At 5:30 A.M., I awoke with this dream:

The pastor of a church invited representatives from neighboring ones to plan for a weekend seminar. The nod from mine found me seated around a conference table with others as we listened for our responsibilities. Toward the end of the meeting, I was asked to track the number of cups of coffee consumed by the participants. To myself, I muttered, what a harebrained idea. I refused to do it, but told no one. I was expecting something showier than that.

The dream gave me pause as it reflected an old attitude when volunteering for church duties. No matter my chronic exhaustion, I was desperate for attention. What was in it for me? Would I attract a significant other—Someone to trust? How careful I was to mask my rage, even from myself—all the while, hobbling about on arthritic knees, at times, stooped and supported by my cane.

A deeper look at the dream, however, reveals habits ingrained since childhood: my refusal to tend to little things and my passive aggressiveness. Schooled in perfectionism, I dreaded making mistakes; there were consequences. So I hid out, blended within the behavior of others, all the while, my psyche shriveling into the caricature of myself. In my own eyes, I could do no wrong.

However, the practice of rigorous honesty in Twelve-Step recovery has made inroads into my shadow, for which I’m grateful. This only began in 1991 and is ongoing.

More than ever, I rely upon the daily grace operative in my psyche and which will eventually lead me home. How I long for that.

In the meantime, I continue practicing…