Thursday, August 20, 2009


Something on Scott W.'s blog from several months ago sent me back to a time in my life that I may not have thought about since my 2nd or 3rd time doing a 4th step - over 20 years ago...

When I was a kid in Junior High school (now THAT was over 45 years ago), I'd been watching Man from U.N.C.L.E. for a number of years and was just so incredibly taken by the coolness of the characters and the whole way they could be anonymous heroes in the world that I created a whole fantasy world wherein (of course) I was a (the?) key agent in a secret, powerful, international organization.

While the whole of my sleepy, small town in Colorado went about it's business, I would be picked up by silent jets in the middle of the night to go off to lead this exciting life of dangerous missions and important espionage. It was a great fantasy that crossed over into real life when I told my best friend some things about my "true" identity. I can almost still see the unbelief in his face as I tried to convince him what I was really about.

Looking back on it rationally now, I was about 2+ years younger than my classmates. They'd probably had and grown out of this stuff earlier. Anyway, we made a half-hearted attempt at doing some "missions" (usual stuff involving cherry bombs and home made bombs and churches and schools at night - I would probably have been quickly found and expelled today...) but at some level I still believed in my own fantasy until it just sort of passed. (Girls? Drinking?)

...until I was working on that 4th step...

I can remember feeling so embarrassed for myself that I thought I could die. I was such a nerdy dweeb. I mean, we're talking world class nerdy dweeb.

A few years ago, my step-daughter fell in love with the movie Napoleon Dynamite. She's watched it a number of times when I've been around - she particularly wanted her son (our g'son) to watch it when he went to high school. I've tried to watch it several times and must leave the room. It's just too painful. I even think I looked (gawd - look!) like him.

Anyway, it's one of the great things about growing older in sobriety (or older any way...). I've gotten over this stuff. All that embarrassment I felt for who I was (O.K. - the UNCLE fantasy was just the beginning of a weird life) is past. I've made amends. It just doesn't matter any more. I was a dweeb. Sometimes I'm still a dweeb. But, I have found the beauty of God in many people where I would not expect it.

I'm confident it must be in me as well.

Napoleon Solo, Illya Kuryakin and, Angelique rule...

Vote for Pedro.


Susan M DeAngelis said...

I did vote for Pedro!

Ah yes, the middle school years. As a high school teacher, I can tell you things haven't changed much.

But I do know what you mean, about being more comfortable. I'm not totally there yet. Maybe, when I get the courage to go back to face to face meetings, I will consider doing another 4th.

Steve E. said...

courage to change the things I can--and wisdom to know the difference? That's the toughie, that wisdom thing.

But hey, back to your blog, Ed...I was embarrassed about myself (a form of Pride?) from age 3 to 73. But drinking took the edge off that, even rounded out the corners. then, along came AA, or me? and I was again reminded about those horrors of growing.

Syd said...

I guess that I was a mess in high school. I had friends but I devoted most of my time to studying. I wanted to be cool but didn't want to follow the pack with drinking and drugging. My dream was to be a scientist. I guess that I lived that dream.

Carol said...

Ilya Kuryakin was HOT.

Mary Christine said...

I love Napoleon Dynamite! Gosh!