Thursday, January 25, 2007

"Everyone but me is an idiot!"

I don't know about you, but I suffer from that unique alcoholic thinking that "Everyone but me is an idiot!" I think I know it all, know what's best, often think a Twelve-Step program is the only way to get clean and sober, think other people, if they would just listen to me, would be much happier, the list goes on and on and on. I will say this in my defense: This defect has slowly reduced itself over the years of my recovery. Unfortunately, it still rears its ugly head early and often.

Last night in class was the perfect example. I was lucky enough, after I got clean, to earn a scholarship to one of the few remaining women's only colleges in America, Mills, in Oakland, California. I studied Communications and minored in Sociology. I'm now attending another school for my graduate degree in Sociology. Unfortunately, after going to Mills, which had superb instructors and rigorous standards, the masters' classes I'm taking are almost laughable.

The texts we're using we would have used at the 200 level at the most; the instructors can't keep control of the classroom or are so impressed with themselves they go on for twenty minutes about arcane areas of their research, which is not in Sociology, and most of the students spend class time rolling their eyes and talking to their neighbors about God knows what (mostly the bad professors, from what I overhear).

The question the professor asked last night was if there was a homeless problem in our city. I've been to the Salvation Army on many occasions; I volunteered there when I was recovering from my surgery. There is rarely a night that the place isn't stuffed to overflowing. Yes, there's a homeless problem in our fair city, I'd say.

One student went on for ten minutes about homeless people "working the system." Yes, I admit, some do, I've seen my share. I've seen my share of people "on disability" in the program who are totally capable of earning big money under the table while on disability and then brag about working an "honest program." But is someone who is mentally ill and can't keep a roof over his or her or their children's head or a single parent with five kids stuffed in one room at the Army "working the system"?

What about victims of domestic violence, as this student said, got into a little "pushing match." Domestic violence often starts with a little "pushing match," and if it's not nipped in the bud by an ability of the non-pushing partner to set appropriate boundaries, or in some cases by police intervention, it can escalate into a "big" pushing match, which culminates in someone getting hurt or killed.

When things get tense, I'm always the one who makes a joke. I blame it on being the youngest child in a household with a lot of tension. After this woman, who I really like, incidentally, went on her tirade, I raised my hand and asked the professor, who had let the thing spiral totally out of control, if her opinion was an example of "the functionalist perspective," the sociological perspective that theorizes that each social problem serves a societal interest. He just smiled.

When the class ended, I beat feet out of class to attend a meeting, where the topic wound around to "resentments." What came up for me was the fact that I still have resentments against many institutions, and this type of class brings them up and puts them in my face with a mighty blast.

I have another job interview today. I did send out a mailing the other day for my copywriting services and have had two replies, so that's good. God has some plan, I'm sure. I just wish He'd hurry up!
I went to a drugstore today and as I was checking out, I heard the clerk say to someone who asked how she was, "I'm blessed." I asked her if that helped her. She smiled and talked for a few minutes about our need to be aware of our Higher Power not just when things are bad or we're in trouble, but to give thanks and dialogue with our God more frequently. It was a nice exchange and it really made me think "Am I spending enough time in prayer and meditation?" My former sponsor's sponsor would say to her "God is the answer; not what was the question?" when she'd call her in times of trouble.

Have a good day and remember to list your institutional resentments (medical establishments, police, schools, etc.) in any Fourth Step. See how much it's helped me?


Anonymous said...

Those institutional resentments were/are huge,HUGE for me, my dawg. They are definitely on my 4th -- now if I could only get myself to do my 5th.....uugghh! Anyway....
I think I would've gone off on that person talking shit about homelessness and then domestic abuse. I have seen my share of N.A. members who are truly homeless and they certainly weren't working any f-ing system that I could see. Working what -- to get a cot and a bad meal? That doesn't even make any fricking sense to me.
Also, when I was early in my career as an addiction counselor, I had a client that "accidentally" murdered his partner through "just a little pushing match." SO THERE! I am right and the rest of the world are idiots. Well, except you, of course :)
Peace and thanks for the post,

Woof said...

There is that old Quaker saying we should remember. "My friend me thinks the whole world has gone crazy except for me and thee and sometime I wonder about thee"

Meg Moran said...

and me I hope.

I have witnessed my share of this ignorant chatter myself...usually it's from people who have not "been there" themselves. It would seem cruel to wish dire circumstances on them, but we do learn from our suffering. I often have to remind myself that my painful past has opened my heart in ways that many will never experience. This is one of the gifts I guess. Their ignorance may be bliss..but I wouldn't trade it for my reality.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

i don't think it's weird to get annoyed by iirritating comments. I think it's pretty normal.Theres one of those in every class! Part of learning how to teach people is being tactful and diplomatic when students say silly things. I'm sure. Glad to know someone else is suffering with endless study! I sympathise! I'm doing classes too and some dipstick says something pretty embarrasing in every one. I dont mind so much except when I've had very little sleep and a long work day. Its embarrasing mor ethan anything, but thats the thing with learnign something new, that you do end up sounding like you really don't know what you're talking about from time to time. oh well..

therapydoc said...

Thanks, you're the best, dogs. I'm linking all of your posts on the carnival. They're fabulous. You're fabulous.

I love all you people. Have I told you?