By Ali G.
It’s scary to start caring about doing right, to start worrying about if what you’re doing will impact other people, if your choices check out morally. Because once you start caring about doing the right thing, you get the fear that you’ll screw up, hurt somebody, do wrong. When you’re living in a blindly hedonistic fog, you don’t have to worry about anything except you, you, you, what your hair looks like, and what your weekend plans are. Starting to care is a scary thing.
For many people with addictive personalities, it’s normal to go from one extreme to other when you’re trying to get a sense of who you are. I know for me, I either need to have the highest grade in the whole class, or the lowest. Because if I get a 34, I can laugh mirthfully about it and almost brag, about how little I care about Physics. If I get a 99, I can lean back smugly in my chair and tell my class about naturally gifted I am in English, and I can tutor you if you want! But if I tried my hardest and get a B minus in History, where are my bragging rights? Where’s my claim to fame?
Knowing my patterns and myself comes, for me, from my Fourth Step, my exhaustive inventory of what it really means to be Ali, and what that’s going to be like, day-to-day. But living with these idiosyncrasies and quriks, and well, let’s face it: flaws, can only be managed through the Tenth Step. When I notice that I’ve been a bit more brash or lazy or arrogant, I have to rat myself out immediately. I have to tell on myself and get the shortcoming out in the option. The only way I know to prevent my defects from having power over me is to get them out in the open and to examine them, in order to work on integrating them into my being.
If I acknowledge, accept and confront my failings as soon as they occur, I don’t have to let them control me. I can recover.