My reflection in the looking glass

I awoke this morning with the pressing reminder about an assignment I was given. Well, that’s not correct… Sponsors, don’t issue out assignments or homework, they offer up suggestions. It was suggested to me that I write down any occurring thoughts that I might be having. You see… First, let me warn you that I’m about to do some step work here. If the thought of working Step Four makes you want to go running into the street, naked and screaming, then you should exit and log on to, www.happypuppykittens.com What is Step Four? Allow me…

(Eh Hem!) Step Four: “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

When I think of this step I am reminded of the movie, The Never Ending Story. On his quest to save the Empress, Fantasia and himself from The Nothing, Atreyu is faced with a series of challenges. He must take certain steps if he is to escape the destruction of The Nothing. One of these steps is to pass through the gate of the Magic Mirror. In order to move forward he must stare into his own reflection.. This looking glass would reveal to the young boy who he truly is. Willing and fearless I, excuse me, Atreyu approached the glass knowing that it made most men run away, screaming mad.

According to the book The Twelve Steps and The Twelve Traditions, the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous suggest that it would be wise to write out certain questions and answers about ourselves. If we did so, it would be the first tangible evidence of our complete willingness to move forward. What do the steps and traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous have to do with my eating disorder? My gambling? My depression? I don’t even drink, you may exclaim! It is important for you to know that the foundation of modern recovery is built upon the principles of AA. Before them, there was only agonizing solitude in insane asylums. Before these principles there was only death. Millions of people, not just alcoholics, have found an understanding of their God, have been relieved from their obsessions, have let go of their past by forgiving themselves and their abusers, and most importantly gone on to help others just like themselves. All I can say is that the program works if you work it. Just a suggestion :)

The questions I have summed, essentially we are to ask ourselves:

Looking at both past and present what situations have caused me anxiety, bitterness, frustration and depression?

How did I react?

Appraising each situation fairly can I see where I was at fault?

Was I bested because of my own selfishness and unreasonable demands?

If the disturbance was caused by the behavior of others, being the victim, why do I lack the ability to accept conditions I cannot change?

The 12/12 states, “These are the sort of fundamental inquiries that can disclose the source of my discomfort and indicate whether I may be able to alter my own conduct and so adjust myself serenely to self-discipline.”

The reoccurring thoughts I have are “What do people think about me? Are they talking behind my back? Do they think I’m handsome or ugly? Are they plotting against me? Do they know that I am a complete failure?”

Soooooo, looking at both past and present, I can remember in the 5th and 6th grade being picked on by everyone, even teachers. When I would walk into a room I could hear them talking about me. It was brutal. It happened every time I walked into a full classroom. To protect myself from harm, I would always be the first one to arrive and would always sit in the back to avoid the embarrassment. Oh, it still went on… but at least I wasn’t standing center stage. To this day I am still, usually, 30 minutes early for work. I can’t help it… I just do it. It is very difficult for me to walk into a large room of people who are already sitting down. I almost always want to have a panic attack. This may be weird for my close friends and family to read… Knowing that I was a theatre major. All I can say is, on stage I wasn’t Brock, on stage I got to be somebody else. On stage I got to be someone who wasn’t afraid, someone with confidence, and someone, who didn’t want to sit in the back of the room.

How did I react? In the past I would isolate, today I put on a production. With exaggeration I display a self righteous confidence that put many off, if not all. It is a sad performance filled with delusions of gradure and failed attempts at success. In my show, nothing is good enough… The truth is I am terribly afraid and painfully insecure. I set unreasonable demands for myself and others. I treat everyone around me as if they were those same bullies at school. Today I insist on dominating the people I know, and when they can’t meet my demands my insecurities festered and grow. The most common symptoms of emotional insecurities are worry, anger, self pity and depression. Starring into the mirror I can now see the symptoms of my disease.

People, places and things will let me down, it is inevitable, and I know this. So, I must ask myself “Why do I lack the ability to accept the things I cannot change?” What is my answer? I think it is because I cannot admit to myself that I do not have control. I cannot possibly control my life by hiding or pretending to be something I’m not. I can’t control my life period. To move forward I must come to understand that the only thing I CAN control are my words and actions. The rest I must give to my higher power. I cannot depend on people, places and things for my happiness. The kids, the classroom and my desk in the back no longer exist, except only in my mind. That delusion will only have power over me if I allow it to. In order to escape the Nothing and save Fantaisia I must understand that the Nothing will only destroy me if I give it the power to do so.

So what now? I will go forward in life as the real Brock and will have faith in my higher power. Where to start? Well, to quote a friend, “It’s none of your business what other people think about you.” I’ll let you think about that one.

My name is Brock Cravy and I’m addicted to me.

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