I am an asshole. I have to work at not being an asshole sometimes. It's gotten so much better than it used to be, but sometimes it still seeps out, like when you fill your teeny tiny coffee mug too full and try to put the to-go top on it and coffee seeps out the side. And then I cry. That is my inner asshole seeping out.
The best trick I've learned since being sober is to PAUSE.
I've written about this before, and due to my fiery Irish temper, it doesn't ever truly go away. You know in the 12 step program we have what are called Character Defects, and a big part of working a good program is to get rid of these defects. But the funny thing is, they are some of our favorite things. I love my anger. I love my passion. I love my fight for the underdog no matter the cost and I don't want to apologize for that.
But what I don't love is drama and hurt and constant wondering what is going to happen next because of something stupid that I did or said that I know I will regret almost immediately.
How often do I respond in anger or hurt and regret it? Almost every damn time. How often do I pause and reflect and bounce things off other people and NOT respond in anger and hurt and regret it? NEVER. IT NEVER HAPPENS. I pick my battles, make no mistake. When there is something to fight, I will fight it, just not in the gut reaction way I used to.
The good news is, I don't do that shit nearly as much as I used to. And my life is better because of it.
People who constantly have drama in their lives, unfortunately fail to realize that at least some of that drama is their own damn fault. I used to say, "I hate drama so much! I don't want drama in my life!" But then I would turn around and say something that I KNEW DAMN WELL would cause a reaction from someone. And the cycle continues.
After I got sober, I thought my life would be so boring that I created my own drama. Boy did I. These days, I try so very hard to have an HONEST, normal, quiet, happy, joyous and free existence. And most of the time, that is exactly what I have. I don't have to worry what the next email or phone call with be and I can look people in the eyes and take responsibility for my part in things.
THAT IS A MIRACLE.
I had to apologize to a friend today because I was an asshole and reacted and took something out on her very inappropriately. It's not right and it's not fair. And the best part is I can apologize, and she has a choice of saying, "it's OK" or "screw you, you are an asshole." Luckily for me, she was fine. And I cried. But what else is new?
I cannot control other people, or what they say and do to me, BUT I do find that if I am in control of my side of the street, life seems to go a lot more smoothly. And that is something I never ever thought I would be able to say - that I love this truly drama free life of mine today. Just like anything worth keeping, though, I must be vigilant. My inner asshole is just waiting for me to let her jump into action.
Sometimes I have to kick my own ass too. We all do it. Difference is, having awareness of it. Owning it. Apologizing when necessary. That makes you who you are, and someone like that isn't really an asshole.ReplyDelete
Yes. That. Exactly that. Every damn day. The great part now: I RECOGNIZE IT. I hear you girl. CynReplyDelete
Not everyone embraces their inner asshole. I think it takes strength to admit its there and let it out sometimes, and it takes a shitload of class to admit when it takes over and you need to apologize. I appreciate a friend who can show me their asshole side, and not always sugar coat everything. I like your asshole.ReplyDelete
I wish I'd known more about anger before I had children. That's all I'm going to say about that. I love you from the bottom of my mean little heart, you are so amazing. xsnos.ReplyDelete
Damn, I love you.ReplyDelete
Oof! I hear you on this. I fight back my inner-asshole on the regular. My snarky comebacks that I used to claim as "wit" are always lurking in the wings. It has taken me YEARS to learn that it takes a much stronger person to step back from a situation before reacting. It's a lot of work, but well worth it.ReplyDelete
And this is why, today, when running out of gas and walking home...I cried and laughed because I KNOW this shit is my own doing. I was not even my usual "if only so and so had not done this and that" bullshit....I was pretty proud to get home and just figure my shit out and get my car back. I keep thinking about our last convo when I was in my crazy state and I have remained pretty quiet in reflection and I am wholeheartedly grateful for that call. I am grateful for you, ya asshole. ;)~ReplyDelete
I no longer use the word 'coincidence' to describe what goes on in my life. You managed to write the thoughts and feelings I was having this morning. It is not just having a Higher Power in my life, but being aware of the beautiful people I get to interact with and feel emotions together. I'm babbling, Katy - I love you! Now I'm going to go cry.ReplyDelete
I do this too. I'm definitely still struggling to keep my inner asshole in check. Luckily I have wonderful people in my life who haven't said "screw you" on the many, many times it's come out.ReplyDelete
"And so our troubles, we think, are of our own making." (pg 62ish?)ReplyDelete
I was SOOOOOO bummed out when I read that the first time. How was I to play the victim and blame everything on "them" if it was my fault? Screw you, AA, and all of your clear thinking. lol
It took a very jaded alcoholic to explain to me that hurt was behind anger, and fear was often behind hurt. I LOVED anger. RAGE was exciting and it got you to react the way I wanted. Manipulation? How fun was that? I loved that too! It's how I got my way. If I didn't look out for me, no one else would. Right?
It took a lot of practice to not react emotionally to everything and everyone. I finally had feelings that weren't being numbed out and they were flying every where at whoever was standing close to me. Luckily, other recovering drunks seem to have a shield that protects them from the majority of damage done by the live-wire newcomers with short fuses.
I love you and your blogs and your facebook page and your face and your DH and Hall & Oates and Sally Boy and Eliza Jane Doolittle and the fact that you can handle run-on sentences with too many "ands" and improper punctuation. ;-)
I was.the exact same way... I used to be filled with drama. now I'm like ok drama stay away, stay far away! I love my drama, carefree life.. :-) I love your inspirational words..ReplyDelete
So very true!! I have been working on myself and trying to better my life, and have been amazed by how much of a hypocrite I was/am!!! I am trying to work on just loving the people in my life for who they are, myself included, and realizing there is not a single person in this world that is not going to tick me off, but now, like you said, I remember to PAUSE.....(of course during this pause it helps and is perfectly acceptable to imagine all the grody ways you can think of to make them pay for messing up your day) and remember that people can say and do whatever they want but only I give someone the power to bring me down, and you never know what is going on in someones life and if you just let it go and maybe even put out a kind word or gesture you just might be surprised by what happens, I know I was:) I love your blog/page and think you are pretty inspiring, please keep dancing:)ReplyDelete
I used to think all of the drama in MY relationship was caused by hubs' drinkin...turns out I had to accept responsibility for throwing fuel on the fire on many an occasion ;) On our fridge we have a laminated copy of "Family Guidelines" from his Relapse Prevention classes, and we hi-lighted #6: KEEP IT SIMPLE. Say what you have to say clearly, calmly and positively.ReplyDelete
When we all take the time to choose our words and inflections and attitudes carefully, we live a much more peaceful life~and a peaceful life makes it easier to choose sobriety EVERY DAY <3
You, my dear, are not an asshole. You are wonderful, beautifully human.ReplyDelete
Oh, do I hear you. My inner asshole is HUGE (um, wait, that didn't come out right bahaha). But, really, it's so easy to respond so quickly in an angry tone - I'm trying to remember to PAUSE before I speak - it is SO HARD! But. So needed. We'll continue working on that. Not going to lie, this post sort of made me happy - shows you aren't always just smiles smiles! ;)ReplyDelete
Love this post , i wish i could be as honest the one thing that always gets me through is that we all own our own behavior & everyone is just trying to do the best we can with the lessons weve learned.life is not easy its messy, beautiful & worth it in the end.ReplyDelete
keep it real love your blog <3
As a reformed Irish Cranky Person, I understand...completely. <3 u!ReplyDelete
I am a reformed Irish Sassy Girl. I've mellowed with age. Although I've been known to get my Irish up when need be. Stay strong my friend...the force (happiness) is with you!ReplyDelete
Wow I needed this right between the freakin eyes today!! Too bad I didn't read it last week, may have...oh hell no it wouldn't have! LOL Thank you again :)ReplyDelete