There’s no good way to be a watchdog against arrogance without becoming infected yourself. It definitely takes one to know one. And it certainly doesn’t help to think I’m helping through the unmasking of others.
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.
It’s a strange niche to carve out: a perceived perfect vantage point on which to view and name everything, both good and bad. It’s a throne of unexposed truth and life experience only an underachieving alcoholic could find: one bolted to the ground on the light side of the moon. Judgement comes much easier at such a distance.
They say patience is a virtue. I’ll take your word for it: I’ve never had any myself. The best I could ever manage was tolerance, but it was a loud, messy kind of tolerance, and you were the one causing it. My attitude was this: Listen, I’m doing my best just putting up with whatever nonsense is currently ruining my day without belittling you in public for it, thank you very much.
But that’s just it: I wasn’t putting up with it. I wasn’t wearing a brave face. What I was doing was calling people out for going through life with their heads up their asses, and I used the liquid I poured into myself as the great liberator. I was free and easy and callous. Being able to cut with surgeon-like precision often left my victims hurt and bewildered. They knew they should be insulted, but my attacks often weren’t direct enough: I would piss on generalities and offer up ludicrous, over-arching Modest Proposals designed to demonstrate how dumb their entire ethos truly was. Back to the drawing board, shit-head! Try again! Next!
It was preemptive isolation at its finest. I’d lay out what I was all about before you: what was allowed and what would be chastised in an extremely smarmy and derisive manner. Want to hang out? It’s fine – you’re one of the good ones – one of the lucky people I’ve decided to let into my inner sanctum. Sorry it’s such a mess.
What I’ve learned recently: Allowances need to be made, if you want to get along in this world.
Today I know: They certainly have been made in my case.