I became addicted to ME long before I crossed the line into alcoholism. I'm not sure if my preoccupation with self was the root cause of my alcoholism or not. But I am convinced that it is this very self centeredness that blocks me from the direct experience of God. I know today that the emptiness I felt for most of my life was the absence of God in my life.

I neglected my inner garden and it became over grown with the weeds of my selfishness. Toward the end the weeds looked like flowers even though the thorns stuck me repeatedly. I wanted to escape the pain, but the bonds were too strong until God tapped on my heart with a moment of clarity that led me to Alcoholics Anonymous.

I took the fourth step as it was described in the BB. I learned to name some of my weeds: anger, cynicism, impatience, judgement, perfectionism, sloth and others. Seeing it down on paper in columns and lists revealed a good dose of truth. Underneath the justifying, rationalizing and minimizing, I had done some real harm to other people. I got a good whiff of myself. It wasn't a pretty smell.

I cut back the weeds of my selfishness through 5,6,7. Many of the them grew back, but I kept naming and I kept cutting. Today my garden has fewer weeds. Although some of them still look like flowers.