The more self-reliant I try to be, the more insane I become. Why I feel the need to wait until everything is on fire is beyond me, but I do it again and again: I work things up in my head until they threaten to overwhelm me. I pile everything up into a giant swaying tower of crap, then stand back and worry that soon it will fall, destroying everything.
And fall it eventually does: one big emotional crash that lands on those I love and those I like and those I’m indifferent about. I’m all wound up with nowhere to go. And the release, while inappropriate and damaging, at least deflates me for the moment, while leaving everyone else in a state of shocked bewilderment.
Step 10: continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
I’m able to do the first part of Step Ten to a tee. I can take my personal inventory all day long. It’s the second part that I keep messing up. Instead of promptly admitting when I’m wrong, I dig in my heels and immediately start stacking those angers, fears and doubts all around me, Jenga-style.
I need to remember that there are two types of wrongs that I need to promptly admit to: wrongs that affect others, and wrongs that affect myself and my thinking. For the most part, the wrongs affecting others is a direct result of my wrong thinking and my self-hatred. I dwell on my shortcomings and tear myself down until no one can stand being around me, including myself. Which is how I know it should be: I need to be alone, isolated, away from people, because all I know how to do is cause pain.
I’m currently working hard at ruining my family. I’ve already destroyed whatever chance at happiness my wife and I had, and now I’ve moved on to distancing myself from our 9 year-old daughter. I’m sleeping in the basement. I’m talking down to myself and others that aren’t there. I’m punching myself in the head with my fist. And all the while I know one thing to be true: I deserve all of it. I’m not worthy of love. I’m not good enough for my daughter or my wife, and we all know it. I just wish someone would pull me aside and tell me that I’m done here. Enough.
This is what it’s like, day after day, whenever I don’t do the work. You know, the readings and the prayers and the meetings and the calling someone when I feel like pulling the hair out from the back of my head. And the readings and prayers aren’t enough: I need human contact. I need to pick up the phone or get to a meeting. Left to my own thoughts and feelings I’m neck-deep in self-loathing almost instantly. I need reassurance that it’s not all hopeless all the time, because my brain is telling me otherwise. I might be constantly taking personal inventory, but it’s a warped inventory, filled with resentments and lies. It’s days like these where all I am is a walking embarrassment, where everything hurts and burns, and I’ve once again thought myself into a corner.
And yes, I know it’s all self-pity, but what’s the alternative when there’s zero self-worth? I’m not so sure God don’t make no junk.
So it’s back to apologies for my knee-jerk explosions and misplaced hatred. I’ll get up and try again tomorrow. Sometimes, that’s the best I can do. It’s not enough, not by a long shot, but beating myself up over it only kicks the cycle into automatic repeat. I’m not well enough to string days together. I gotta quit thinking about tomorrow. I’m back to a day, an hour, a minute at a time, and I need to be fine with that.