December 19, 2012
This morning I was getting dressed and preparing for work when, as usual, thoughts began rolling through my mind. The thought of an old friend came up. Although the friendship did not end acrimonously, needless to say we don't speak largely because I have not made the effort.
I once remember the two of us discussing a particular friend of his. As he talked and talked about the person in no uncertain terms, I said why not just terminate the friendship and move on!
He responded, "she is my friend and a good person, besides it's not good to hold grudges."
Despite the fact that I heard what he said, I just could not understand how a person could discuss a person in such negative light third party, and then continue to be her friend, unbeknownst to her. It seemed so insincere and disingenuous.
Well, that conversation occurred about six months ago……perhaps I did not listen well enough, as we are not friends not because I hold a grudge against him……..at least I don't think so. It is just that we are different people, with different points of view.
To make a long story short, I am understanding more, what it means to take contrary action.
Looking back, I realize that no matter how obnoxious he could be, or how much he gossiped, or how much I disagreed with his decisions regarding others, not to mention how he treated other people, I was impatient, intolerant and judgmental. He merely confided in me and I held it against him.
Time and time again, I became shocked by his behavior regarding other people, that had nothing to do with me. No, I did not admonish him. But,I made silent notes in my mind and then when I reached that imaginary limit, I walked. I just could not do it anymore.
I realize now, as I often am looking at four walls, alone, thinking a lot, I do that to everyone pretty much. I hold people to these high standards. I either withdraw from them silently, and, inevitably, when the time comes, I walk away from them.
Clearly, it hurts the other person, but ironically, as I am getting older, it seems to be hurting me, as I am the one who is alone, with all my high standards and self-righteousness.
My part is that, as mentioned above, I am impatient, intolerant, judgmental, and it seems incapable of unconditional love.
Inherently, it seems as though I see everything black and white, with no gray area, no in between. When a person does something bad, apparently I see it to the exclusion of everything else good they have done.
I suppose that is why this program is so useful for me. As an addict/ or alcoholic we can learn to take contrary action. Contrary action, despite how I may feel is the name of the game.
Perhaps it is not always about how I feel, as I feel so strongly so often, only later to realize that perhaps I was wrong. This is the benefit of sobriety.
God, divorce me from "judgment prior to appropriate investigation." Also, divorce me from intolerance and impatience. Help me, Father God, to take contrary action.
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