I remember the first time I heard the slogan take the cotton out of my ears and put it in my mouth. I had no clue as to what it meant and therefore I couldn’t understand how that was going to help me to stay clean. I didn’t have any cotton in my ears and I surely wasn’t going to put any in my mouth. I used to look at a lot of the slogans that way. I would only think literally and couldn’t see the bigger picture.

The longer I stayed the better my understanding of the slogans and literature became. With the help of more experienced members. I started to be able to apply certain things to my life and my process became just that much easier. I developed an open mindedness towards the application of honesty and had the willingness to try something new.

Listening was difficult for this addict because I always thought that I knew everything. I was smarter than you and there was nothing that I could learn from you. So naturally when people talked I payed very little attention. I barely listened to what you were saying and always wanted to be heard. I cut people off when they were speaking and was arrogant and quite obnoxious at times.
(I realize this today).

I came into recovery with that same know it all attitude. I would pick and choose who I spoke to and even then wouldn’t take the suggestions and always wanted to tell the helper how to help me. I did what I wanted to do even when advised against it and I couldn’t understand why I could not stay clean. I blamed every one and every thing except myself for my relapses and even then still wouldn’t listen. In my mind the program worked it just didn’t work for me.

Needless to say I caused my process to be a lot harder than it needed to be. All I had to do was listen so I could learn how to stay clean. All I had to do was take the cotton out of my ears and put it in my mouth. Stop talking long enough to hear what people were saying. Stop acting like I knew everything and accept the help being offered to me. Accept it and not try to tell them how they should help me. Stop running off my own program. You know the one that hadn’t worked since day one, but I kept using the playbook anyway. Stop for a minute and listen.

Today by the grace of a higher power I have gotten a lot better. I’m not saying that I am cured of it. No way. I am open to listen to others and actually take a look at what they are saying. I’m not as quick to dismiss people today. I am willing to try new things. Lol
(Sometimes with a little convincing).
I have learned that my way doesn’t work. My way is what got me all those years of pain, misery and suffering. My way is the long difficult way. I am not above, better than or smarter than you and I can actually learn from anyone no matter if they are new or old.

If I just learn to listen , when I listen I might just learn something.


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