My pride ruined so much for me. It ruined relationships, my self-worth, and kept me trapped in my addiction for far too long. My pride got me into a whole world of trouble. The idea of leveling my pride and admitting I had a problem was unbearable. I felt so dumb for letting drugs and alcohol get the best of me. How could I, someone so smart, fall victim to such an unsavory problem? I came from a nice family, went to college, had a respectable career. I thought I was too good for an addiction problem. In my mind, addiction just didn’t happen to a nice girl like me.
My perception of drug or alcohol addiction was the hobo living under a bridge drinking from a brown paper bag. That guy had a problem, not me! I was doing coke in the bathroom of fancy nightclubs. I was so classy— I thought. My pride kept me from admitting I did not have a handle on my life. I knew things were bad, but I held onto my pride and waited for things to get worse. They did.
Finally, God gave me the gift of desperation to knock the pride right out of me. I guess that’s why they call it “hitting rock bottom” and not “softly landing on rock bottom” From that rock bottom, I found myself in rooms of alcoholics admitting almost daily that I was an alcoholic and that alcohol had pummeled me down to nearly nothing. I couldn’t stay sober on my own. I needed a power greater than myself to restore me to sanity.
Today, having introduced myself as an Alcoholic for nearly two years, I know I need that daily reminder that I am powerless over alcohol. Now, and every sober day, I’m so grateful I was (am) able to swallow my pride and get the help I needed. When I finally put my pride aside, I started being able to show my real self with all my flaws. I had never done that before and, at first, it scared the crap out of me. However, I was surprised by how well people responded to the real me and by the fact that most people were experiencing similar feelings as me. In recovery, I had finally found a place where people openly admitted that they weren’t perfect and that they never would be. But, they also gave me hope that I could make progress towards the person I wanted to become.
In other words, pride is a problem when it is in excess, but when used correctly, pride can be much closer to “proud”. When pride becomes proud, I know I am on the right track. When I’m of service to others, I feel proud not prideful. When I do the next right thing, I feel proud not prideful. I would much rather be filled with proud than pride and my recovery has given me something to truly be proud of. I try to no longer rank my accomplishments by how well I make myself look, but in how I can better serve humankind as a whole. I now look for what I can add to other people’s lives instead of just my own. I’ve learned in my sobriety that no one is “too good” for addiction. It can happen to anyone and it happened to me.
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