This mostly takes the form of “beating myself up.” I’m GLUTTONOUS (over eating). I’m SCARED (frightened, anxious). I’m SLOTHFUL (lazy, should CERTAINLY be doing more).
To my own eye, some of my character defects have gotten worse over the past little while. Not from the distant past, when drinking made me a menace. But from a few years ago.
My life has changed. I’ve completely stopped working now, though I want to get a job after Christmas (which plan and idea fills me with fear!). It’s a huge life change. Since I was in college, and drinking, I’ve either had babies and small children or I’ve been working.
Also I’m physically …… not great. Nothing seriously wrong, just dizzy and achy with ringing ears and a stuffy nose.
I need to add to my list of defects that I’m UNGRATEFUL. I really “should” be enjoying this interval of leisure time and relative excellent health more.
My number one tool and antidote is gratitude and it still works. Next, looking outward to be useful and of service. My job working with people with disabilities for not much pay covered that for the past 30 years. As I’m writing, I’m waiting for training to begin so I can volunteer to teach people English (though this engenders FEAR in me, but I’m doing it anyway). I am going to more meetings that at any other time in my life, thanks to zoom. I don’t serve much there, to be honest, but I go. Taking more than I give, I’m afraid.
These Step Four character defects, these Step Ten daily experiences, this is the path I’m on.
A story. I need a tag for losses. I turned 60 this years. My high school class had only 200 people, so everyone knew everyone. A few had died but not many. Someone posted an obituary the other day of one of our classmates. This woman seemed super excellent to have be amazing and have everything. She was a doctor with an exciting and important career. She traveled and loved this that and the other. She had siblings and parents and nieces and nephews and a significant other. She died “suddenly.” At the bottom it said she struggled her whole adult life with alcoholism. I don’t know if that killed her at 60, but it seems likely, even if by accident. My accomplishments read nothing like hers but as we both left high school in 1980, I eventually embarked on the path that lead to a lasting sobriety.
My uncle died at 60 from this, and so did my ex. I’m humbled that I may reach 61 and blessed that I very much want to.