19 April 2011
An attitude adjustment
The 9th AA Promise says, "That our whole attitude and outlook on life will change."
My outlook on life when I was drinking... was... full of anger, revenge, conquering, and total humiliation of anyone who got in my way. And my attitude fit this outlook. I didn't care who I hurt or how I hurt them. My life revolved around me and my addiction. To fill my unquenchable thirst, I lied, I cheated, and I had no problem breaking anothers soul.
Looking back it's hard to believe that I behaved in that way. My life was so self-centered and my own gratification was all that mattered. Sobriety made me look at myself for the first time in my life. And I was disgusted with what I saw.
My first realization was that my life was no longer about me, me, me. I needed to learn how to be a productive member in our society. By productive I don't mean how much money I made, but being productive in my methods to help myself and others grow spiritually and emotionally.
When I drank... life was nothing more then a series of evil events. Nothing and I mean nothing happened because of the goodness in people or a Higher Power. Everything happened with the idea of some form of a payback. If my Higher Power did something for me, I was expected to go to church or quit cursing or whatever. No way, did He do it just out of Love.
If a person did something for me... they did it because they wanted me to fix the wiring in their house, or help them move furniture, or whatever. No way, did they do anything just because they were a friend.
Life was nothing more then keeping score. "I did this for you, now you owe me." If I didn't receive my payment in a timely fashion then it was time for revenge - for not honoring our friendship. That might be smashing your windshield, slashing your tires, something that would hit you in the wallet.
My mind was constantly wondering who I owed and who owed me. Close friends were the ones who paid me back promptly and I did the same. I could tell it was a true friendship when I never needed to remind someone that a payment was due. Not only was this a horrible way to live, but it was what I thought was "normal."
Sobriety has shown me that I can do something for others without expecting a payback. I could do something just because I wanted too. But more importantly was my ability to look at what others did for me, without feeling obligated to pay them back. Like me, they did these things because they wanted too, not because they had too.
My attitude then made its final turn. One from self-centerness to one of being part of a global community.