This week's "Here's To Your Health" is a continuation of Scott's story: My sponsor told me to get a job, or another sponsor. My first job in sobriety was driving a catering truck on movie sets. I should have been grateful for that job because it paid really well and had benefits—I joined the Teamsters Union. I thought the job was beneath me because I was a writer. My first customer was a producer who I once wrote for. He stuck his head under the canopy and said, "I'll have a burrito...Scott? What are you doing here? Is this your truck?" I said, "No, but the spatula is mine!" I wanted to crawl under the truck; but I was too busy to be embarrassed.
When I got home I called my sponsor and bitched him out from a distance. I said, "You wouldn't believe the bull-crap that goes with that job. I busted my butt and all they did was bitch. The cry-babies complained about the food, prices, and slow service and whined about cold food and even the way I made change. The ungrateful slobs scattered trash all over the place and I had to clean up after them.
After a brief pause my sponsor said, it sounds like you have more resentments you should write down; you need to do Step 10. Write today's resentments on a sheet of paper and come right over so we can get you back on track. It was already late and I wanted to go in bed, but he insisted. He said, "You won't be able to sleep well tonight with all of those resentments inside your head, come right over...That was the last time, I complained to him because by the time I finished my Step 10 resentments it was after midnight and I had to get up by 4:30 AM and start cooking again.
My primary resentment was against me because I had to drive a catering truck and it affected my personal relations, self esteem, pocketbook, ambition and a kick in the crotch like that affected my sex relations too. That's what the AA's call a five bagger because it affected five different parts of myself. To admit other people had wronged us was as far as most of us ever got. We've got to go farther, what poison inside me is causing these resentments. God has to tap us on the head with His magic wand before we can see our part in these deep-seated fears gnawing at our soul. I was a people-pleaser who was more concerned about how I looked than how I worked and made a living.
There's an ironclad connection between humiliation, humility and God. No humiliation, no humility and without humility there cannot be a relationship with God. My first job in sobriety provided the humiliation. The simple daily program of Alcoholics Anonymous, prayer and meditation and working with others who still suffer taught me to be humble and then a relationship began to form with a power greater than me—who did for me what I could never do for myself; stay clean and sober, work and support my family. Since I wasn't spending money on booze and dope, I began to heal financially. I eventually developed an attitude of gratitude, and was grateful for a job with union benefits and security for my family...False-pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony for alcohol and drugs; envy and sloth nearly killed me. For false pride leads to self-justification, and always spurred by conscious or unconscious fears, is the basic breeder of most human difficulties, the chief block to true progress. Pride lures us into making demands upon ourselves or upon others that cannot be met without perverting or misusing our God given instincts. When the satisfaction of our instincts for sex, security, and society becomes the sole object of our lives, then pride steps in to justify our excesses.