I might not be much of a gambler; I might not know when to hold or fold them, but thanks to the miracle of this program, I’m learning when to walk away and went to run.

Step Eight: made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

People and playgrounds. That was part of what needed to change in order for me to change.  Like the old saying goes, hang around a barbershop and eventually you’ll get a haircut.

But I didn’t hang around bars:  I’m an isolationist by nature.  I wasn’t looking for camaraderie.  I was looking for seclusion.  My playground?  That was at the far end of a big box store’s parking lot; backed into a corner space so I could see everyone and everything coming from a distance.  I’d also cut down the friend list to three; two if you don’t count relatives.

I was recently reminded what Step Eight’s about, other than names and amends: It is the beginning of the end of isolation from our fellows and from God.  Removing the fifties sci-fi fishbowl helmet from my head, I’m surprised to find the sober air breathable.  Turns out I’m not from other planet.  At best, I’m a piss-poor time traveler.  And pretending to be an alien among the normals, reluctantly aping their ways and copying their culture, comes from a clinging need for personal differentiation, good or bad, big or small, look at me.  Things are either easy for me (my response: anybody could do it), or hard for me (my response: everybody else can do it).  When working at its best, my alcoholism paints me into no-win corners: situations seemingly incapable of being solved without pain and yelling and confusion and drama.

That’s what happens when I’m not working the program in the larger sense:   I forget that I’m a person among people.  Any thinking more than or less than thinking is unhealthy for everyone involved.

Today:  The program has taught me to walk away before my feelings and thoughts take over my mouth and body.  It’s also taught me when to run, which is never.  In either direction.

Me faster is never a good thing.

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