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At 3:15 a.m., I awoke with this dream:

It is summer, a Sunday afternoon. I’m excited. With a friend, I drive out to Glen Echo Country Club in Normandy, Missouri. It’s been decades since I was last there. I look forward to swimming in the blue and white tile pool surround by towering oaks, manicured lawns. We pull into the empty parking lot and hurry around to the back of the clubhouse. Then, stop in our tracks, appalled. Where the pool was now gapes a monstrous hole, filled with fetid waters that belch, then spew streams high into the air. No one is around.

 This corrective dream reveals old issues, all Step-worked but still entrenched within my psyche: entitlement and expectations and bogus watering holes.

Glen Echo Country Club, still an elite setting for golf, dining, weddings and receptions were even more so when I was growing up. Dad’s membership afforded me summers lounging around the pool, in pursuit of the impeccable coat of tan, despite fair skin. Within this setting staffed by waiters and maids, I lapped up entitlement as everyone else did. Only when I joined AA did I see its prominence among the many faces of pride. In no way could I be in relationships, even with Higher Power. So puffed up, I was playing god—and, at times, I still am…

And expectations—in the dream, I expected the swimming pool to be unchanged from the time I had known it, there being no need to check it out. Excitement, another red flag, skewed my judgment. Only in recovery did I unmask this disorder, another manifestation of pride/control, still alive and flourishing in my shadowy depths.

And the bogus watering holes—In the dream, fetid waters gave me considerable pause, its filth evoking shudders, its secretiveness horrifying. Despite decades of honing discernment skills, I can still be hoodwinked by evil within gossamer disguises, or so the dream suggests, by my trip to Glen Echo. I had no business there. Only Higher Power can cleanse such lifelong disorders within my psyche.

With the Psalmist, I plead, Create, O God, a clean heart within me. (51:10).



I did not like what I saw in the bathroom mirror: slight swelling in my left cheek. I looked again, poked my finger into the spongy mass—the beginnings of moonface, no doubt about it, caused by prolonged steroid usage. I had seen this disfigurement in patients I used to work with. Other than teenage blemishes that were diet related, my oval face still appeared youthful. I worked hard to keep it that way.

Yet for decades, the leech of emotional pain had engorged my rheumatoid arthritis and split me from my body. Only approving smiles in mirrors or in reflecting doors verified my existence. Camera shots also affirmed this existence, enlivening my symmetrical body dressed to the nines. Others said “I was drop-dead gorgeous,” but I did not believe them.

Alarm led me, unawares, into the fix-it mode: I must preserve my face from further distortion. I went to work. Research showed that moonface could be reduced or eliminated if the dose were adjusted. Short of breath, my finger messed keying the number to the hospice nurse. “Yes, Liz, you can try the one-half of one milligram of the Dexamethasone. See if that makes a difference.”

It did not. Ever so slowly, I woke to the madness of preferring a comely face to breathing—all the more insane because of my homebound status. I was the only one who fretted, not my visitors. Such experience showed the entrenchment of my pride that had whipped me into days of unmanageability.

It was back to my CPA sponsor and Steps II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII. Again, the Flusher swirled out my crap and restored my breath for the essential, one day at a time.



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