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Isn’t this truly the step that means the most to me? For long-term sobriety, I mean? It’s all well and good to stop, surrender, and clean up the mess, but Step Seven is, to me, where the rubber meets the road. It’s keeping stopped through continually ridding myself of personal triggers and inappropriate reactions. It’s time to incorporate some good, old-fashioned proactiveness into my day-to-day.

Step Seven: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

What qualifies as proactive? Anything and everything I do before the shit hits the fan. Considering I’m the one usually throwing it, it’s in my best interest to identify my shortcoming in said situation and humbly ask for it to be removed. It typically goes something like this: “God, help me remove the anger/envy/resentment I’m feeling at so-and-so for such-and-such.” Because there’s always a so-and-so, and they’re always doing such-and-such. And nine times out of ten, their heads will hit the pillow that evening without a care for my twisted insides.

In an odd way, this step is like adult diapers: it catches my crap before it’s on full display to the world. It’s a hitch in my step. One of my main shortcomings is instant negativity. A “this’ll suck” attitude that rolls out across the floor like a fog monster, engulfing the locals and terrifying the children. I used to call this “telling it like it is,” which was code for, “I’m a miserable alcoholic, and what’s presented before me isn’t liquor nor isolation, and therefore contemptible.”

I was a spoiled king, dissatisfied by all offerings from my unworthy subjects. Thankfully, being mindful of my shortcomings gets me off my throne, out among the people, where I am no better or less than. Sure, it’s crowded, noisy and sometimes irritating, but that’s all part of the deal. It’s these little tests that call out my defects and allow me to deal with them, so when the big stuff hits, I’ll have at least an inkling of what to do.

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