Are you a “Coin Collector”? – Are you boastful and only acting to receive compliments on your sobriety?
If one side of a boat gets too far out of the water, it is likely to tip over. I must always be careful not to build myself up too much and expose myself to falling and failing. I have to be careful of having too much success so I do not allow for any over confidence in my abilities to remain sober and never to measure my recovery in lengths of time instead of the quality of the sobriety.
My goal can not be measured in achieving one year, five years, ten years and so on of sobriety, because as soon as that is accomplished, where do I go from there? What do I do then? Overconfidence is a very dangerous beast. It has fooled me into believing I am capable of things I am not. I am very good at convincing others I am someone different, and worn many masks to hide my true self and intentions. With much gratitude and a hard look in the mirror, I have stopped hiding in my own head and lying to myself about who I am.
Oscar Wilde said, “confidence is good, but overconfidence always sinks the ship” and Norain went on to add that “overconfidence will drown you in the sea of reality”. They are both so right.
Am I doing things because it is the right thing to do or are my intentions selfish? Does the question, what is in it for me, occur in my mind? I need to have the desire to be a part of something, not because it helps me, not because it only makes me feel better, but more importantly, because it needs to be done and it is the right thing to do. I do not live my life with the thought of receiving recognition. I speak with the hope it will help others and help AA as a whole. When I apply this mindset in all of my affairs, I feel better, and great things happen in my life.
I do not feel it is boastful or braggadocios to say my sobriety date. I am proud of my recovery date because there was a long time, many years in fact, I could not get one day together. I could not comprehend the understanding of 24 hours as a start for the longest because I was always thinking about what had happened and what was going to happen. What about my court date? What about my kids? What about my husband? What about, what about, what about? I was always in the future or I was always in the past, never in the present. Never in the 24 hours. I am better about that today and it is because of the Alcoholics Anonymous program and the other recovering addicts and alcoholics that I share a table with.
I need my AA hall to keep my changed way of thinking. When I was drinking I was selfish. I was constantly trying to figure out what I was going to take from someone, what I was going to get out of it. Doing something for nothing carries so much freedom with it. I need AA to survive with a selfless way of thinking and I find that through service work and offering anything I can without the thought of how it will benefit me.
This perspective includes not expecting anyone to say thank you either. I serve to serve. I serve because it is the right thing to do for my heart. I needed to learn how to choose my thoughts in the same way I was picking out what to wear everyday or what to eat for lunch. If I want to have control over the things in my life, I must first start with my mind and my attitude. Those are truly the only things I can control and should be trying to better.