NOVEMBER 11 (from A Year of Days)

Taking responsibility for my own actions in life has been a ticket to freedom from the peculiar mental twists of my own addictive thinking.

Recovery has shown me in life that if I’m not the problem then I have no solution. For many years in addiction my childish thinking viewed the idea of personal responsibility as some sort of burden that life was trying to impose on me. In my mind I mocked those “normies” who conformed to the rules and were missing out on the excitement and full flavor of life.

The misplaced belief that I was superior, a crucial and implicit yet unconscious way of covering up my feelings of inadequacy, found a convenient home in the world of partying and addiction. Of course when everything went wrong either nothing was ever my fault, or it was all my fault—but rarely did I have the courage to face the core questions about who I was and how my own choices, my approach to life, were at the root of my problems.

The process of growing up emotionally that recovery has led me through has shown me how to be a man for my own sake and no one else’s. I have taken full ownership of my life and how I live it—no longer relying on a childlike disconnection from this core human responsibility.

I take the task of my own life somewhat seriously because I must. After all, I’m a grown man and no one else can, or will, do it for me—and if I don’t take myself seriously then how can I expect anyone else to?

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