Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sanity 101, a new series

I wrote this last night after a meeting. I don't have Internet access at home anymore, so I am delayed posting this on the blog.

Musings after a good meeting

Tonight’s meeting was on character defects. I volunteered to lead, and I chose the topic because of finishing my 5th Step last night. I just love the feeling of peace and simply being comfortable in my own skin when I leave a really great meeting. Serenity rocks.

My character defects are pretty simple. But they run deep. I think that is the truth for most people, at least I think so...

My first character defect is resentment. No big surprise there.

My second is self-pity.

My third is fear.

My fourth is lack of love.

I have progressed in the program insofar as my resentments are MUCH less than before I began this program. I have learned to let go of alot of things, and not waste as much of my psychic energy on others’ opinions of me or mine. However, there is still some stuff that I let get to me, and those things usually are the two addicts in my life. When I say addict, I mean alcoholic in one case, and drug/sex addict in the other. There is a real knee jerk reaction I have to these two addicts who I feel are somehow not living up to their responsibilities as adults or parents or employees. I resent them for it.
Because of my own overdeveloped sense of responsibility (thanks to Judy for bringing this concept into my world)!
Is it the addict’s fault that I have this overdeveloped sense of responsibility? Nope.
Is it my fault - or more importantly, *is it my problem* - that the addict has no sense of responsibility? Nope.
How awesome is that?

When I contrast how I resent this perceived disparity, I start to pity myself. Poor little me, working my ass off while the addicts don’t. When really, there is no reason for there to be any comparison. I do what I do because it is who I am. They do their thing for the same reason. Apples and oranges. And I am happy to be who I am. I am blessed to not be addicted to a substance. I need to be grateful instead to pity myself. Kind of backwards, huh?

As for fear, well, my sponsor directed me towards a reading in Hope for Today (page 228/August 15th for those of you keeping score) that talks about using the Serenity Prayer to determine what is worth fearing. In a word, accept what I cannot change, and change what I can. This reading also talks about not leaving the present and projecting fear about the future (unknown), and suggests that focusing on what my body is doing at the present moment. By taking my attention down to a physical, or even cellular level I distract it from projecting any bizarre scenarios about the future. I love this reminder to do this.

Finally, because I am resentful, pity myself, and fearful, I experience a lack of love. By lack of love, I mean I start by not loving myself. And this inhibits my ability love anyone else.

Because I have confronted and faced all this garbage about myself, I feel lighter. I feel more accepting of myself. And because I accept myself more, I like - maybe even love someday myself more. And that opens up a whole other way for me to love others. The right way. By allowing them to live without my interruption or attempts at control. Or, as we say in my profession, I allow them the dignity of risk. 

My sponsor wanted me to write some more on my resentments, and I will do so, but in a more private way than on this blog. And also to write some on practical ways I can address my character defects and weakness. These may be the subject of another blog in the near future. 

Thanks for listening.


  1. Yes.. Al-Anoners have an over development of being super responsible. (me too.. lol). (and then get resentful too... we can be just as 'insane'.. lol.

    I've learned not to do too much; unless I want to do so; and then I can't get resentful.

    I've learned to say NO too. :)

    You sound GREAT..!!!

  2. I am happy you are coming to terms with the things that have kept you back in the past. I am truely happy for you. I have loved our friendship since the days we have worked together. It pleases me that we are still friends.

  3. Just sending you a big HUG... have not read any new blogs from you all week.. hope all is going GREAT with you.

    I've been busy working and cleaning alot.. Life..!!