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May 11 • 405 to the 101 Insanity

Day 672


Back before I was acting out, I had a real problem with places that reminded me of events that 'victimized' me because of someone else's actions. There have been times I've gone considerably out of my way to avoid such places, usually without a lot of success in terms of not being triggered. Typically, the act of taking the inconvenient route would get me mad thinking about what happened and how I was the only one still in pain about it. I know now how much bullshit is involved in self-accepted victimhood, but that was then, and I wallowed in it.

Shortly before I started acting out, I was in the Los Angeles area doing some speaking for work and had to drive from Long Beach straight up the 405 to Westwood. As I was doing my trip planning, I noticed I would be going right through a particular town that I have had bad memories about for many years. Wrestling through some genuine pain mixed with self-righteous loathing, I rerouted up the 110, right through downtown LA to the 101 before cutting back through some local streets for what amounted to more than an hour detour. Maybe I didn't want to see that place of bad thoughts, or maybe I just wanted more time to muddle around in the crap of long-past wrongs. For some reason, I think about that day as one of the key breaks in my common sense that moved me from fantasy to fulfillment. Now that I'm sober, I don't often remember those places around me where I did evil, and when I do, it's almost always not until I actually see where I am, and so far, I've not yet been seriously triggered by any of them. However, my wife knows about some of those specific locations, and I suspect she still struggles a lot even about anticipating going past these places. And what do I do in those moments? Well, I get irritated at her for bringing up my misdeeds, of course. I generally catch myself from letting too much of the lunacy escape my lips, but it certainly makes it into the back of my throat as if a little glob of bad sushi was trying to get out. All addicts I've ever known are selfish sonsofbitches at some base level. As we work on our sobriety, the selfishness is often overshadowed by the gifts of grace and newly learned skills that help us redirect our social inefficiencies. For me, the rudeness of my self-centeredness almost always splashes on the people I love most, and most often, my wife bears the brunt of it. I hate that. I'm working on being better at rerouting my selfishness, but I am done denying that I can be as much of an SOB as the next addict.


–JR

 

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