Becoming More Efficient
This stood out to me last week in my home group Big Book Study:
“We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.” We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.” pg 87-88 Big Book
What I really identified with was in much less danger of excitement…part.
When I was still drinking and thinking about a life of not drinking, I always thought “How boring! What do those people do?!? What do they look forward to??” I needed that “excited” feeling I got when I thought about having my first drink and what ever else was to follow.
When God got me sober in 2014, I was finally able to comprehend that I could actually live without drinking….that there were other things to do and get “excited” about. But, that isn’t a necessarily a good thing for me. I basically transferred my excitement about drinking into other equally unhealthy actions and behaviors. If there was nothing going on I could conjurer up ‘excitement” that my relentless mind fed me through thoughts. This new sober addiction to excitement, or I guess it was always there, would always result in havoc, drama and chaos in my life and in my home.
Did I know that at the time…no. Did I know that I was still in bondage to the drug of dopamine, adrenaline and cortisol that my body produces through drama and fear-no. Did I know that if I am obsessing over someone, trying to control them, fix them (which is playing God); that this creates strife, nervous energy, unrest, discomfort and dis-ease that is infectious and destructive for others-no.
When I went through the work again, I saw that AGAIN, I was the problem-UGH! I was a controlling, frighten, chaos junkie…even though I couldn’t see it because it’s easier to blame them instead. Excitement is dangerous for me. Either the thing that I am getting excited about will not meet my expectations and I will be disappointed, or I would create a resentment toward the person who got me excited and did not meet my huge expectations.
I clearly see when and how this started. When I was a young girl my perceptions and conceptions were just starting to form. My mom (not blaming her-at all, I just needed to understand why and where this started so that I wouldn’t repeat it) would say stuff like “Honey are you excited about this or that” and she would get excited….
I don’t think its natural to get excited over food or whatever my mom wanted me to get excited over. I just think she wanted to see me happy but instead what she was doing was feeding my dis-ease. When her excitement didn’t live up to my expectations I was disappointed and honestly pissed at her for building it up! LOL Then she would get pissed at me a say “why are you never satisfied!!” My brain wasn’t developed enough or equip to handle such “excitement”. Not to mention not being grounded in God or reality.
I know I have told this story to sponsees, or perhaps shared it in the group, but it sums up my life into my mid 20’s….
It was the night before my 7th or 8th birthday and I was about to take a shower and mom said…”when you get out I have a surprise for you!!!!” She would do a little dance and sing a bit just getting me all that more excited ( I now do this with my dogs, which makes them overly excited..which then makes me anxious even though I started it…lol.. I am working on not doing) So while I am in the shower my 7 year old mind is building this “surprise” into a huge event! I truly thought that I would get out of the shower and Chucky Cheese would be in the living room with all his friends to greet me and wish me a happy birthday! I had convinced myself of this reality.
SO, when I got out of the shower and saw the new Strawberry Shortcake pj’s laying there, that THAT was my surprise…I was livid!!! LOLOLOLOL! I wasn’t the type to hold back my disappointment and fury! I let her KNOW how disappointed I was and through a fit!! She then would say that I was crazy just like my dad and a spoiled brat…and so it goes. I wasn’t spoiled (just alcoholic) and she wasn’t necessarily doing anything wrong.
Most children don’t build stuff up in their heads the way I did… but I have a alcoholic brain so excitement is dangerous for me and my family. I know she picked up on my constant state of sadness as a child and that she was just trying to make me happy-instead it just helped to create a unsatisfied monster and more strife between us because of her reaction to my outbursts. I wasn’t a happy go lucky child-I was intense and worried, sad and nervous, irritable, restless and discontent….so excitement was just an accelerator.
Being disconnected from God in a unstable environment is when I created my maladjusted coping mechanisms to “get through” life. The same child like mind and defects that resulted from these maladjusted skills and thought forms, followed me into my teens and early adulthood. It took longer to grow out of I think because of my drinking and still being disconnected from God.
Now that I am reconnected to my Creator, not drinking, and aware of my defects, I don’t need “excitement” because I am content…on most days. It still ignites when I am in some sort of obsession, usually on Brian, setting him up to fail me because I am in some sort of fear…
So I call my sponsor, reach out to sponsees or newcomer, do some inventory, make some prayer, and I get grounded back into reality.
I am less likely to be drained and to drain others with my excitement when I am spiritually fit. When I am and grounded in my Faith and AA, I am way more efficient in my relationships, in sponsoring and my daily life.
Questions to group, pick one or all:
Where have you seen the dangerous and self destructive side effects of excitement in or out of sobriety? Do you tend to build things up, just to be disappointed? What patterns have you noticed that lead to self sabotaging? Please also share on how you stay spiritually fit and efficient and what measures you take when you see yourself slipping into excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or a foolish decision….
Thank you for the opportunity to Chair today!