There’s one thing I know for sure: when it comes to the rest of the world, I like to think of myself as disconnected from it. Fitting in with the crowd isn’t what makes you special. And I was all about feeling special. When people in my circle quit oohing and aahing over my wonderful uniqueness, I simply moved on to another group. The second I recognized my novelty was wearing off, I was down the road.
Step 4: made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
And I strongly resented anyone else getting the spotlight, obviously. The only true friendships I ever made were with those who were so completely humble and right-sized to begin with that they didn’t feel the need to compete with me.
What grew harder and harder over time was maintaining that sense of superiority while cultivating my career as a professional drinker. Everyone was growing and accumulating past anything I was achieving. And once a couple of decades slipped by without accomplishing anything worthwhile on my own, my self-worth kind of just went away. I found myself in a world of constant congratulations; a seemingly endless tour of bigger homes and newer cars, of genius children and super pets.
What to do? The smile on my face had turned rictus. My neck ached from all the nodding. It got so bad that I started using my alcoholism as a point of differentiation. I might not be as rich or as happy, but I can guarantee that I’m more mentally fucked-up than you. So there.
And what’s the logic behind that? Am I implying that if it wasn’t for this disease, I’d be king of the world? And is that a goal I’m still shooting for – to be better than everyone? Because it shoudn’t be. Duh.
Today: Recognize that much of my faulty wiring comes from the old me, the polluted me. And maybe it’s not anything that can be fixed right now. Maybe the best I can do today is not act on it.
Thankfully, I’ve learned that I don’t need to maintain my superiority. What I need to work on is my sense of belonging.