Ego, sometimes I love the word and sometimes I hate the word. As a recovering alcoholic and cocaine addict thriving, not just surviving HIV/AIDS for over 21 years with bipolar disorder/depression and being married to my husband Cruz for over 17 years – my ego can be a HORRIBLE double edge sword.
At first glance when you meet me, you might think – wow he has it together. You might be right on that particular day or you could be wrong because as a person in recovery with several chronic conditions, I have learned to wear an incredible false exterior mask. While I am proud of who I am in all of my many facets, sometimes I also hate myself, that is when my anti-ego is not in check.
I am strong person with a very strong Catholic faith, which has faltered many times over the years because of my alcoholism and addiction, that knows that he is loved by his husband and family, my family and numerous friends that I have had for years. I have been told that I am an excellent, powerful lector during mass along with having a strong voice in our 8am choir. I have also been told that I am an excellent cook. While all of these things are great, I don’t take compliments well because I don’t feel I deserve them. Often my comedic barrier pops out when I receive compliments.
I am my own worst enemy when it comes to my ego. I received my B.A. in Communication in December 2007 and two days after the ceremony 12/17/2007 I began working full time for the University of Texas at San Antonio. I remained at the University is two different roles until August 2013 when I caused me to be fired because of my EGO and my alcoholism and cocaine addiction. During my last two years, until the last few months, I was very much so a functioning alcoholic/addict. Mind you during this time I also earned a M.A. in Communication, a lot of the work was done while I was drinking and using.
During my six years I built a lot of important relationships both internally and externally. I served on several committees tasked the betterment of the university. I attended many meetings with the president of the university and his leadership. I was damn good at my job. That was until my ego got the best of me and I began to believe I was untouchable. Big mistake, huge. So yes, I was fired.
For two and a half years I applied to 46 postings and had 9 interviews with my alma mater and beloved UTSA. This was all done as I working on my recovery and had almost 11/2 years sober. My family and friends all said why, you will never get hired back. I proved them wrong. On 7/1/2015 I returned to the University of Texas at San Antonio with the Institute for P-20 Initiatives. When I returned, it was as if I had never left. The relationships that I had built and nurtured previously with other departments, divisions and external relationships picked up where they left off. I again was asked to join those same committees. I was known and loved by my colleagues. yes, again I was damn good at my job and my superiors were impressed by how easily I could take a very bad situation and correct it with ease because of my nurtured relationships. Here my bold ego is talking.
Then life happened and my ego kept telling me I was great and I untouchable and that hey, one drink won’t hurt you. from January 4, 2016 to May 27, 2016 Cruz and I lost five of our 10 dogs Tippy, Buddy, Fluffy, Minnie (Doodle) and Patty due to many different reasons. Then on September 14th 2016 I turned 50. The Sunday before I had a FANTABULOUS 50th birthday party with all of my family in from the Houston area and loads of friends. On my birthday proper I took a half day with no plans. My disease kicked in and I sabotaged 2 1/2 years of sobriety. I hit all my haunts and did all the things I used to do. In the end, this carried on through to early January with my being out on leave through January and then being able to resign on 2/16/2017.
It has been rough haul since, but one this is for certain – my EGO is in check and will remain so with the help of my Higher Power, whom I call God!!
This is what is in “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by!