When I first read "it's a spiritual axiom that every time I am upset, there is something wrong with me," I couldn't believe it. I read it again looking for the typo. How could this be? It just had to be your fault!
Today the beauty and truth of this simple statement has seeped into my consciousness. Today I know that what other people do or say is never the problem. It's always MY reaction to what they do or say that is the problem.
Until I can develop the quality of Emotional Sobriety, I will continue to resent people who I've found guilty of some real or imagined harm against me. Besides anger, I'll never be free of worry, self pity and depression. Thus as long as I am emotionally insecure, I can't hope to have anything like lasting serenity or peace of mind.
I'm coming to believe that I was emotionally insecure a long time before I picked up that first drink. Unknowingly I developed a whole slew of character defects ("defenses") in an attempt live comfortably with these fears and insecurities. By the time I picked up my first drink and experienced the magic that alcohol could work, I was already an emotionally mess. Of course I didn't realize there was anything wrong with me then because I had lived my fearful life so long that it felt normal to me.
I'd like to report that today I am emotionally secure, but in truth I've made only a modest beginning. I still get into fear (usually expressed as anger) and give my serenity away too quickly. But I'm much better than I was and I have hope today that continuous action on our program of recovery will yield even better results in the future.