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The biggest disappointment for me in this program was finding out that the removal of alcohol didn’t solve my problems.  In fact, it only brought them into sharper focus.

Step One: we admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

That was a real bummer. I didn’t realize that the purpose of removing the alcohol was to make it possible for me to grow.  But growth doesn’t automatically follow abstinence; and what followed for me was the realization that I was going to be stuck with myself forever.  Not an attractive end-goal for someone who hates themselves, and firmly believes they don’t deserve happiness.

It’s a wonderful loop of insanity I created.  I hate myself, yet I feel that I’m not as bad as those around me, who love themselves, therefore I resent everyone, especially those who are happy.  So, what chance does that give me?  Never allowing myself or anyone else a break only creates misery and loneliness.  Nobody wants to spend time with a person bent on finding the worst in everything.  By the end, my thought process had become so mutated that even my rationale for anger and disappointment had lost their bearings.  I had broken everything down to simple good/bad knee-jerk judgements, which never ended happily for anybody.  Then, I removed all the good from the equation, leaving misery and depression and self-pity and envy.  And the fewer people I interacted with, the less it hurt.

Instead of climbing back up on my horse I simply put it down, and then despised all those with stables.  Everything seemed so unfair that all my responses were over-sized and hurtful.  And I’m not only talking about yelling and screaming and belittling and gossiping; it’s just as easy to ruin everything through withdrawn sullenness that permeates the room.  Can’t you guess what’s bothering me?  I find that pretty hard to believe, considering you’re sitting in it.

What I’ve hopefully learned from my recent relapse:  it’s not enough to acknowledge.  It’s not enough to put my finger on it.  I’ve got to tell on myself.  Immediately, and out loud, with the absolute belief that that’s what makes it better.

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