Wednesday, September 24, 2008

an other amend

I owe my boss an amends. It's two days old now. I expressed anger and frustration at him, of him, at a meeting. As I sit here, typing this, hoping that in writing about it, my heart will soften a bit, I can justify myself. I was right to be angry.

I came to work, Monday morning, having not slept well the night before. I was full of fear over my child, wondering if this would ever resolve itself, not trusting God. My head was hurting. (Man, can I see the "poor me" in that description.) Our plant has shut down one production line for a month and my boss is trying to justify the company position that we have to lay off 1/5 of the maintenance crew because 5% of our equipment is shut down. I can never see how 5% can equal 20% but evidently we will put our mill as risk if we don't lay off all the workers. I can't stand corporate gobbly de goop. I wish my boss wouldn't expect us to believe it. What started as a conversation to show that we had layed off too many workers and wouldn't be able to protect our remaining assets became me listening sullingly to BS. (Here I am, getting mad again.)

I know that an angry approach with my boss never works. His hackles get up and you get to become his project. When I was drinking, I seemed to pick fights with my boss and have been trying to stop that behaviour. (I do have a healthy fear of being fired.) So, I went back to my office, documented my concerns, returned to his office and in a normal tone of voice, once again shared my concerns, with documentation to support me. He took it away, went to some meetings where my concerns were reviewed and I managed to get one of my workers back. Working within the system, as frustrating as it is for me, does work. I need to remind myself that I do have a voice, and if expressed civily, I can make sense.

However, I still haven't apologized for my angry out burst. Doesn't help when other supervisors keep telling me I did well.

On page 62 from the big book I read:

Selfishness - self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.

So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God makes that possible. And there often seems no way of entirely getting rid of self without His aid. Many of us had moral and philosophical convictions galore, but we could not live up to them even though we would have liked to. Neither could we reduce our self-centeredness much by wishing or trying on our own power. We had to have God's help.

I have turned my life and will over to God's care. Becoming angrry over something that I am powerless over is futile and ultimatily harms me. I am powerless over my addicted child. I believe that my frustations over that issue can spill over into other areas of my life. Using anger so I can feel fearless is self defeating.

I pray that my life becomes God's will, not mine. I have an amends to make.

Photo credit: shoothead


Laura said...

Hi Hank,

Our lives, our character defects are a process that is worked on step by step. Sometimes I get so angry with myself for being the same old creature, when I've been made a new creature through Christ.

Pray before, during and after and you will say the right words and make the amends you need.

Thank you for helping me work my steps too, vicariously!

Anonymous said...

To be quite honestly, I don't think you were acting completely selfishly. You were in fact arguing to save other people's jobs! You'll find the strength to make your ammends. There is no specific time requirement with that. It's when it is right.


Good luck.
If I let my mind work on stuff like you describe, I get completely screwed up - I owe an amends, I don't, it's your fault, it's mine, etc. etc.
In the end, if there is ANYTHING I owe an amends for whether the other person also does or not, I go ahead and make my amends because I learned to do so in AA. I was taught that resentments are the number one offender for alcoholics and they hurt no one but me. I can't afford to carry them. I'm tired of hurting myself. I spent a lifetime doing that - no more.

Anonymous said...

You've recognized to let go of the anger. :0) You can't help how you feel. You CAN help how you choose to react. It takes a huge amount of courage to make amends, especially when the situation seems justifiable. I'll be thinking of you and praying for you. God will give you the words to say when the time is right.

Lou said...

Wow, those amends are tough. I think you did good!

AlkySeltzer said...

Of course, H., you'll do the "sorry" thing when and as you see fit. What I learned in AA is that Amend mean CHANGE (see Amendment!) and that's usuallt what I try to let the other party realize, that I am trying to change, etc. But you know all that!

I only know this stuff, because I have often to make those quicky amends, like to get them done before bed time, that way I sleep better. It's called Step 10, BTW!

Thanks for being the first commentor on my blog tonight. I'd sure like to meet you, do you live in FL?

Anonymous said...

I have always been taught that I should talk to my sponsor before making an amends. If you are still angry, you may need to do an inventory on it first.(I know 100% my sponsor would suggest that) Also, anytime I ever apologized to anyone at work since I got sober, for shooting off my big fat mouth, it has left them in utter disbelief!!! Make it short and sweet and move on!

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, one more thing. An amends means that you are sorry, and you are, or have changed the behavior.(therefore amending it) An apology is saying sorry I did that. Two completley different ball games.