Now that the year is wrapping up, and I’m reminded to be nice to my fellow humans, there’s a whole lot of Step Twelve going on.
Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
I’ll admit, I’m not actively going to hospitals, jails and institutions to work with other alcoholics; I’m not pulling people aside and asking them if they’re friends of Bill W. It’s the second part that I need to employ on a daily basis if I truly want to live a life free of the alcoholic demons and insane thoughts that come with this disease.
My sponsor’s sponsor said this to me early on in my sobriety and it’s stuck with me ever since: Be good for goodness sake. Exactly right. Not that I always had ulterior motives for being kind or friendly; most often I would be as cordial as possible while slowly excusing myself from all social situations. Sorry, my liquid levels are getting low.
Now that the alcohol’s absent, I’ve nowhere to run to, but the urge to escape still pulsates in my noggin. Thank the Lord that smoking’s now banned indoors – what a perfect removal excuse. See, I still need those little breaks in the action where I can become recalibrated, reset. Without them I become increasingly ill-tempered and snippy, until I’m jacked up to eleven and have no idea what set me off, because it’s a little bit of everything throughout the day that’s come together to form a big ball of resentment and agitation. And since the source can’t be specifically identified, I throw up my hands in defeat and sink into my pit of unavoidable despair.
My alcoholism loves to say, “Here we go again.” It wants me sad and hopeless. And I know those feelings all too well. It’s getting all up inside myself that’s the problem.
This is where Step Twelve comes in. Stop looking inside and outside for blame. Drop the reasons why and why not. They don’t matter, because even pointing out the culprit does nothing but confirm my diseased suspicion that everything sucks because or in spite of me, and there’s no solution.
But there is. Today: Get out of myself. Concentrate on the wellness of others. Everything needn’t go through me and my crazy filter. Do the next right thing and don’t worry about the outcomes. Those have always been out of my control anyway.