Don’t give them the satisfaction. That was the advice I received whenever I was wound up by teasing and bullying and the like. If they know they’re getting to you, they’ll keep it up. Pretend it doesn’t bother you. Fake it till you make it.

Well, it’s hard to ignore a blind-sided punch to the head. Does my ear give them satisfaction by bleeding? When surrounded by those pointing and laughing, it’s tough to play the dullard.

Step Two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Leaving it alone was the one thing I could never do. But alcohol helped me with that in spades. Walking away became my go-to response: simply remove myself from the situation. Let them talk behind my back. I was done taking it in the face.

Alcohol also helped me stand up for myself. And the more I didn’t care what people thought, the more I told them what I thought and where they could go with their thoughts, whether they liked it or not. Let them walk away. Let them be embarrassed and angry. I was dishing out truth.

Once I figured out the trick of not caring, I took that idea and ran with it. No one was going to have the satisfaction of me being fully present and aware of whatever they need help with. No one had proven to be worth my time.

But not everyone is reincarnations of past assholes. My defenses no longer apply, yet I still use them with extreme prejudice. Can I at least wait for the betrayal before blasting away? I can, if I’m turning it over to a Power greater than myself.

Remember: There are many people in my life that love me. Let them.

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