Looking at myself has never been easy and rarely attempted. Mostly I hoped I would just go away and leave me alone in denial. Alcohol helped for a time but like everything else? Although alcohol is a great and well documented remover? It could not overtake the progressive malady and eventually completely stopped removing myself, leaving me drunk and exposed as if somehow drunk and sober at the same time. Caught with no excuses in my familiar revolving self imposed crisis where I blame the world and the world blames me for who or what I am. Relying on the fight, the anger and resentment to give me power to live another day.
The outrageous alcohol abuse has actually helped me bottom out on my people problem. Seeing my past and present life surrounded by an emotional barbed wire fence. Protecting myself and my trust issues? Nobody comes in or goes out. Without the alcohol I would have probably just been a irrational self absorbed narcissistic jerk and gone on to 4 or 5 marriages, a half dozen geographical cures, ending up in local politics? That whole bull in a china shop chestnut. People listen to me rather than face my wrath. But I was lucky in a sense. The alcohol took me down before I could do any more damage to myself or others.
Sure I have tried to get a grip on relationships many times? I have even had complete enablers who could care less about me or my conduct, just wanted a friend. They say they like my company and still? I can't do it. It's as if all they are, everything they offer isn't enough. The welcome mat girlfriends, the outcasts of society who always settle for less. No matter. I simply will not risk being hurt. I must remain in control even if I have no idea what I'm controlling. I am trapped in my self-centered fear.
I get glimpses of my fragmented state. I am much too damaged to begin with, scarred really. Tattooed. My entire life as a burden, a constant source of pain and suffering. In a nutshell? I am completely unaccountable. I live in a state of constant self-pity. The victim. Blaming people places and things for my failures. I am constantly baffled by my ability to survive on my emotional diet of nothing and nobody. Never realizing I need people to support my self pity. Lots of people. I think I am all alone and no body loves me when in fact I am using many at once.
I want friends don't I? Relationships personal or otherwise enjoyable interaction. But always find myself threatened by self centeredness and slip into the security of selfishness as if drawn to it's familiarity. My permanent home base. As if any exposed feelings send me spiraling into damage control on an emotionally pre greased slide back into self. I mean damn man! I want to have sober friends and engage with others, I really do. I meet someone? I try to spend time with them? I become afraid and selfishly jockey for position to boost my flagging emotional security. The more I am willing to risk the more I am going to run. My honesty becomes deception. My willingness scripted. Inevitably I turn around, passing myself on the way back into my deep state of terminal uniqueness where I'm safe leaving the empty shell exposed back on the firing line. Here.. My empty shell will be your friend. As if my happy place is not happy at all. It just becomes a place where the hope of you liking me, accepting me, is paramount to my existence. You like me so I can like myself. My arrangement of people in an ongoing effort to save myself. I worship them just as they worship their God. I mirror myself in them for some semblance of self worth thereby worshipping them only. It stops there, I do not worship their God.
My first attempt at an inventory was ridiculous. A fragmented page from a Hazelden seven deadly sins 4th Step guide and a sponsor who belittled me over gossip that followed close behind from outside the AA halls.. I didn't need his help shaming myself yet he didn't understand and continued gossiping as if I was the group science project.. Not even close to being aware of the magnitude of my alcoholic dilemma I believed that some way, some how I could still fix myself if I could keep the right arrangements in place..
If I was really really serious this time? I could finally smarten up? Get my head out of my arse? Pull up those bootstraps? Be like others and clean up my act with Religion and honesty? Religion and fellowship? Just Religion? Nope. It's not that Religion is bad, it works for many who suffer in themselves it's just that for me? I just can get my head around it. Religion is like God and Man. I'm good with the God thing but Man? I got real issues there. Unresolved trust issues. To me it was wise to seek God alone rather than with those who may misunderstand me and I really believed nobody understood me.
PUT DOWN THE PEOPLE AND PICK UP THE PEN, NOW?
Procrastinating long enough. Sacrificing myself along with the many more pressing issues I kept coming up with that needed addressing I just gave in. I was ready for a moral inventory so I spent the evening after an AA meeting alone with myself sitting on the couch rearranging shelves in my emotional warehouse. Turning off the TV was a show of commitment. I was really doing this. Reviewing some of the worst items in stock was not easy, upsetting really.. My life was like a dirty cluttered refrigerator. Two almost empty mustard bottles and one unopened. Tupperware containers with unrecognizable contents I chose to just throw away rather than open. Old milk jug behind new milk jug. Remnants of health food I was going to try months ago. Three open pickle jars and I don't even eat pickles. It was clear quite quickly that I was a bad manager for sure. I wasn't very good at taking care of myself.
The same management was going on in my head. I had two or three suitable endings to questionable reoccurring situations. I told myself many lies in hopes of better arrangements in my head in order to justify my past. My mind was like the refrigerator. I could not properly manage my own mind, it was full of crap. I quickly realized that I was continuing to create horrific endings to already bad memories that were really not all that bad. As if my best thinking was making matters worse? I couldn't stop fixing things that didn't need fixing.
I just needed to keep moving away from myself. Creating new and better scenarios, fixing myself with the best multiple choice endings, medicating myself with alcohol, drugs, always a symptom of selfishness and delusion. The problem seemed to be with my perception of things, life itself. In my mind, it was as if life went along fine and as soon as I appeared? No matter how I was involved, I took control? The situation turned ugly. It was me? I turned the situation ugly. Chaos ensued. Racing mind, fear, uncertainty. It was all me in all thought as if I was just an actor but saw myself as the chief critic in everything.. I was the problem. I needed to know my place, to be right sized. This was great news but that's all it was, news. I was still in it so like always, it too was just more bad news. More information, more ammunition, bullets for my gun to destroy myself. There were no exceptions. I was the center of my problems. I was the creator, I worshipped myself as others worshipped their Gods. I played the roll I saw others seek guidance from. In the end? Even playing God wasn't enough. People were disposable. I used them up quickly in the end. They were to give and I was to take.
I hated myself just as much as I believed others hated me in their retaliation. What they thought was more important than what I thought or how I felt. I deserved misery and pain. There was a sense of security in the familiarity of it all. In settling for less and less I knew how to feel when I couldn't feel. I knew how to act when I was completely confused. I just mimicked what others did. Like the old mustard jar and the next old jar? I buy a new one and put it up in front, rotate the old to the back unable to simply discard them. I was holding on to garbage in my head unable to let any of it go..
I WAS A BAD BABY AND WOULD NEVER BECOME A GOOD BABY.
The reoccurring tunnel vision. The abuse. The tilted effects of others abusive relationships passed on by way of their overflowing secrets, their sexual shame and guilt oozing out. The inner rage at themselves, the fight for validation their only outlet. Make me pay for how they felt about themselves? Hurting me was hurting themselves as if I was them, as if I would learn their unlearned lesson finally for them and they would find relief in my suffering. I would pay their debt. Someone would finally pay their debt. I had become them now. Making others pay for how I felt about myself and finding only temporary relief. A spiritless people worshipper struggling daily to outsmart the demons they themselves created. Yes. I was my own worst enemy. Actually I was my only enemy. I carried my war torn soul wherever I went and in whatever I thought. I needed to stop burning myself but couldn't stop lighting fires. It's what I did. It's all I did.
YOU CAN'T GET DRUNK ON A BOTTLE OF BAD DADDY..
You can tell yourself it's self-pity. Tell yourself you lack self esteem. Compare yourself to others for a quick co-signer or validation. You can drink at people and hope to overcome your heartache. You can try all these things but in the end? You can't change a bad Daddy. You can only change yourself. I somehow got the jest of it and became willing to change. I made a beginning...for me alone.
Yep..Alcohol gets you drunk. I had stopped drinking and was now trying my best to stay stopped. The outlook was bleak. It was just a matter of time and I would drink again, I just knew it. I had seen a bit of myself but fixed nothing. If anything I was more confused as I tried to arrange my new information to suite me. Then it hit me. Just like I had moved the garbage can over to the refrigerator and by taking inventory emptied it? I needed to do the same with my head. I needed an emotional dumpster. I wanted it all to go. There was nothing I needed to keep. Some spoke of assets and liabilities? I had no assets. Everything appearing good was someway connected to something bad. I wanted it all gone. I wanted to find a fresh start like I had heard of around the halls. I wanted to be reborn. I needed the Big Book 12 Step psychic change.
The change did come. Not in my time, but it did come. Naturally I wanted to be all changed right now. I wanted immediate relief. And as I look back? It was immediate. I was just so far off center it was a while before I saw solid results for myself. I had no idea what spiritual change was and was always looking for that great upheaval or flashing lights, something miraculous like in the movies that I could see and touch. I mean it's a God thing right? It must be huge!
Well? It wasn't like that. I couldn't paint a picture of new found freedom. I couldn't describe my new ability to care. I couldn't show off courage and strength, it wouldn't be courage and strength if I did. But I could feel the freedom from fear. The self centeredness fell away from me as if a big part of me had been removed and I didn't miss it. It was just gone. I had surrendered it and it was gone. I could feel self esteem grow on the suggested spiritual path. I learned the 12 Steps no matter how fast or slow or in depth? They are a process. A program of recovery, directions toward the spiritual path with willingness as the approach. Once there? Step by Step suggestions are laid out in masterly detail to keep you there. Willingness is key to an effort to care enough about yourself to care for yourself. As this willingness is established and a spiritual decision is made to continue? As we live sober and become teachable we simply learn to be good to ourselves that others may benefit. We are the welcoming hand of AA.