Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Should Addicts Be Taking Credit?

     Who really gets us better?

     I always thought that if I ever recovered, it was ME who got myself better. I couldn't even wrap my head around the idea that something else could fix me, especially something intangible. I could only conceive of my own power. How narrow and limited of me. How small-minded and stupid of me. 

     Addicts love to take credit for every good thing that happens to them, for every accomplishment no matter how minute. They simply can't handle the possibility or even the idea that something else may be responsible for what they have achieved or what they have been blessed with. If they land a great job, it's all them. If they make a bunch of money, it's all them. If they meet a loving, loyal spouse, it's all them. If they are showered with good friends and abundance, then yup, it's all because of them. They create everything... unless it's something negative, of course. Then it's suddenly someone else's fault. This is the disturbing result of an addict's sick mind and pathological self-centeredness. We've become blind to the greater powers at work. Plus we need for others to see what we can accomplish, how brilliant and talented we are.

     The sheer comedy of all this is that doing things my way, my genius way, landed me in a locked detox/psychiatric ward with my bony, emaciated ass hanging out of a hospital johnny. So after failing repeatedly to control, shape and mold my life, desperately trying to exert my will, it was such a great relief to stop relying on my warped head to guide me through life. When I stopped trying to get myself better, that is the very moment I began to change.

     So I don't take credit for what changed me, for what removed the obsession to drink alcohol and use drugs. I don't take credit for the things I've accomplished since I got sober. I don't take credit if one of my knucklehead sponsees actually gets better. I don't take credit for all of the miracles and blessings in my life. I don't look around to see my wonderful life now and think, Wow, look what I did! I'm so the man! I'm so amazing and talented and strong! I can conquer anything! 

     When I began to do things that I could not previously do, I could no longer deny the truth. I had to give credit accurately. It was God who made me better and who keeps me better. Everything good that we do and everything good that we have is from God and is God. Fact. Addicts should be honest about credit. As tempted as we might be to tap ourselves on the back for something we did, try not to. Chances are we had little to nothing to do with it. And besides, isn't it more humble and conducive to our spiritual recovery to have this sort of attitude?

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