This is something I’ve only become able to do as a result of the 12 Steps. It took an earthling (read non-addict) to get me to do it publicly, outside of my fellowship. I’m going to try it, because these women I’ve found on the internetz have got me traveling this journey of self-discovery. So here are some things I like about myself:
1. I am clean today, and I have a program. It’s not about luck, I work the steps.
2. I’m surprising myself with my grades in some of the classes I thought would be so hard for me in school. I made a 99 on my statistics exam, for heaven’s sake. So apparently, I’m book smart. (My mom always believed this wholeheartedly anyway.)
3. I am a better daughter to my mom than I used to be, which isn’t saying much. I used to be horrible. I was the one my mom lost sleep over, the one she feared would cause her to get a call in the middle of the night saying “we regret to inform you…” Today, my mom and I talk, frequently. We can stay in the same house together when I go visit her. We can just hang out and “be”, and that is awesome.
4. I am a pretty fucking good stagehand, when you look past the shoes.
5. Speaking of shoes, I can put together some pretty damned fine outfits. I’m no Stacy London, but she and Clinton Kelly taught me everything I use to make great outfits.
6. I may not let a lot of people “in”, but when I do, I will walk through hell with them and for them.
7. I am loyal to a fault once I’ve realized I love you.
8. I appreciate the now. The now is something I will never have again. Think about it this way (here I combine some unknown writer with some Wittgenstein with Russell Crowe’s line from “The Gladiator”): if we define time as the interval between two events, then he who is living in the present moment is living in eternity; which becomes truly mind-boggling when we realize that “what we do in life echoes in eternity.” That one still cooks my noodle, yet it makes me appreciate the now even more.
9. Back to the shoes, and the business of being a stagehand: I can lay out a concert stage in 5” heels.
10. I can hear the noise beneath the sound, which is really good when I’m out in public or in some other noisy environment. It means that I can hear the phone even though nobody else knows it’s ringing.
11. I can hear the compression in mp3 audio.
12. I am good with words. I can put together words really well. This comes in handy when I am having to write an English paper that “analyzes” some piece of literature or other. It means I can make up some bullshit, make it sound really good, then find passages from the piece to back up my claim and also find others that agree with me to cite as proof that I’m right.
13. I may be good with words on paper, but I understand the power of them in real life. I’m careful when I’m telling somebody something they need to hear, because honesty without compassion is cruelty.
14. I’m open to new hearing/seeing new things, and I’m willing to try them. Honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness are the foundations of 12-step recovery, and they serve me well in my everyday life.
15. I am not lazy. This does not mean that I don’t occasionally have a lazy day. It does mean that I am not afraid to actually do physical work.
16. I’m pretty strong for such a small woman. OK, so I’m not that small at 5’7” and 135 pounds, but I’m pretty strong for my size. My strength is not only physical, it is mental, emotional, and spiritual too. I did not survive all those years of the hell of active addiction by being weak in any way. I did not find recovery and a new life by being weak in any of those areas, either.
17. I am a survivor. I survived losing my father when I was 14, I survived addiction, and I survive life on life’s terms.
18. I am kind to dogs, cats, and small children—even though I never wanted children of my own.
19. I make a pretty mean Italian red sauce. I just don’t do it often because I am allergic to tomatoes.
20. I understand the value of letting people know they are appreciated and loved.