At 6s and 7s

At a recent AA meeting we were discussing steps 6 and 7. (6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.) The longer I’ve been clean and sober the more important these two steps have been for my continuing spiritual and emotional progress. Though some may feel my progress has been rather slow, or even negligible, it has certainly continued.

As step 6 was being read I had a small realization – a spiritual awakening to sorts – that when I came into recovery I had no character! What I had was the facade of a personality – a personality constructed by prevailing cultural restrictions of acceptability. I was formed by reaction or by compliance not by any sort of actual deep thought process of my own. Right or wrong were dictated by popular vote not because I felt something was right or wrong. I accepted many things without questioning them.

“Being queer was sick – I was queer therefore I am sick.” I accepted that feeling that it wasn’t something I could change but had to live with in secret. Not questioning that theory was the ‘defect of character’ I had to address in recovery not the fact that I was queer. This is how the steps have worked me – layer by layer – like an archaeological dig – dusting the surface is a good start but eventually one has to dig deeper. That’s were the ‘humbly’ comes in.

Often there is a reservation about the religious language in these – God, Him – why would one expect a doctrine that has labelled us as ‘abominations’ do anything to help us. This is a great, almost logical, way of avoiding the change these steps offer. I’m not Christian but I’m willing to let a Christian surgeon save my life. Of course if I chose to die I can use religion as a smoke screen for that decision. I choose to live.

samp03AutoCorrect Perfect

there’s always something

my eyes don’t catch everything

words lose their meaning

thanks to auto spell

I often don’t know what I’ve just said

or if what you’ve written

is what you’ve written

so I don’t feel so responsible

for those little typos

that change love to leave

that change emotionally comithtemnt

I mean commitment

to being committed for emotionally disfunction


there’s always something

that’s why I count on your eyes

to pick up what mine miss

trust me no matter how right it appears

it needs you to make more better right

I couldn’t do it without

those sharp insightful comments of yours

you find what slips between the lines

while I’m so busy

making sure those lines are straight

to your perfect heart

Chapbooks available:


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One thought on “At 6s and 7s

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