Character defects. What a fucking can of worms.
When I sit down and actually think about all my character defects, I’m pretty sure I can actually feel my blood pressure rise. And then, promptly want to slump onto the couch or crawl into my bed and admit complete and utter defeat.
There are so many things that are ingrained in me. Things that I’ve lived with for as long as I can remember. They’re feelings, judgements, gut reactions that feel like they are literally a part of me. And, were it not for Alcoholics Anonymous, I would have thought that those nagging, negative, self serving, unkind, and heck, sometimes cruel instincts were a permanent part of me and my life.
While it’s truly a gift to be able to recognize that these flaws in my woodwork exist, combating them is a whole other story.
How do you stop a negative, cruel thought from even forming when it seems to come naturally? It just appears. As if it were perfectly normal. How do you go against your own grain?
Practice. Or so I’m told.
When those thoughts, malignant and uncalled for, enter my head, I have to cast them out. For now, recognize that they’ve appeared, and say: This isn’t cool, Mr. Thought. Be gone.
Casting these thoughts out, for me, is a challenge. The program has given me the tools, but, it’s using them that can be the real difficulty. I’m stubborn. Set in my ways. And, as much as I’d like to think that I have the wherewithall to act exactly as I think I should act, I am in fact, still human. My desire can not always make things so, and that’s been a hard road to look down, let alone walk.
A huge character defect of mine is my perfectionism. I find that so many things that I do, and others do, fall short. And, God, do I want to fix that so, so badly. I want to wrap everything up in a pretty box and make it just so. No room for blemishes, no acceptance of mistakes, little or big. And, it’s this humanity thing that’s really going to take some time.
I’m not perfect. Far from it. No one is. And, there’s nothing I can do, say, change, provide, or work for that will make it so.
I’ve been so into my program. Trying to do it so perfectly. I have to remember that there is no way to make sobriety perfect. And certainly, there is no way to make a sober alcoholic perfect. It is IMPOSSIBLE. It is perhaps the only time that this word is allowed. Perfection is impossible. And furthermore, it’s beside the point.
Life’s beauty is its imperfection. The pursuit of navigating, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, the crags and slopes of life’s landscape. The mystery. The thing that none of us can understand. The higher power that oversees it all, and the lessons meant to be learned from each unpredictable turn.
I’m not perfect. And, I’m not going to drink because of that fact. Today, that’s what I have to remember.