My children overheard me telling someone, “My girlfriend Susan is going to be on television. She’ll be promoting the gym where she works, by being the spokesperson for the “fitness tip of the week” on a local station.” The kids asked, “Mommy, is Susan going to be on T.V.?” I answered, “Yes, in a few weeks she’s going to be in a commercial.” One of them asked, “Is she going to be telling people about us?” I laughed, and thought about how small their world must seem to them. I can relate, I sometimes feel that way too -like a clingy child- everything is about me.
I have a problem, and the first step to unloading it is admitting that my life has become unmanageable because of the situation. Recently, I started going to a 12-step program for my disease. That’s right, my name is Shannon, and I’m in recovery from all sorts of things, namely myself. However, I could be in a number of other 12- step programs as well.
For example, I could attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting; according to the experts: an alcoholic is anyone who has ever “binged on alcohol,” not just the folks who drink it on a regular basis. Speaking of binging, I could also be classified as an overeater, and at times, an under-eater, which would make me a prime candidate for the Over Eaters Anonymous program, which serves the anorexics as well, and probably the exercise anorexics too.
Hold up, there’s more, the bag of weed in my freezer could possibly qualify me for a Narcotics Anonymous gathering, I’ve had dried herb on hand for the majority of my life. I don’t ever really smoke it, I just like knowing it’s there if I need it for “medicinal” purposes. However, I’m sure I habitually do something physically, or emotionally that parallels the actions of those in the Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous club. Maybe I’ve been in love too many times, or demanded sex too often. Perhaps there’s a chapter about women like me in the book, “Women Who Love Too Much.”
Do any of the vices I use, or behaviors I indulge in justify descending the notches of a 12-step program?
On paper I’m a reckless misfit eligible for membership to any of the cliques mentioned above. In reality I’m pretty normal, (to some) which is why the program I’ve assigned myself to is so difficult. My illness is of the brain. Its symptoms include the following: busy like the corner of Broadway, and Columbus Circle, an overactive imaginative, full of drama. Having an innate pull towards incessant, over-thinking. I ascribe the general feeling as to being at the center of everything. I, and others like me see ourselves as the nucleus of other, nearby atoms.
I stand in the center while people pass by me like information flipping by on a Rolodex. My head screams with wild thoughts, I want to take on the emotions of everyone. There’s always a story, and I’m at the core. I wouldn’t call it narcissism, there isn’t much flattery involved, however, it’s a form selfishness.
My first step is admitting my life is chaotic-dramatic; the second is to trust that a greater force can bring me peace-like chocolate, and wine, and the third is to let go of some of my power-over food and alcohol. (I’m taking liberties here with my paraphrasing.)
I haven’t gotten much further, however, the looming inventory awaits me. I’m supposed to search myself for any remaining morals. I better get started before I watch porn, and fall in love from my treadmill. (Sarcasm has to be at the top of my list of character defects.)