When I was actively drinking and using, breaking up with women was a total disaster. Regardless of the circumstances, I was hell bent on getting the last word in – abusive word, that is. It was necessary to rip these poor girls apart in order to repair the sideswipe to my pride, ego and self-esteem as I heard the words, “I can’t be with you anymore.”

     EXCUSE ME?! How could anyone break up with ME?! She must be a delusional, stupid, worthless, piece of shit whore! 

     The feeling of rejection was just way too much for me to comprehend. Being a selfish addict (aka pathetic child), discomfort was to be avoided at all costs, even if that meant ripping my unfortunate girlfriends to shreds. You name it, I said it.

     Now that I have a wife of 9 years and a newborn son, I have to watch it with my mouth. We addicts are generally pretty skilled at the art of verbal abuse. Same with many of the personality disorders we might find in the DSM-IV. Especially NPD and BPD. Trust me, I have been most fortunate to have x-girlfirends, an x-boss, and a few relatives and in-laws with these personalities.

     They are great teachers, let me tell you. They are also great actors, portraying one side to the general public but turning into monsters with those who challenge them or stand up to their abuse. They can act normal, sincere, charming, even helpful and kind. Yet disappoint them or refuse to give them everything they demand and you will soon be demonized beyond belief. They will cut you down, make up lies, and scandalize you. They will paint you as a sick, twisted loser while painting themselves as a wonderful, shining angel, or hero, or victim (ugh, heros and victims). They can actually be quite productive, because they are not active addicts nor are they clinically depressed. No, what they are is completely nuts. They are sociopaths.

    I once feared becoming this way, as I fell into the trap of cruelty as a defense mechanism. As addicts, we must defend and protect our habits no matter what the cost. We must hurt, lie and abuse to get and keep what we want. We become so warped that we lose all sight of what we are doing. At some point, we get to the edge of darkness. We flirt with hurting others and not even caring. We flirt with sociopathology.

     And this is why I am so serious about addicts not just getting sober. We are damaged and therefore we must change profoundly. We must rid ourselves of these behavioral traits that one sees in narcissists, borderlines, and sociopaths. If you are an addict out there, ask yourself, do you want the shame, the burden, the curse and the caste of being almost human? Do you want to be a body without a soul? Do you want to be a monster? Because turning into such a thing is a lot worse than being an addict. At least addicts can get better. Most sociopaths and psychopaths cannot.

God, teach me to forgive and accept myself that I may forgive and accept others…

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