People, Places & Things
Alcoholics & Addicts are control freaks. We want to control everything from our feelings to the people and situations around us. We feel that if we are in constant control, we can’t get hurt. We are convinced that the world revolves around us, and if people would just do what we want, when we want and exactly how we want, the world would be a much better place. I was no different. I felt I had to control everything around me in order to survive living in this messed up world. My way was the best way, and there was no other way.
This way of thinking causes many rift’s with the people in our lives. It causes confusion, anger and resentments. When people didn’t do what I wanted them to do or act in a manner that I wanted them to, there would be hell to pay. That’s just the truth. I was selfish, self-centered, Narcissistic, egotistical and manipulative. It was my way or the highway, and if you couldn’t benefit me in any way, I could not be bothered with you. That’s the way it was, and to me, that was normal. The more I drank, the worse I got and I honestly didn’t see any fault in my actions. I couldn’t see past myself.
Sobriety has brought me a sense of relief. Not only from drinking but from life. Knowing that I don’t have to control everything around me and that all I have to control is my life and my own actions took off a lot of unnecessary stress. I’ve learned to accept things for what they actually “are” rather than what “I” want them to be has taken a great load off of me. We have absolutely NO control over the nouns; People, places or things. The ONLY thing that we DO have control over, is how we choose to react or not react. Believe me, knowing I only have control over one person rather than the entire world is a relief.
Being a creature of habit, this was not one easily broken. In fact, on occasion, I still find myself wanting to take control, but I recognize it now and can easily redirect my way of thinking. In my recovery, “Let go and let God” is a very valuable term. If I find myself entertaining my “stinking thinking” I turn it over and continue to move forward. Just because we have been blessed with sobriety, it doesn’t mean the clouds part and the angles start to sing and all is right with the world….that’s not what happens. People are gonna do what they want to do, things in life are still gonna happen even though I’m sober now. I’ve just been given the tools to live life on life’s terms. It is what it is and it will be what it will be. I don’t have to like some of the things I see, but I do have to accept them and move on. Today I’m in control of my own life. The way others live theirs is none of my business.
By redirecting my thinking and my own way of life, I’ve discovered peace and serenity. I can find the joy in life rather than everything that’s wrong with it. I’ve walked away from the need to control, the drama, the fights, the negativity. Without all of that, my life today seems much more meaningful, manageable, happy and whole.
September 6, 2014
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist