No, not Popeye. Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians.
I’m going to attempt a Month of Acceptance: According to page 449 in the old text, “acceptance is the answer to all my problems today… Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy.”
That song has been running through my head ever since I’ve started my job search. What’s the first thing they ask on an interview? Tell me about yourself. Who are you? In order not to sound like a rambling idiot, I’ve got to have a response at the ready. A prepackaged paragraph that sums up everything about myself from a business perspective. What’s my elevator pitch? It needs to be short and to the point and not some canned response that could apply to just about anyone.
It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do – sell myself. Why? Because before you can sell something, you’ve got to 100% believe in it – and there’s the rub. It plays right into the whole “ego-maniac with an inferiority complex” deal. There are times when I feel like I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread, and other times I’m just a used plastic bag caught in a tree. And for the longest time, I thought alcohol was the solution for both.
But all that ever did was kick the can down the street. Nothing got resolved; the extremes just grew and grew until both ends became tidal waves with me standing on the beach, wondering which one would knock me over this time. The mere fact that I secretly knew I couldn’t stop altering my brain with booze made me weak, a failure, a charlatan. Hence the need to overcompensate through wild boasting and bragging, as well as knocking everyone else down to what I felt was their appropriate size.
Accepting myself helps slow my swing. Things are rarely as good or as bad as my disease tries to make them out to be, and by settling down and gaining perspective, I can now see that time tends to inflate or deflate my flaccid or about-to-burst balloon all by itself. Of course, one-to-one interaction with another alcoholic confirms what I’ve always known, but sometimes in the moment still forget: a day at a time, let go and let God, and it works if you work it.