Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Step One: Unmanageability Continued

To see my other stepwork online visit Index of Stepwork.

I cannot successfully manage my life. This is actually really good news for me. It means I am eligible for a Higher Power full assistance grant!

In fact, it is good news in that respect although I personally have some serious problems with this part of Step One. Like I said yesterday, the powerlessness is not a problem for me. It does not take a lot of examination to see how alcohol controlled me completely. So we are in good shape when it comes to alcohol—I am willing to cede control there completely.

The unmanageability was also easy when I was newly sober. I was out of control and I was willing to do whatever I was told to stop it.

My problem is life on life’s terms right now. See, life is going well. It looks like I could pretty easily manage my life right now. I have a job, our debts are being paid down, Lisa and I have a good relationship, I’m even talking to my parents! Surely, surely I have reached a point where I do not need any help, where I can again take the reigns and run my life as I please. I have done a lot of growing up since February 2, 2001, when I staggered into the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous.

This is a dangerous illusion. I am apt to believe it because it paints the picture I want to see. The reality is subtly different however.

Yes, I talk to my parents every week, but I am not close to them. They are, to a great extent, strangers to me. I love them, I am thankful for them but I do not understand them and how they think. They seem to think that my wife is responsible for all the problems in my life, especially my relationship with them. I don’t know why they want to give her so much power, but they do.

My wife . . . umm, I’ll pass commenting on this one for now.

Work is chaotic and miserable, so that is not a place I manage well. In fact, an argument can be made that I do not manage at all at my job.

So, I am ready do admit that even when things are going well, even when the kinks of active destructive alcoholism have largely been smoothed out, I cannot do this on my own. So what does this mean for me in practical terms?

It means that I can’t do this on my own. I am powerless and I cannot manage my life. If this were the end of it, I might as well drink because things are not getting better from here on out. Fortunately, this is not the end of it. I have more resources, many more than I can even imagine.

If my problem is powerlessness, then I need power. If I cannot find that power in myself, If I cannot generate it of my own will, then I must find that power elsewhere. So that is my job, to find a power greater than myself. It would be really nice, if as a result, this power could restore me to sanity.