• David Smeltz

The 12 Promises # 7

Updated: May 7, 2019

7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.

There was a time in my life when I hated every last one of you. The ones that I saw going to work in the morning while I was still up and getting wasted from the night before, the ones that were with their families and smiling all the time, the ones that appeared care free without a trouble in the world, the ones that appeared to have purpose to their lives. You were the ones I secretly envied and would have given anything to be like but just couldn't find the way to get there from the depths I had reached. Since I couldn't be like you then I told myself I had no use for you and dedicated my thoughts and actions toward survival mode. Survival mode meant that my interests and self preservation were more important than what you thought of me. You were all just squares anyway. What mattered most was how I felt. Everything revolved around me and not you. I was more important and you wished you could be me! I used this thought process as a coping mechanism. It was my prime reason for using justification and denial. The more I denied my present circumstances; the less self pity, discomfort and underlying need for change presented itself. And the more I justified my actions, the more your life seemed less desirable. There's an acronym for the word "denial": "Don't Even Notice I Am Lying". Only after getting sober did I see my inability to discern the true from the false. I had been living a lie of my own making to make my lifestyle appear normal to me. I also justified my situation and my living conditions. Saying to myself that I didn't need much to survive and if you had my problems you'd drink and abuse drugs too! But, you don't have my problems..I do! Anger sealed the lid on my justification for being an addict. I learned in the recovery process that "justification" has a definition in Webster's as well as in the rooms of recovery. Both are correct and insightful but I prefer the recovery version. "Justification and rationalization are like masterbation; you're only screwing yourself!".

Many a revelation came forth once I started doing the work required to get clean and sober. I learned that it wasn't you that had been the problem; it was me. Self inquiry and being open to what I find helps me to see through the falsehoods that I can still create for myself. That inborn "only child" selfishness can still rear it's ugly head from time to time but not without me recognizing and correcting it. I find that the less I focus on my little troubles and tribulations the more I can see that the world does not revolve around me. Just acknowledging that others have problems like me or even far more involved than mine can shift my focus away from self. I learned that I didn't hate you; I hated myself. My actions were based on my beliefs. If I believe a lie then my actions are based upon that lie and the result is that I live a lie. I continue to work on my selfishness and self seeking. I had used it as a survival method for such a long time to ignore my pain. It has most certainly gotten better. I actually like people today..lol! Maybe, because I finally like myself.

And for this, I am Forever Grateful!

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