Thinking Of Ourselves, For Ourselves

“Every man is a bit player in every drama but his own.”  ~ Moss Hart

The desire to control what others think of us is distracting. We concentrate on what we imagine that they think,  try to improve on that,  and forget who we really are.

But what others think is none of our business,  and trying to control it is fruitless. The life that we really lead is what determines who we are to others; the important thing is what we think of ourselves. Giving up our grand role in our own story,  looking within,  and living a mindful life is the way to resolve the question,  “Who am I.”

Three Things That All Addictions Have In Common

We like to say that an addiction is something that we keep on doing even though it causes us problems. That is certainly the case in many instances, but there is rather more to it than that.

All addictions have three things in common that separate them from other behaviors. These are most noticeable in behavioral addictions such as eating, anorexia, shopping, gambling, sex, and thrill-seeking – – among others – – because they are not masked by the more obvious complications of chemical addiction such as drug-seeking, intoxication, overdose and so forth. Nonetheless, they are common to those as well. Continue reading

Oh For God’s Sake, Lighten Up!

Grumpy-CatSmallMost of us addicts became isolated from others, unable to relate to them in healthy ways. We either tried too hard, or not hard enough. When we found ourselves failing to fit in, we turned to “in groups” who thought like we did. Those may have been genuine efforts to find a place where we belonged, but since they were nearly always based on some form of addiction — drinking, drugging, gambling and so forth — we were associating with other wounded souls who were grasping but not able to hold onto that same feeling of belonging. Our isolation continued, even in a crowd.

The value of humor in relieving the tension of situations and increasing the enjoyment of life has been recorded by poets, playwrights and others for thousands of years. Humor brings people closer, cements social bonds (people who laugh at the same things we do are accepted, others are kept at arm’s length), and defuses tense moments.
Continue reading

Being Vulnerable

shameOne of the main reasons we have problems in early recovery is our inability to be open and honest with others. Most of us have spent a good part of our lives hiding one truth or another from the people around us. Telling the truth about our addictive behavior would endanger it, and we protect our addictions with everything we’ve got. We convince ourselves that no one knows what’s going on (wrong, in most cases) and that as long as we can keep them in the dark about our activities we can keep using and be okay.

But there’s another, deeper reason why most of us kept secrets: Continue reading

Perdue Pharma – Premier Pushers

A pernicious distinction of the first decade of the 21st century was the rise in painki ller abuse, which ultimately led to a catastrophic increase in addicts, fatal overdoses, and blighted communities. But the story of the painkiller epidemic can really be reduced to the story of one powerful, highly addictive drug and its small but ruthlessly enterprising manufacturer.

Human Being, or Human Doing?

In addiction we were always busy.   We were acting out,  recovering from acting out,  waiting for the next chance to use,  preparing to act out,  using,  etc.


Life was hectic as we tried to keep all the balls in the air.   Then we’d drop them and things got even worse as we tried to salvage the situation while at the same time protecting our addictions.    Some of us became so accustomed to this stressful cycle that we became chaos junkies,  unable to relax and even notice the roses – –  let alone smell them.  If we were codependents, the pressure was just as great or greater,  since our addicts were our drugs,  and they weren’t even fun! .

For people with backgrounds like that,  recovery can be boring.   Our lives slow down,  and unaccustomed to having time on our hands,  we become uneasy.   We get into the “making up for lost time”  mode,  trying to get our lives back to “normal”  when we haven’t yet even begun to learn the skills we need in order to do so.  We’re living the same life,  just without our drug.  We’re like the codependent cowboy,  who jumped on his horse and rode off in all directions.

This is not getting over the madness!   It’s not what recovery is about.   We need to learn to slow down; to consciously embrace our down time and use it to learn how to relax.   The Serenity Prayer is a big help,  as are readings,  Journaling and meditation.  Perhaps the biggest factor is giving ourselves permission to take things a little bit slow,  a little bit easy.

Connecting with people in the program and having fun with them is an invaluable tool,  as well.  If we get phone numbers (and use them),  go for coffee after meetings, and get to know our fellows in recovery,  it won’t take long before we’re invited to take part in their lives.   These are people who have already learned how to slow down and have fun.   We can let them be our guides on this new journey.

And we can become humans being,  not just humans doing.