My Al-Anon sponsor is having me work on the fourth step: Made a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves.
I think I have done that all of my life. A sharp focus on my flaws, so hard it left me on my knees; first in prayer, then in absolute defeat. Turning to a god, then turning on a god. Faulting him for every mistake I made, then punishing myself for lack of foresight.
So, I will begin simply, if I must. I am a liar with no shortage of fear. There is nothing and no one that I cannot make an enemy out of. I have turned my back on faith, after supplications manifested nothing but stiff hands. I have prevented myself from truly living, believing this would not call death’s attention. I have presented myself as a person who prefers solitude, so that I never have to face rejection or abandonment. I have removed all sensuality from my walk, my speech, my touch, so that I never have to surrender to true physical intimacy. I have kept my dreams on the shelf, so that I never have to fail. I have attacked anyone who looks at me with a disapproving eye, in order to disarm them, so that they never speak what I fear they think. I have come to believe there is nothing more important than the noise inside my head. I float about like a hungry ghost, reaching out my hand with a sense of entitlement, waiting for the world to give me what I think it owes me. And just where the hell has this led me?