Pride, Egotism and Fear are an alcoholics and addicts biggest down falls. It what keeps us in the grips of addiction. Our Pride & Egotism tells us we don’t have a problem, we could handle it, we could quit any time we wanted to. Or Fear tells us we’ll be nothing without the booze or drugs. Our lives will become boring or the extreme fear of feeling and facing the carnage we’d caused. We also fear change of any kind. In fact, the unknown terrifies us. We are all to familiar with our own pain and misery and in our minds, we’d rather live the way we’ve come accustomed to living (even if we’re miserable) rather than take a chance and walk into the unknown. There are many reasons for our Pride, Egotism and Fear to fog our reality but those are just the basics.
In the very beginning of my recovery, I was extremely angry and I wasn’t exactly sure why, but it consumed me. I know now that it was fear. Had I not finally seen the video tape after my relapse, I probably would have allowed that fear to consume me and today, I’d either be forever damaged by my consumption, or dead. I found out fairly early in my recovery that once I brought my demons into the light, they weren’t nearly as scary as I thought they were. I not only felt better physically, but I felt better mentally as well. I began to gain strength I never knew I had. The change I was so terrified of ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me.
You have to be open to recovery in order for it to work. In addition, you have to be willing to put in the work. It’s not going to “just happen” Our way of doing things and thinking has to completely change. If you walk into recovery and remain prideful enough to insist on maintaining our own way of thinking, than failure is pretty much guaranteed. To this day, even after five years, I still have a tendency to want to revert back to my old way of thinking on occasion. Yes, my pride and ego peeks their heads out from time to time, old habits are hard to break. The good thing is that today I can recognize it and stop it before it starts.
The longer I stay sober, the stronger my disease gets. It’s sitting off to the side somewhere doing push-ups. It’s patiently waiting for me to crack the door open and when I least expect it, that same door will be kicked open releasing the disease I’ve been able to keep at bey all this time. In order for me to keep that from happening, I have to continue (on a daily basis) to keep using the tools I’ve been taught. I no longer allow my pride or fear to control me, I control it.
My life today is manageable even during the hectic times that try my nerves. I can’t imagine my life ever going back to the was. That was no life at all. It was merely an existence. My recovery has given me so much more than just not drinking or using. Today I think before I act and what was important to me back then has no room in my life today. My recovery has allowed me to discover the real me rather than the “me” I created. It has allowed me to love myself rather than be full of self-loathing and hatred. It’s given me happiness and peace that I never knew existed. It wasn’t handed to me on a silver platter, I had to work at it but the end results are so worth it. As much as I wish I could, I can’t ever say that I will never drink again, but I CAN say with certainty that I will continue to do what I need to do to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Pride, egotism and fear are bad for any human being, but they are lethal to an alcoholic or addict.
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist