Category Archives: addiction

Thought for the day — 7/15/2018

Rigidity is not sobriety. Rigidity is expecting the world to conform to our wishful thinking. Sobriety is about learning to safely navigate life’s inevitable twists, turns and challenges.

Friendship In Recovery

As active addicts many of us had friends who were that in name only. Our mutual interests in acting out, trying to prolong our adolescence, and using each other for one end or another were often the sole basis of those “friendships.” How many of our using buddies tried to encourage us to continue our addictive behavior? “Hey, everyone does it!” “Oh, you’re not that bad.” “You just need to ____. You don’t have to ____!” Any of those sound familiar?

And just as tellingly, how many of our willing partners in excess stuck with us when we showed that we were serious about changing? Not too many, I’m guessing. Continue reading

Boundaries: They’re what you make them.

Boundaries: They’re what you make them.

“Good fences make good neighbors.”
~ Robert Frost

In some of our fellowships we speak of boundaries, and well we might. Good boundaries are major bricks in the foundation of emotional health and recovery. It seems, however, that many people have the idea that boundaries are like a fence we build around us that others aren’t permitted to cross.  That’s not the case; boundaries guide our behavior, not that of others.

Boundaries are essentially knowing when to say yes or no. Perhaps we were not allowed ever to say “no” to a parent. That crippled us. We felt as though expressing ourselves was against the rules, that it would place us in danger of punishment or, less obviously, by damaging a relationship that was necessary to our survival. We felt invaded and ruled. As a result we may never have learned  that it is okay to make our own healthy choices. Continue reading

Sharing: What’s your point?

When we share, do we want to understand, solve a problem,
self-justify, elicit sympathy or just hear ourselves talk?
~ Joe C. Beyond Belief 7/2

I have a friend, a great guy, easy to like, warm, friendly — the kind of guy you’d like to kick back, eat pizza and watch a ballgame with, or go for a walk and just talk.

He drives me nuts! Continue reading

Meditation Basics

Many people think meditation is emptying our minds of all thoughts. That’s not the case at all. Meditation is just focusing our minds on one thing while attempting to ignore extraneous thoughts. It takes practice, but anyone can do it because we already know how: daydreaming is a kind of meditation.

Have you ever driven along with your mind wandering and missed an exit? You were shutting out extraneous thoughts in favor of others. Maybe you should have been paying attention to your driving instead of whatever you were daydreaming about, but there it is: you were meditating. Formal meditation is simply learning to do it more specifically. Continue reading

Nine Kinds Of Denial

We talk about denial a lot, but how many of us can explain what it really is? Continue reading

Binary Thinking

It seems that addicts, especially in early recovery, are exceptionally inclined to find fault with other entities, whether people or organizations. This is especially true early on when we’re in denial about most everything and our fellowships are beginning to strip some of it away as we kick and scream. But it’s also true about the world at large, and not only those of us who admit to addictions are guilty. Psychologists believe this is partially because it enables people to feel better about themselves, but also due to the human tendency toward binary thinking: wrong v. right, good v. bad, black v. white, our tribe v. them, our warriors (teams) v. theirs, and so forth.

Binary/black and white kinds of thinking may come from upbringing by caregivers who thought that way, religious influences, our desire–perhaps need–to believe we are superior to others and counteract our own doubts, or other reasons. Actually, regardless of the reasons, we’re stifling our ability to understand others and broaden our own horizons. Continue reading