Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Me-Me-Mea Culpa

A friend of mine here in San Diego had to deal with some of the things many of us have had to deal with in early sobriety and I told him I'd say a prayer for him. Immediately I remembered this blog post, which I wrote when I was maybe four months sober. It's short, but it says so much about me.

Originally posted circa January, 2008

I woke up last Wednesday to a text message from a friend saying that he was having a rough morning. Since the new, sober me tries to be helpful whenever possible I offered to say a prayer for him.

Praying is something that I've never done particularly well, and my conception of God and higher power is probably somewhat different from the standard Christian conception. Be that as it may, I have recently been putting energy out to the universe every day in a form that can be construed as praying.

Additionally, I've heard several people in the 12-step meetings I attend daily (don't start ... I'm not smoking crystal every day so what else am I going to do with my time) that praying for others helps take them out of their own head and has had a positive effect on their lives. Totally a can't-lose proposition.

OH MY WHATEVER-YOUR-CONCEPTION-OF-A-HIGHER-POWER. It was a complete disaster. I should interject here that I have a bizarre combination of grandiosity and paralyzing fear of failure at work in my life almost constantly. How does that play out, you ask? Here's how.
First, I start in on a laundry list of what I think everyone I know needs from God/the universe – Sue needs a new job, Bob could use a dose of self-confidence, daddy needs a new pair of shoes. Fortunately, when I heard myself suggest a little humility for a certain friend, self-awareness kicked in.

Not so luckily, in my head self-awareness never comes unescorted. On this particular day, it came accompanied by mind-blowing panic. The universe would never let me learn a lesson so easily. People would need to be smited (how did smitten end up with its current meaning when it so clearly comes from the word smite – more on that later). I spent the next hour frantically trying to undo the catastrophe, but in the end I just went metaphorically into the fetal position and rocked uncontrollably. It was Sunday before I could even call my mother because I was certain I'd killed my whole family. Still haven't heard back from her so I'm still not completely sure what the fallout from all of this was.

Anyway, all of this to say: If any one who knows me felt the wrath of God last week, my bad. Wish I could say it won't happen again, but with me you never know.

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