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Christmas Spirit, my ass.  ‘twas gratitude and humility that finally brought the miser to the light.  That, or fear of dying alone in the dark, reviled by all who knew him.  Coin toss.  But this isn’t about Ebenezer.  This is about me, my alcoholism, and my ability to re-engineer my thinking to work within the normal world.  Not the mind-bending trip of paranoia and resentment that I’m constantly setting off on.  Luckily, thanks to the program, I’m able to turn the trailer around and unload before I drive off into my own insanity.  Before the fellowship, I’d be off in the woods somewhere, attempting to pitch a tent in the darkness and rain.

Step 3: made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.

I always felt that worrying about how you’d be remembered was arrogant and indulgent.  I mean, if you were living a life that was on the up and up, you shouldn’t need to worry, correct?   But I worried.  Shit, that’s all I did, some days.

So, what’s that tell me?  Exactly:  I wasn’t living a life that was on the up and up.  On a daily basis, I was falling short.  And after a prolonged period of bloody knees, I quit getting up.  I’ll do everything from down here, thanks.  Hey, at least I’m able to sit upright.  I’d come to accept that I was an alcoholic.  I just wasn’t going to do anything about it.

Sure, I was miserable then.  Even now, there are times when I ache for that misery.  It’s the lazy familiar.  Especially with the Turning of Big Numbers approaching, change is in the air.  Scratch that: thoughts of change are in the air.  It’s an unsettling reminder of all the work that yet needs to be done with me and my shortcomings.  Thankfully, today I’m able to identify the varying sizes and shapes and scopes of the defects that dog me, and which are now squatting in my living room, thanks to sobriety.  They’ve got names, now.  I’ve named them.

Which is good.  In my past they’d show up, destroy the place and leave before I ever got back.

Today:  Understand that letting go through humility gets the defects out the door.  Constant gratitude keeps them, if not out of my life, at least out of my house.  And that’s a huge improvement.

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