Note: this is how my brain thinks when it’s left unattended.

Horrible to be around: that’s me in a nutshell.  Eventually, I will say or do something that will make you hate my guts.  I will do this again and again, until you understand that I’m simply fucked in the head, and need to be crossed off your list.  Which is totally fair:  I shouldn’t be a regular in anyone’s life.  The best I can do is show up as an occasional guest star.  I’m good for a couple of hours.  Roll me out for the big occasions: holidays, graduations, funerals. I’m best taken in extremely small doses.

Because me in ordinary time?  Forget it.  I don’t know what to do with myself, except get out of the way.  To those I fooled into loving me: I’m sorry.  You all deserve so much better.  I’m not loving, I’m not giving, I’m not honest, I’m not pure, I’m not handsome, I’m not manly, I’m not talented, I’m not rich, I’m not cool.

These are the thoughts that float around my head and can dominate my day.  This is why I’m an alcoholic: I don’t like to think those thoughts.

But the alcohol merely tamps down my renegade mind; dulling myself into an overall feeling of uselessness.  It forces my crazy thoughts to sit and percolate beneath the surface, until it all explodes in a gigantic, screaming, hate-filled tirade that blames others and exiles me back into the isolation that my alcoholism craves.

It’s not enough to simply recognize the insanity.  I can point directly at it and name it outright.  But there’s still that part of me that wants to control, that wants to be right, even when I know I’m wrong.  I crave constant recognition and praise, yet I do absolutely nothing to deserve it.  The last time someone was proud of me was at my high school graduation.  Since then, it’s been decades of underachievement.  I desperately need to accomplish something that can stand independently of me and be judged good; something I can point to and say, “look what I did!  See, I’m not a total loser!”  I need to earn my place in this world, and so far it hasn’t happened.

So, what to do?  Pray.  Meditate.  Decompress and allow some freshly oxygenated air to flow through my brain.  Read from the Big Book and/or the 24 Hours a Day.  Call someone.  Go to a meeting and repeat everything I said above.  Turns out, I’m not alone in my thinking.  I’m also learning that I’m not that important, but in a good way.  And that’s the miracle of the program: getting outside of my head.

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