Step by Step
Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017
“My alcoholic problem began long before I drank. My personality, from the time I can remember anything, was the perfect set-up for an alcoholic career. I was always at odds with the entire world, not to say the universe. I was out of step with life, with my family, with people in general. I tried to compensate with impossible dreams and ambitions, which were simply early forms of escape. Even when I was old enough to know better, I dreamed about being as beautiful as Venus, as pure as the Madonna and as brilliant as the president of the United States is supposed to be. I had writing ambitions, and nothing would do but that I’d write like Shakespeare. …Inside, I went right on being a mass of unlovely self-pity, queasy anxiety and sickening self-debasement. Naturally, I succeeded at nothing.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “They Stopped in Time,” Ch 13 (“Stars Don’t Fall”), p 400.
Today, understanding that my alcoholism was rooted long before my first drink. My “job” of being perfect in everything, whether I expected it of myself or it was expected by others, left no room for other than “self-pity, queasy anxiety and sickening self-debasement” when I failed to reach perfection. And alcohol became my self-medication. Having come to AA, God grant that I understand now that I can attain something higher in sobriety and that perfection can never be attained and, when it isn’t, I do not have to internalize a sense of failure. To do so will likely ignite that engine of “self-pity, queasy anxiety and sickening self-debasement” – and its fuel is alcohol. Today, I ask only for progress: perfection can wait another day. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2017