I Admire Your [blank]

Egomaniac with an Inferiority Complex

When i did my 4th Step, which i touch on here, my sponsor told me something he’d heard in the rooms.

Alcoholics are egomaniacs with an inferiority complex.

i could very much relate to this, probably because i am an alcoholic.

One of the recurring issues that came up as i was sharing my defaults was self hatred. i hate myself and when that ball starts rolling, a vicious circle begins.

  • i want to escape myself, but i can’t unless
  • i get drunk and then at least i don’t hate myself so much until
  • i wake up with a hangover and feel physically ill and then
  • A few days later, i get spiritually ill and begin to hate myself so
  • i want to escape myself but i can’t unless
  • i get drunk and then…

Obviously, one of the keys to staying sober is breaking the cycle. But i have no idea how to be compassionate with myself. Here’s a thought i had during our discussion.

If you don’t know how to be compassionate with yourself, practice on others.

i’m often very impatient and frustrated with people and the world in general. “People suck” is kind of my motto. In the rooms, a guy once said, jokingly, “It’s like everyone in the city thinks they’re as important as I am!”

Today i got the answer. While i was in a waiting room, i caught myself getting nervous, tense, impatient and judgmental. i knew i had to practice compassion and tried to figure out how. Then it came to me.

i admire that person’s _________________.

Every time a person made me nervous, i made myself figure out a compliment with which to fill that blank.

For example, an elderly woman was in a foul mood and muttering insults under her breath to everyone in the office. For her, i thought, “i admire your inner strength.” Another man was very impatient and tense. He was constantly asking people what time their appointment was. i thought long and hard and came up with, “i admire your ability to talk to strangers.”

i know you guys are less messed up than i am, but think of the above exercise as a game the next time you’re standing in line at the supermarket. It’ll help pass the time.


About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home.

Posted on October 27, 2011, in AA Step Work, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery, Toolbox and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Lots of good stuff here, lots of good learning.

    Your sponsor is wise.

  2. As I was reading this, I thought “Hmmmm, this is an exercise I can use the next time I am in the supermarket where I often get stressed and annoyed. Then, you hit the punch line for me. Thanks for sharing.

  1. Pingback: Robert Downey Jr Wants You… « The Bar None — High & Dry

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