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No Raffle Tickets For Me!

At an OA anniversary meeting several months ago, a good friend of mine asked me if I wanted to go up and buy a couple raffle tickets with her.  I casually blurted-out my standard line, “I don’t buy raffle tickets,” and didn’t think anything of it.  I noticed that she wasn’t getting up to buy hers, so I looked over at her, only to find that she was doubled-over in silent laughter.  “What?!” I asked.  “HOW long have I known you?” she managed between gasps for air.  (The answer to that question is at LEAST 30 years!)  “What type of strange, new character issue is this, now?!”  (Spoken the way only a true friend can!)  That’s when I proceeded to tell her my convoluted theory on the subject…

The whole reason behind why I never buy raffle tickets (even to this day, unless I buy one and give it to someone else) has to do with my fear of being the center of attention.  You would think that as a true addict (a.k.a., the epitome of “self-will run riot”), I would LOVE to buy raffle tickets, under the false presumption that I am sure to win, since, after all, I am The Center Of The Universe.  However, the longer I am in program, the more fascinated I am by the strange “varieties” that are out there with respect to the make-up of the addict mind.

In general, I see two major categories of addicts.  You have your “arrogant addicts,” and then you have your “doormat addicts.”  But when you look at a specific addict, I believe that he or she falls somewhere between these two extremes on a continuum.  For the real irony is that BOTH groups are self-centered, varying in degree only.  The way I see it, the first group is “positively” self-absorbed while the second one is “negatively” self-absorbed.  Before this time around in program, I would have told you that I was neither of these.  Since I had no self-esteem what-so-ever, I “knew” that self-centeredness was not going to show-up on my character defect list.

WRONG!

“Stunned” is a mild way of expressing how I felt when I found self-centeredness infiltrating most (if not all) of the resentments on my 4th Step inventory.  But when I took a long, hard look at myself and got really honest about my inner-most thoughts and motives, I had to admit that even in the midst of my self-hatred and my delusions of victimization, I was still focusing on myself!  I would make EVERYthing about me!  I may have done that in negative, self-judging, and self-pitying ways, but everything that happened around me always had ME and MY FEELINGS at their core!  So it is only now that I have come to understand that, even with some degree of recovery to my credit, I am just your typical addict who vacillates between “positive” and “negative” self-absorbtion, depending upon the circumstances.

So back to raffle tickets…  In this particular case, both types of addicts would assume they are going to win.  (The idea that someone ELSE might win doesn’t even enter our minds!)  But the “positive” addicts see winning as a good thing that they deserve, while the “negative” addicts see winning as a bad thing meant to make them look foolish.  So in the end, when it comes to raffle tickets, I am definitely a “negative” addict.

A few minutes after buying her raffle tickets, my friend won a prize.

“See?”  I said.  “Had I gone up there with you to buy a ticket, that would have been ME having to go up there!”

“The HORROR!” my friend laughed as she happily dove into her basket of trinkets.

 

May 10, 2012 This post was written by Categories: My Battle With Character Defects Tagged with:
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