Or so it would seem.  I mean, I’d been taking my personal inventory for as long as I can remember.  Way before I ever took a drink, I was analyzing and criticizing my thoughts, my feelings, my actions.

Step Ten:  continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

As a card-carrying member of the self-pitying society, I was always wrong, and everyone knew it.  It was best if I simply stayed far away from the crowd.  So I isolated, ruminated and dwelled.  And eventually, years later, I drank, and had a spiritual awakening.  This amazing elixir cut me a some slack.  It gave be a break when I couldn’t.  I finally fit in, it would seem, with society.

Within five months I was stealing vodka from my roommate and replacing it with water.  I was over the top and out of control, and loving every minute of it.  Sure, people hated me, but it was for different reasons this time, and I felt strong enough now not to care.  Go ahead and yell; I’ll find other friends.  I learned to love “whatever”.

This was years ago.  And after an out-patient rehab at the age of twenty-five, followed by a brief stint in the program which I dismissed out of hand, I decided that my drinking needed to go underground.  For the next fifteen years I lied to everyone, whether they needed me to or not.

Nowadays, I’d like to think I know better.  I’d like to think that.  Truth is, my mind isn’t much better at taking a proper personal inventory than it was two decades back.  I still tend to run to extremes:  super-awesome or devastatingly horrid.  Neither are correct, but they both serve the same purpose:  knocking me off the beam of serenity.

This is where the program comes in.  Left to my own devices, i.e., my own thoughts, I’m screwed.  Thanks to the fellowship I’m learning, slowly, how to keep things right-sized when conducting a daily inventory.  It’s not my place to congratulate myself, nor should I be quick to kick my own ass.

As always, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

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