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October 12 • Racy Thoughts

Day 826

NASCAR is one of my mind-numbing guilty-pleasures. My first race, as a Cub Scout, was in 1967 at Bristol. Now I've been to races at tracks from Phoenix to Martinsville, and I'm sure I've watched more races on TV than I haven't over the past twenty-five years. Yes, that's a little embarrassing, although I don't apologize for anything other than acknowledging all the good things I could have been doing during those many hours that I'm determined not to add-up.

What I did not expect this morning, as I'm watching last night's race on my DVR, was an ah-ha moment in my recovery from sexual addiction. But there it was, spewing from the south-mouth of the winner as he caressed the checkered flag that had just been handed to him.

There are only so many scripts that can be delivered from the Winner's Circle. They thank their pit crew, all their sponsors, and whatever other driver helped push them to the lead. That's about it. I don't even watch most post-race coverage because it's become so predictable, but here I was listening for some comments on a particular incident that happened during the last stage of the race. The interviewer ignored that issue but did ask what the stock-jockey did during the week that set him up for victory. His answer was not particularly profound, but it did get my attention.

"I just worked on me. I've been on a good run lately, but there's always those little things I can do to be a better driver, so that's what I worked on. Also, there are always more little things that the guys back in the shop and the guys in the pit box can do to get better, so they worked on their stuff, and I worked on mine. All I can ever do is be prepared to drive the car they give me, and ain't it great when it all comes together."

Wait. What?

It seems very self-serving to me to spend a lot of time on my recovery and all those little issues that can make me a better person. I often resist carving out the time I need to do my journaling or some other aspect of my program, hoping to find time at the end of the day to squeeze it all in after I've done everything I can for everyone else. That seems a little less self-centered. But is it? I fear a big piece of that is more about fixing my legacy than helping people at a foundational level.

I learned some time ago that my life has been all about me, but it took me years to admit it. That was not my persona nor my goal, but it was my reality, as it usually is with addicts. What is the most self-centered of my obvious options — working on me, or trying to be that guy (again) who doesn't need self-care?

My family tells me that the best thing I can do for them is to take care of my recovery, which is another way of telling me not to relapse or otherwise screw the pooch. They understand what's at risk to their lives if I cannot stay in recovery, so is it self-centered on their part to want me to get better? Of course not. Their first instinct is for my well-being, but they can see the win-win of my recovery, maybe better than I can.

I have a disease that is very difficult to treat, and I need support from those around me, but only in so much as it encourages the work that I have to do to be sober.

It is true that I am still a selfish person, but when it comes to recovery, maybe I need to be a little more selfish than I am, and not hide behind the lies of altruism and procrastination.

Oh hell; I haven't even talked about procrastination. Damnit! Maybe tomorrow...



I want to talk about me

Want to talk about I

Want to talk about number one

Oh my me my

–Toby Keith, ”I Wanna Talk About Me"



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