I never admitted to being a control-freak. In fact, I had pretty much deluded myself into thinking that everything and everybody else was in control of my life, and that I was just a poor, little victim.
But when, after getting sober, my victimhood was stripped away, layer by layer, and I saw what lay underneath, I realized that I had a lot to learn regarding the fine art of "letting go, and letting God."
The Almighty (I) had done a royal job of screwing up my life. My 12-Step sponsor kept telling me that I had to "take the action and let go of the outcome" and that "an expectation is just a premeditated resentment."
Eventually, I began to get the idea. I can't control anything or anybody. The only thing I have even the remotest chance of "controlling" (if you want to call it that) is how I REACT to things.
And, truth be told, up until 1998 I hadn't done a very good job of controlling how I reacted to anything. In fact, I mostly just drank as a reaction to everything. Good, bad or indifferent. If I got a new job, I drank. If I got a big raise, I drank. If I was diagnosed with a heart condition, I drank. If it was Tuesday, I drank.
But now I couldn't numb myself to my own reactions. I had to face those feelings and walk through them. Concurrently, I had to learn how to manage my expectations. I had to learn what was "reasonable" and "realistic", and not build up fanciful, fantastic ideas of how things should be, only to be disappointed to the point of drinking when things didn't turn out that way at all.
I'm talking about all this because tomorrow is my date with Mr. X. In the old, evil, drinking times, I would've spent the whole week building up a set of fanciful expectations about this. I would've pre-ordained the outcome. I would've projected so far ahead that I would be practically envisioning our inevitable breakup in, oh say, 20 years.
And I would've been planning and rehearsing every move I'd make and every word I'd utter during our dinner. I would've done whatever I possibly could to manipulate and control the situation until I had stolen his heart. Because the Almighty (I) "knew what was best" for both of us.
This is not easy stuff for me to admit and to write down in public. But I have to face these things about myself if I want to have any hope of not doing them again.
I've been sober for 8 and a half years now. And I can honestly say that even though I'm still not the man I want to be, I thank God every single day that I'm no longer the man I was.