Thought I’d share my most recent 1st step. For the purposes of full disclosure, my sobriety date is 9/06/2000. This is probably like my 90th 1st step. Why? Because I’m not just powerless over drugs and alcohol. I’m powerless over lots of things! But as you will discover, I’ve begun to find some humor in the whole process.
Dear God, This is some stuff that is really pissing me off, and it’s taking up a bunch of space in my head (we all know what a death trap that hell hole is!) so I need to chat.
Things I’m (currently) powerless over:
- Dear Lord, where are my pats on the back? I’m still craving recognition. Looking for the thank you—to be remembered
not forgotten. The power with which I need this makes me feel like I’m missing the
authentic joy of just doing things for their own innate value. Where is my motivation?
- I am still bumping up against (or more like a pinball machine!)
around in my negative thoughts. While I
have accepted (or resigned myself) to the idea that life shows up for me in
exactly the way I create it through my thoughts and actions, I’m all over the
map with keeping them in check. Why
can’t I be more positive, and like butterflies, and flowers. Why must I be gifted in sarcasm?
- I’m completely powerless over the fact that my mother and father
are still both alive (Remember, this is my last
1st step. My father has since
died—a fact which I regrettably had nothing to do with.) Why won’t either of those selfish people have
anything to do with me or my beautiful family? Why do I have to be the devil’s
spawn of abandonment?
- Now this is really eating me, the fact that their disinterest still
hurts after all these years. I’ve done
my work on this, Big Guy—why isn’t this over for me?
- It’s hard for me to allow myself to be comforted. I feel sort of awkward and creepy when people
I love try to make me feel better, and that makes me feel broken inside.
- I still consider weakness a personal failure. I’m told this is a common symptom of a Type A
personality, but I’m thinking I may be taking it too far when I suggest hari
kari to my children’s elementary school Principal after she gets back less than
stellar test scores. I don’t know. I have mixed feelings on this. I hate those
- Sometimes I still think needing someone is a weakness.
- I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I do more before noon than
most people do in the month of January (and that’s when people are always all
revved up to accomplish stuff!)
Seriously though, the alcoholic idea that I’m alone on the planet is the
ultimate f-you that we do to ourselves.
To think that no one really knows how I feel, that nothing can ease my
isolation—these ideas keep me separated from everything good life has to
- I am still powerless over my judgments of myself and others,
eternally placing people places and things in some systematic hierarchy of
importance and then trying to gently carve out a place for myself in it all
(like with dynamite!) We both know this obsession with order is just my
inevitable longing to be enough.
- Re: Mary & Phil (my parents) I still salivate for revenge at
times. Yuck! And by revenge I mean the deep twisted kind of hurt that changes
the course of a person’s entire life—you know, the kind of pain they put me
- I’m still likely to evaluate everyone in the room in terms of what
they can do for me. Now that’s ugly!
- I am still powerless over the clock, the calendar and the
progression of time.
- I am still powerless over other people’s morals, manners and
- I am still impatient, exacting, judgmental. Drats!
- Let’s not forget I’m an f&^%ing alcoholic and I’m powerless
over drugs and all other mind or mood altering substances.
- JM is still not under my control, and my oldest daughter insists
on wearing the Justin Beiber haircut, god help me.
That’s it. My most recent 1st step. It’s the act of looking at my mental, physical and emotional reality at a given point in time, because until I am willing to accept the reality of my life exactly as it is, and to surrender to the fact that I have yet to find power over these things, nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing can change for me.
I encourage you to live in the steps, not just work them like a homework assignment. If you are not availing yourself of the power
of looking at who you really are and turning that sick sorry human being over to a power greater than yourself, you are really missing it.