Taking Credit

     Who really gets us better?

     I pretty much figured that if I was going to recover, it was ME that was going to do it. Arrogance. I couldn’t even wrap my head around the idea that something else could fix me, especially something intangible and other-worldly. Enslaved by my ego, I became saturated with pride and self-love. I could only conceive of my own power. I’m the only one who can fix or change myself. I accomplish everything because I’m Charlie f’ing Peabody! 

     Addicts love to take credit for every good thing that happens to them, for every accomplishment no matter how minute. They simply can’t handle the possibility or even the idea that something else may be responsible for what they have achieved or what they have been blessed with. If they land a great job, it’s all them. If they make a bunch of money, it’s all them. If they meet a loving, loyal spouse, it’s all them. If they are showered with good friends and abundance, then yup, it’s all because of them. They create everything… unless it’s something negative. Then it’s suddenly someone else’s fault. This is the sad result of our narrow mind and pathological self-centeredness. We’ve become too small and too dumb to see greater powers at work. We need others to see what we can accomplish, how brilliant and talented we are.

     The sheer comedy of all this is that doing things my way, my genius way, landed me in a locked detox/psychiatric ward with my ass hanging out of a hospital johnny. So after failing repeatedly to control, shape and mold my life, desperately trying to exert my will, it was such a great RELIEF to just let go and rely on something other than my fucked up head to guide me through life. When I stopped trying to get myself better, that’s the moment I began to really change.

     So I don’t take credit for what changed me, for what removed the obsession to drink and use drugs. I don’t take credit for the things I’ve accomplished since I got sober. I don’t take credit for all of the miracles and blessings in my life. I don’t look around to see my wonderful life now and think, Wow, look what I did! I’m so the man! I’m so amazing and talented and strong! I can conquer anything! 

     You know who is strong? GOD.

     To note, I don’t really help the sponsees who happen to come my way. If someone gets better because of the work they’ve done as a result of my sponsorship, then all I did was arrange the meeting and it was God and God alone who fixed this person. I had nothing to do with it. So if you’re an addict and you are tempted to tap yourself on the back for something you just did, try not to. Chances are you didn’t have too much to do with it.

God, everything good that I do and that I have is from You and is You…

2 thoughts on “Taking Credit

  1. Thank you. I find these posts help whether you are struggling with addiction, worrying about someone you love who is struggling with addiction, or just going about your daily life.

  2. How sobering! Thank you, Charlie. I've just realized that even though I was grateful to God for all things good in my life and said a prayer of gratitude daily many times over for years and years (learned how to pray \”p r o p e r l y\” from watching Oprah show in the nineties, LOL), I was proud, inflated by the sense of my own specialness and bursting by the seams with pride that I, me, by myself was better than the remaining population of the world who was praying 'the wrong way', who didn't know to to commune with God properly, humbly and intimately. I was also doing it because I was scared that if I prayed the wrong way, God would abandon me altogether in the darkness. I was trying to please God, tickle God's ears, essentially, instead of serving God and people. If that isn't selfish and MANIPULATIVE, I don't know what is. Oh. My. God… Thank you for this article, Charlie. It made me understand the peculiar nature of the \”scales of pride and prejudice\” that fell from m y eyes when I gave birth to the concept of God of my own understanding. Mila V.

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