Character defects. They make me unhappy. Still, and again, and I have them all.
There’s a new thing where I work. I won’t get into it, but basically it asks, “What happened to you?” rather than, “What’s wrong with you?” The idea is to make us nicer, I guess, but really we are already mostly very nice people. We are to acknowledge that everyone has experienced trauma. OK, done. What was your trauma? Well thanks to years of AA, I’ve probably heard about your trauma on more than one occasion. And if you’ve been in a meeting with me, I’ve probably told you about mine. Yes, we’ve all been traumatized. What happened to me? I don’t think that’s as important as what’s wrong with me.
What happened to me hurt me, or it didn’t. Is that where some of my character defects were born, in what happened to me? Maybe. My belief is that we could guess yes, or we could guess no, and we could be right, or we could be wrong, but we really wouldn’t have accomplished much beyond making me feel sorry for myself, or worse, making me think I can’t or shouldn’t or shouldn’t have to do better because, after all, I’ve been traumatized.
And I could think that, and no doubt I sometimes do think that. But it doesn’t help me be any happier. Explaining or examining my character defects in terms of where they come from isn’t very fruitful for me. Plus even though I may think I know where some of them come from, I could be absolutely wrong. Then what?
Where are my character defects going? Are they mild enough that I can live out the rest of my life with them and not be too inconvenienced? At one time in my life they tried to kill me. When I was drinking they drove me hard toward destruction. They are much, much less potent and powerful than that now, and in many ways my character virtues have grown and flourished at least a bit. Yay for me. I’m a good enough person, and healthy enough person to maintain sobriety, at least for a time. Is that good enough? Is that enough?