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June 06 • Shame and Sarcasm

Day 698 Chris C. called me back this morning, and I couldn't answer it, so I let it go to voicemail. When I finally listened to his message, he was just checking on me following-up on our conversation yesterday. My first reaction was that he should spend his time on people a little more worthy, or even someone a lot worse off than me. I'm almost always embarrassed in some deep down place when other addicts are taking their time to see if I'm okay or to draw on our shared struggles to help them be sober today. I feel like I'm not worthy of their attention nor wise enough to help them; at least that's what my addict keeps telling me. I just don't know why I keep listening to that voice that's trying to kill me. This shame shit is poison. It so easily cheats me out of a good day or keeps me from offering a hand to someone who needs little more than encouragement to do what he already wants to do. Even though my whole being tells me that I am plenty worthy of wallowing in the shame of those things of which I am guilty, I must continue to struggle against it, by letting it go. This path is all so much easier if I'm counseling someone else. I know that there is One, and only One, who has the power to cast against the shame, and I can tell others about that all day long. But it is just clear as rain that my shame is so justified that grace and self-forgiveness cannot apply to me. Sarcasm is not a useful tool for serious conversations, but sometimes saying something that is so obviously incorrect is the only way I can hear it. And if that's not normal, guess what... I'm an addict. I am an addict. A sex addict. I feel like the struggles of the past couple of weeks have shown a light on my arrogance of thinking I might be 'healed.' That is also what addicts do, at least until we surrender that crap. Ironically, it has to be released to our Higher Power, who actually has the power to heal us from addiction, but who chooses to have us lean on each other. As a friend told me yesterday, this is a gift. Perhaps a harsh gift, but every day — every struggle — for the addict is a gift that we can accept or rage against. I heard that. Someone just asked if I was being sarcastic again. All I will say is that my recovery has been filled with contradictions to my way of thinking, and it doesn't always make sense. Someone else will have to find their own path through the surrender, forgiveness, humility, and touches of sarcasm that are sometimes necessary to sanity. –JR

June 06 • Shame and Sarcasm
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