It used to be, I was a girl of myself. I was too scared and fearful of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE and EVERYTHING to venture outside of my little world. Which was too miserable to inflict on others anyway. And I drank. I drank to go out in public. I drank to be at home. I drank to tolerate my miserable self. It gave me courage and made me feel like I could do anything. It was an absolute crutch. Real courage is not having any kind of prop to help you walk through life with confidence.
Before I drank, I always always always felt LESS THAN. Drinking helped with that. UNTIL IT DIDN'T.
And when I stopped drinking I had to learn to do EVERYTHING ALL OVER AGAIN. Because when you drink 24 hours a day for several years, you have to learn to do everything without it. And that is some scary shit. I was on meds for anxiety and depression for a long time. I went off them a bit over a year ago and that has been an adjustment too. But we are growing, right? I had such crippling social anxiety, I would not say a word and hide in the corner for my entire life. The only time I could get out of it was when I drank. And it was disastrous. Being sober is terrifying at first. But you walk through it.
Now, I'm not saying I don't still feel less than. I do. But rarely these days. The THING I LOVE THIS THURSDAY is walking around in my own skin like I fucking OWN THE PLACE.
I used to take great pride in the idea that I didn't need anyone or anything. I was a loner. A rebel. Really, it's the opposite that I take pride in now. I am a part of this world. I am a part of all of you. Whether I like it or not sometimes. But the joy and the gifts I get from choosing to be A PART OF so outweighs the negative.
Now, this is not to say I'm an extrovert. I'm a clear introvert. I prefer being on my own and staying at home to going out most of the time. I will take doing nothing over doing something almost every single time.
There is no one and nobody who is more worthy than I am. And I am no more worthy than anyone else. PERIOD.
It's taken a long time and a lot of work and praying and working the 12 steps and just saying SCREW YOU NEGATIVE FEELINGS for me to get to this place. But I can honestly say, I belong in this world today. I BELONG HERE. The Promises are coming true in my life. More and more every damn day I WORK A GOOD PROGRAM.
The Promises, that are read in many A.A. Meetings can be found on page 83-84, of the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous.
THE A.A. PROMISES
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
- Y'all know when the word GOD is used in this shit, it means GOD OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING or else I sure as hell couldn't be sober.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.
If you are part of a 12 step group you are familiar with these great promises. And, my guess is, you are finding them to be coming true the longer you work your program. If you are not part of a 12 step program and don't need to be, I hope you have some kind of something that helps you know you are on a path. A good and loving and positive path.
We all need to belong somewhere. It is a fundamental need as humans. I had to change my thinking. I was responsible. It took me a LONG TIME and a lot of heartache to find I belong not only in the rooms of AA, but more importantly, I BELONG IN THE WORLD. And to think, I almost took myself out of it. And I know many of you did too. Or are thinking it's hopeless right now. IT'S NOT HOPELESS. Find something to be grateful for and GRAB ONTO THAT SUCKER. It's the basis for hope. And you do belong. YOU SEE ME COMING, YOU KNOW I'M STRUTTING. That's my motto.