The topic of integrity came up at a meeting last night. Full disclosure: it took me a minute to remember what the definition of integrity was.

Like humility, integrity is something I tend not to talk about for fear of jinxing it. It’s also a giant shortcoming with me, because I quickly take integrity and twist it into self-righteous anger. I’m always looking for the moral high ground; kind of like Jesus on the mount, except he’s not throwing things.

Step Four: made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

It’s easy to say I’d never take a bribe when no one’s attempted to bribe me. I’d like to think I’d take the correct path. I also once believed that I could stop drinking whenever I wanted. Even when I knew I couldn’t stop, I believed I could manage it. And by managing it, I mean hide it. I had enough integrity to keep my job and go to work and function as a normal while constantly drinking. I was still slightly on an incline that way; still able to point down on someone worse. So it can’t be all bad, right? At least I ain’t that guy.

Want strong integrity? Lower your comparisons.

Once I could no longer find anyone or anything to compare favorably with, I’d hit my bottom. But that didn’t stop my drinking; only confirmed what I’d always known: that I was a broken person that needed to go away. I was still managing my drinking, but I wasn’t managing to have any fun.

Thanks to this program and the wonderful people in it, I’ve learned that integrity starts over each day, just like everything else. There is no building a reserve, because there is no tomorrow.

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