Strange that as soon as we get clean and sober, we think that the world around us has also embarked upon a wonderful transition. And magically people will understand our problems, believe in us, cast away doubt and suspicion, re-hire us, open doors for us, give us what we want or need. There may be a sense of entitlement. The reward is just around the corner. Unfortunately, reality proves to be rather different.

So many of us climb Mt. Pity Party. From our perch high above, we spend many of those first days, months, or years of our recovery being flustered, frustrated and downright pissed-off that the world is not conforming to our needs, demands, plans, desires or vision. Last time I checked, getting clean and sober did not convey superpowers or godliness. So why do we so often think and act as if it has?

The Big Book speaks to this on pages 60-61. About the actor wanting to run the whole show, knowing that if only people did just as he said, everything would work out right. This is the egocentric thinking of a child!

I write in my book about the relapse trap that our need to control really is. “Understanding that many things are beyond your control, no matter how you plan, or what you try to do, alleviates the struggle and fight for control of everything. After all, if we believe we have total control, don’t we then bear total responsibility?” And that’s the trap! Classic self-sabotage.

Remember, we have control over our actions, our responses, our emotions. That’s what we are responsible for. We do not have control over anything else. Certainly not outcomes.

So let go. It’s okay to be the actor. Remember, the director’s chair is reserved for someone or something greater than us all. Make sure you stay in the right role.