Motivated by Fear pg182-183
Colorful companion to my memoir The Incompetent Psychic
While trying for better behavior, I made an effort to stop viewing everyone with the initial thought, ‘how can you benefit me?’
A carefully fashioned facade that I was a fun-loving, bright, talented, adventurous artisté was peeling away like old lead paint, exposing a spongey under-layer. That under-layer gave off a miasma of acetone. That is the smell of a person whose liver can no longer process quarts of liquor flowing through the bloodstream. An overburdened liver shunts unprocessed alcohol aside as poison, which is released through the skin. By the last year of my drinking I smelled like paint thinner.
As I learned more about the physical and behavioral characteristics around late stage alcoholism, more creepy crawlies came into sharper focus. Realization, resolve and eventual restitution happens over years of just being willing to do better. Listening helps. There were certainly kinder voices saying better things, and those voices weren’t the ones in my muddled head. — From Chapter 9
By now I was up to Nine in the 12-Steps. I had seen my demons, written a full journal of resentments and looked at my participation. I was ready to make amends for all those follies, fuckups and ugly outbursts at those I blamed and injured. It was time to take responsibility for my part. Yes, I was willing, but I could still hear the old voices. Many others in recovery talked about those voices and named them, ‘The Committee’.
If I could visualize this committee in my brain, it might make it easier to laugh at them instead of fear them. Evil hates to be laughed at.
The Catholic church is pretty good at naming sin. Apparently Pope Gregory edited an earlier bible’s descriptions of eight vices into a list of seven deadly sins in the sixth century. I started there, pulled out my oil paints and set out to show their true colors in a group portrait. Going around the table of my ‘Seven Deadly Committee Members’ are: Greed, Sloth, Gluttony and Anger (who looks like my dad). Next is Cowardice. I added this yellow-bellied guy, and combined the next committee member into a sickly green Envy & Pride. I gave him a pinky ring. Last but not least… Lust. The winged pig whispers, “More!”
They regularly met in my brain and were (weirdly) all voices of men — although I’m not sure about the pig. I could hear them and now I could see them. They had to have a lot less power. My ego is really attached to some of these guys, and it wasn’t easy to fire them from the Board of Directors, but I made the effort.
When security is napping, they occasionally manage to sneak in to do a little freelance work in HR, accounting and the mail room. The process is ongoing.
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Unsigned copies can be ordered wherever books are sold.