adapted from page 47 of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous
We thought “conditions” incited our anger, and when we tried to correct these conditions and found that we couldn’t to our entire satisfaction, our anger went out of hand and we became rageaholics. It never occurred to us that we needed to change ourselves to meet conditions, whatever they were.
But in RA we slowly learned that something had to be done about our vengeful resentments, self-pity, and unwarranted pride. We had to see that every time we played the big shot, we turned people against us. We had to see that when we harbored grudges and planned revenge for such defeats, we were really beating ourselves with the club of anger we had intended to use on others. We learned that if we were seriously disturbed, our first need was to quiet that disturbance, regardless of who or what we thought caused it.
To see how erratic emotions victimized us often took a long time. We could perceive them quickly in others, but only slowly in ourselves. First of all, we had to admit that we had many of these defects, even though such disclosures were painful and humiliating. Where other people were concerned, we had to drop the word “blame” from our speech and thought. This required great willingness even to begin. But once over the first two or three high hurdles, the course began to look easier. For we started to get perspective on ourselves, which is another way of saying that we were gaining in humility.