Anna David shares her 10th step work with us. One of my favorite things in recovery is that way many people with solid recovery share their 10th step stuff with us in a way that provokes laughter with them. This laughter, which in other contexts could be cutting or toxic, somehow fosters insight, fellowship and growth.
I cannot afford to continue to have the reactions that I do.
The fact is, even at 13 years of sobriety, I’m a big reactor. You could argue that part of this is good: I have a near childlike exuberance for things at times. Yay, I’m fun! But you could also argue that most of this is bad—and when I say bad, I mean bad for me more than anyone or anything else. At the end of last week, I had a few stressful things come up—things that a person with a very calm sensibility might have taken in, nodded at and gone about their business.
A related epiphany: I still pretty much think the rules don’t apply to me, that I shouldn’t have to put up with certain things. Part of this is the result of the way I was raised and things that happened that showed me I didn’t have to follow the rules but at this point it doesn’t matter why I’m like that; the point is that believing this only causes me pain. Right now I have a piano player who lives above me, a guy I’ve attempted to reason with about how much his musical theater act upstairs at all hours interferes with my wellbeing and ability to work. We’ve come to no resolution. But the one thing I’m realizing that I haven’t tried is to just see if I can tolerate it—to see if I can remind myself when I hear it that this is the risk you take when living in an apartment building, that I can move out when my lease is up (and always, from now on, take an upper unit) and that I can leave when the noise gets to be intolerable. I’ve noticed that I jump right to This is a disaster which makes me believe I need a dramatic solution, skipping through humbly trying out various ways of making a situation more tolerable.