A Positive I.D.

Here I sit, recovering from the whirlwind of one year cake parades, steeped in dissatisfaction. The point of taking baked goods in exchange for 365 consecutive days and nights of  continuous sobriety is for other people who are counting days to see the glimmer of hope from a birthday person that they, too, can do it. I am certain that part of my dismay has something to do with the “come down” after large amounts of attention were on me last week for reaching my flagship year. I love when I get the spotlight, even though most people’s opinions of me cause the nervous sweats. Being that I feel generous with my honesty today, I will say that attention is my #1 boo thang, as I readily admit my love for the rush that accompanies occasions where all eyes are on me. Barring that reason, I am quick to see that my shitty attitude could stand a significant change ASAP.

It is not as though I expected perfection, however last week was unusually difficult to accept. The politics of choosing who gives you a cake at a meeting is beyond me. As with this entire past year, I faced my criminally bad compulsion to please everyone and be as inclusive as possible. Inevitably, people were disappointed they were “not included” in the celebration, which was never my intent…not to mention those who quite unexpectedly did not participate at all. On the flip side, there were two days where I felt like I was smiling so big from happiness that my face would surely crack open. One group of sexy punk people set up projections of David Bowie and brought cake and coffee and gifts and hugs and kisses. To my absolute delight, a grown man from that same group wore a glittering spandex unitard in the name of glam rock and recovery. (I think he may enjoy attention as I do, no?)


What is left in the wake of the celebration is resentment. Because I am an alcoholic, my brain will always have an acute tone-deafness for reality. Luckily for me, I know that it matters little if I am justified in my anger and/or disappointment. My disease is so masterful at building a case against a person that it wouldn’t matter if they committed the crime of the century or forgot to say “hi” to me, my brain will process both equally in its skillful and punitive manner. What is required of me at this point is to address these resentments through step work, #4 and #10: what’s really bugging me, how does that affect me and what part do I play in the ongoing saga, real or otherwise. But most importantly: what am I doing about it?

My imagination tends to get the best of me. When I am building a case against a person in my mind, it is as inaccurate as a composite sketch an artist does with eye-witness accounts. It is damn near impossible to get an accurate view of what a person really looks like when another person’s account is typically unreliable, probably fear-based. When my mind’s eye is clouded with disappointment in what I believe should have been a person’s actions or words, my view of them always gets distorted, followed shortly thereafter by my attitude. 

So, here is what I am doing about it: meeting friends for a “step work” writing party. We will write our inventories and hopefully share with each other what is getting to us. In the meantime, I am praying for those who’ve been taking up space in my mind. Truthfully, my spirit could use a tune-up. It is much more heartening for me to live in a dream world of gratitude rather than waking up mad at people, as though I am blaming them for something they did in a dream. Reality bites sometimes, but at least there is a way to identify positivity rather than making those I care about reluctant dream suspects.


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I write about my womanly experiences in sobriety, most of which I'm glad I remember.

4 thoughts on “A Positive I.D.”

  1. Oh my goodness, what is this cake thing? It sounds overwhelming!

    SO good to read this, as I’ve been having a similar emotional comedown after my week of celebrations. I call it Too Much Birthday. And I didn’t even have to worry about cakes. It was wonderful to be celebrated for a week but also an intense emotional high that was, of course, followed by an emotional crash. It’s a new thing for me–natural highs and hangovers. I guess Middle Way really is the way to go. Writing party sounds like a great way to do inventory!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wrote a comment and then it got deleted :). Happy birthday to you! AA has you get other members to present you with a cake at meetings for your year or years of sobriety. The tradition is great, though it does bring about some disappointments sometimes on both sides. I hope you find some peace from your emotional come down, I think my peace will begin tonight. It’s always a process to walk through feelings!


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