I’m not sure where it comes from, or exactly what triggers it, but every now and again a slight tremor of panic seizes my entire being.

Nothing incapacitating; just the feeling that everything I’ve got is going away, and whatever I’m worth isn’t much. I question my reason for being here, and worry how long it will take others to realize that I serve no purpose. All horribly wrong-sized thoughts to be sure, but that’s what sometimes happens when this alcoholic is left alone to ponder.

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.

And that’s all fine and dandy when I’m right-headed enough to recognize and shake off my insane thoughts. It’s when I except these panic bursts as jewels of truth as to who I actually am that trouble begins to brew. First off, I renounce any idea that I’ve had a spiritual awakening. If I had, then these bad feelings should be gone, right? With worthlessness as my foundation, I begin forming resentments against all those who think they’re better than me. And when I’m feeling worthless, that’s pretty much everyone.

So I go on a tear of tearing down those around me. When I’m in my negative zone, this is much easier than building myself up. Look, I’m not that bad. These people are pointless too, you know. This thought process will continue for as long as I allow the pain: sometimes it rides on my back for two or three days, at which point I’m just trying to exist and get through with it. Much like I did when I was drinking.

When that happens: The quickest way to break this train of thought is by talking with a fellow alcoholic. I need to air this out with someone who’s been there.  I do not need to spend my time angrily trying to explain why everything’s a mess in my head to a normal.  Much like the depressurization that occurs following Step Five, my level of anxiousness drops precipitously whenever I honestly share.

One thought on “low-grade hysterics.

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