Step 3: Part 1 Connected

I was just staring at the slow green circle that is the icon for my internet connectivity. In letters beside it, just in case I don’t know, it says connecting. All right already…so connect. But no. Looks like I’ll have very little connectivity today, but not by choice.

It wasn’t always that way. In my mind, connectivity was a concept that meant danger. Like most addicts, I was far more comfortable in isolation. That was me. Isolated. My life wasn’t happy, but I felt like I was in control. For some reason, that made sense to me.

Lonely and trying to control my own life—that’s how I’d describe my alcoholic self during my active addiction. Control became ever increasingly important. I was determined to control my life. That seemed rational to me. After all, it was reinforced by every part of society, by my self-help library and by my family of origin.

Every little victory that I could claim as my own accomplishment was another touchdown in the control game of my life. Fist in the air-YES! 

While I was racking up the points on my personal scoreboard, I was gradually giving more emphasis to the accomplishments and less and less to the people in my life. All this from a people skills trainer with 20 years’ experience. How ironic.

Connectedness was not my focus. Just connect me with personal victories, that’s all I cared about. I didn’t have a lot of goals–never did. I just wanted to be in control of my little world. This was my checklist:

  • Small house and garden
  • Car that doesn’t leak
  • Opportunities for business travel
  • Self-employed (don’t work well for others)
  • Minimal interference from people

Over the years, I was crowding out time for people as I became more and more committed to drinking every evening. Eventually, I saw people as a threatening interruption to my controlled lifestyle. Others wouldn’t approve of my life, anyway, so I just iced them out.

The more I drank, the less I wanted personal connectedness. For that matter, the more I drank the less I wanted anyone telling me anything! I wanted control, not relationships. All of my relationships became superficial and inconvenient. Superficial by design because I was hiding so much of myself and inconvenient because I only wanted time alone to drink.

I had no idea how desperately I preferred control to connectedness.

I also had no idea that this connectedness was going to be such a big part of recovery–but it is.

The next posts will be about the specific connectivity that is a requirement for Step 3.

PS: How’s your connectivity? Is the circle just streaming around and around, waiting to load, or do you hit the button and get there right away? How did a year ago compare with today?