Alcoholics and Half-baked Relationships Part 4: Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

Lies and deceitful games have nothing to do with the shared reality and richness of intimacy. True intimacy in relationships is reserved for people who are determined to hear and speak the truth. It is possible only for those who want reality, not a conveniently deceptive mirror that removes all the flaws and reflects back only the flattering. If bolstering one’s ego is the goal for a relationship, then you have already sacrificed the whole on falsehood. You cannot have both. Reality or games. It’s one or the other.

What fascinates me about relationships between addicts and their friends and family is that there is a constant conflict of interest. The alcoholic wants to control and to keep the status quo; while the Al-Anon usually wants to help them change and grow. The cross-purposes keep the dance of relationship intact, but also keeps it from being warm and nurturing.

I watch Dancing With The Stars and I usually multi-tasking on my computer or phone whenever the couples are doing the Tango. It’s an uncomfortable dance to watch. All that jerking and posturing and intensity. I’m never sure if the dance is heading to a death scene or a love scene. It’s a Tango—that’s how it’s supposed to feel.

I, for one, don’t need to learn anything else about how to Tango. I’m worn out with it. Far too much self-centered drama for me. This is from the Alcoholics Anonymous book.

The first requirement is that you see that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. On that basis we are almost always in collision with something or somebody, even though our motives may be good. Most people try to live by self-propulsion. Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show: is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet, the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way. If his arrangements would only stay put, if only people would do as he wishes, the show would be great. Everybody, including himself, would be pleased. Life would be wonderful. In trying to make these arrangements our actor may sometimes be quite virtuous. He may be kind, considerate, patient, generous; even modest and self-sacrificing. On the other hand, he may be mean, egotistical, selfish and dishonest. But, as with most humans, he is more likely to have varied traits.
What usually happens? The show doesn’t come off very well. He begins to think life doesn’t treat him right. He decides to exert himself some more. He becomes, on the next occasion, still more demanding or gracious, as the case may be. Still the play does not suit him. Admitting he may be somewhat at fault, he is sure that other people are more to blame. He becomes angry, indignant, self-pitying. What is his basic trouble? Is he not really a self-seeker even when trying to be kind? Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if he only manages well? Is it not evident to all the rest of the players that these are the things he wants? And do not his actions make each of them wish to retaliate, snatching all they can get out of the show? Is he not, even in his best moments, a producer of confusion rather than harmony? ~ AA p 61

This post exceeds the 500 self-imposed word limit by 60, but it’s important for the series to get the whole picture of the alcoholic perspective. No one says it better than Bill W.