Thin Skin

I have very thin skin. The least little question about
integrity or a disagreement really gets to me. I have entertained thoughts of
entering local politics; however, given this aspect of my character, I doubt if
I could survive any sort of character questioning.  Immediately I am on the defensive and entertain
thoughts of retaliation. It makes no difference whether allegations have any
merit or not, I go on the defense, my heart rate increases, I become sarcastic
and cynical—all reactions that seem to verify guilt. All this became apparent
yesterday.

Letting go and trusting is others is against my instincts.
Trusting in God is even harder because, of course, we cannot see or even prove
that God exists. Faith in an unseen Spirit, a concept of others’ preaching is a
real stretch. My recovery from addiction is perhaps proof that there is a God
in my life and it is dangerous for my sobriety to question—but I do. “Let go
and let God” is an overused AA cliché that I too have used on occasion, but, if
I think too much, find it hard to truly believe. Lesson being: Don’t think too
much about some things.

Time

Time is of the essence—there never seems to be enough. I
remember when I was much younger it seemed that time was on my side. I was always
looking to the future when I could, for instance, earn more money or move out
of my parent’s home or something that would fix my restless, irritable, and
discontent situation. I was sure that if I could change my location, job, or
relationship that I would be a better happier person—that would fix me.  Until I could move to a better place, I
settled for the fix of alcohol and drugs. However, the consequence of that fix
was that I ended up stuck where I felt that I did not want to be.

Being happy in my own skin eluded me for a long time. I find
that I am growing into a comfortable place. This has a lot to do with giving up
on substances to fix me—to transport me to a perceived better place. However, I
have a way to.

There are times when the fears and insecurity creep in and
suddenly again run me and I end up slipping into old behavior—comparing my
situation to others, looking to change where I am, trying to fix what is not
broken. I cannot fix who I am—who ever that really is.

I have been thinking a lot about two questions hear at
church recently: who am I? What is the purpose of my life? Well, seems I go
back to childhood. I am my parent’s son—they conceived me because of a desire
to create a family and that the felt that my birth was a blessing, my mom in
particular. Until recently, as my mom was dying, I had no idea of the whole
story—odds were against my mom giving birth. However, it happened—here I am.
What I have grown into is a product of nurture and nature—secular American
culture. Nurtured well by my parents, they told me I could do anything and I
believed them—at least at first, when I was young.  Our competitive, never good enough culture
convinced my parents and me that I was not good enough and that I had defects
to overcome. I came to believe I needed to be fixed and tried may different
prescribed and un-prescribed ways to do that. I lost me and tried to be what I was
not. I’m trying to find something I lost long ago and I am having difficulty
fitting childhood ideals into a grown body. I’m trying to teach an old dog
tricks learned when young and now long forgotten.

My purpose will likely have to wait until I work out basic
self-identity. This gets to identifying my mission—the purpose of EFM. At the
end of four years of EFM that my frustration and true lack of self lead me to
change by dealing with addictions that had enveloped me creating an out of
control and out of self spiral. So, first things first—I must first find me.