you give me some attention? Keeping to the center of the herd like others recommended in their lengthy talks. Following, learning to follow, forcing myself to follow, being who I felt others wanted me to be..Humble? That too, whatever humble is. Just keeping my mouth shut once in a while seems close enough for a "I'm working it" pat on the back. I am living each day with my personal impending doom. It's not just one shoe waiting to drop, it's as if the whole world will come crashing down and I am trapped, finally this is it..Boxed in, hopeless. I wish I would just die..I decide to lay on the garage floor and drop a running chainsaw on my neck. Kill the serpent, cut off it's head.

 

Funny really, I look back and can't help but laugh at the whole Higher Power 12 Steps Spiritual path thing. Sure it is connected to willingness but it still mystifies me. Like how do I explain it? How do I explain willingness? I am one way alone in my empty void of existence ready to end it all with a chainsaw on my neck and the next, I am almost driven with hope, tripping over my battlefield into the hope filled future. I am bulletproof. One tiny thought changed everything, one AA thought just for me. What about the Big Book 12 Steps?

 

There was at one time somewhere, some meeting I was at, talk of a Spiritual path. I did remember Big Book 12 Step stuff spewed by some cocky loudmouth know it all.. When you don't know anything and suffer from low self worth well, everyone is a loudmouth know it all, yes? Was it real or imagined? I had no idea what that Big Book stuff meant but didn't seem to care, I was ready for something, desperate for change. It was a weird feeling, I wanted it, I was willing? Is this willingness? Is this what people mean by willingness? Came to believe? Step 2? I am beyond human aid?

 

Yep..One day something clicked that changed my thinking. I was willing for what some called the Big Book 12 Step program. I didn't even know what it was really but this day? I wanted to find it more than my own meeting. What if I didn't connect with my AA people tonight? I was afraid, vulnerable,  yet didn't care. On my own but felt nothing could get any worse.  I would chance missing my meeting and step into the unknown? I would find the Big Book 12 Steps. Where was the loudmouth guy, where would he be? Where did the Big Book 12 Step guys meet? I asked around, nobody had anything good to say about Big Book 12 Steps. Everyone had a reason to offer negative review. Finally an oldtimer/ permanent greeter guy Tony gave me a nod, told me where they meet and said good luck. I went. Well? I never came back to AA as I understood it. I found the 12 Steps, it's all I could think about. They were in the same Big Book I moved around with me from end table to book shelf and I didn't even know it! What the heck!

 

Looking back at that first year sober in AA I remember feeling lucky I didn't join the Peoples Temple or Moonies cult. It was as if I was initially rescued by AA. Warehoused for a time. Scooped up from the sea of madness in my mind, my untreated alcoholism, the Spiritual malady. Yeah sure, it was fellowship, the come as you are AA. Sit up front AA. Don't drink go to meetings ask for help AA. That was great and rings true today still. I support it anyway I can.   I just sort of evolved I guess. Like one day I was one way and the next I was different. I had bottomed out, admitted powerlessness, I was now willing to believe in the Spirit of things, the Spiritual Path suggested in the Big Book.. I was to say goodbye to worshipping people. Trying in vain the read retain and apply the 12/12 reading. I had found the AA Spiritual Path suggested in the Big Book 12 Steps. Well, more like tripped over it but that's not important. It was here, real. Big Book! The real home for misfit toys! There was something more to life than talking away a head full of people. There was a way out of my head. I never knew and I suffered for it. 

 

I was reborn. As I became willing to believe in my own conception of a Higher Spiritual Power there was one thing that showed itself in a big way. Probably the one thing that kept me believing each day. When I asked for guidance from this Spiritual Power? I wasn't dominated by fear. Granted it may just be seconds or minutes but there was proof! People would come and go and sometimes have no affect at all. A crippling memory would show itself and I would ask for help to have it removed. Sometimes it would actually go away! This revelation was huge! All I ever knew everyday was fear, extreme self centeredness, so this was completely different for me. This fear proved to be the root of my Alcoholism and I was willing to solve the fear problem.. Who knew? I mean, I was a "real" alcoholic. Probably everyone knew right?  I just had to see it for myself. They were right about me, you couldn't tell me anything.

 

I came to AA, junk. Non productive. I could not care enough about myself to take care of myself. My mind raced uncontrollably. I was powerless over alcohol - my life had become unmanageable. I or anyone I knew of could not control my life. The necessary power was simply not there. Beaten into a state of reasonableness I became willing to believe in my own conception of a Spiritual Power greater than myself as the Book suggested. As fast as that thought came, I was on my way. It was willingness, willingness was key. I would live. Saved by AA.

 

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