Some Thoughts About Dealing With Crisis

Five years ago, almost to the minute when I’m writing this, I had a life-changing experience. It doesn’t matter what it was, but trust me, it was one of those moments that you never forget. Continue reading “Some Thoughts About Dealing With Crisis”

Expectations, or How To Overcome “The Shoulds” And Have A Happier Life

“Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

“Resentments are like taking poison and
waiting for the other person to die.”

Program wisdom contains lots of annoying clichés. The reason they sound so hackneyed and are so often repeated is that they are true. False aphorisms abound, but most of those in the recovery community have survived because of the old “test of time.” These two are among them.

There are “good” and “bad” expectations (I prefer “skillful” and “unskillful”, but for the purpose of establishing a binary distinction here, either will do). The difference is in communication and intent. Continue reading “Expectations, or How To Overcome “The Shoulds” And Have A Happier Life”

Confirmation Bias

We unconsciously seek and evaluate information that supports our own ideas. This is called confirmation bias. For example, we tend to look for news from sources that lean in our direction politically. Thus, what we see and hear confirms our own belief system. We are (usually) either not exposed to opposing views that might give us a more balanced understanding of the issues, or we choose to discount them. It has been shown through dozens of studies that reason bows to belief in virtually all cases. This is most noticeably true in the cases of politics and religion, but confirmation biases exist in every area where a position and/or opinion needs support.  This leads to a worldview that supports the idea of them and us. “They” are so messed up! “We,” on the other hand, are the souls of ethical behavior and correct thinking. Continue reading “Confirmation Bias”

Father Joe on “outside help”

Father Joe Martin (1924-2009)

 

“If I leave this twelve step meeting and get hit by a bus, don’t take me to a twelve step meeting–take me to a hospital.”
~ Father Joe Martin

Own It!

We addicts and codependents play a lot of little mind tricks on ourselves to keep from owning our issues and feelings completely. We say things like:

My addict is down at the foot of the bed doing push ups, just waiting for me to get careless. [Reality: there’s no “my addict”; there’s just me. ]

My mind would kill me if it didn’t need the transportation. [Reality: this is getting a little closer, but it’s still personifying my issues as something outside the real me.]

I have some anger about that. [Reality: owning my anger, saying “I’m angry!” Either I am, or I’m not.]

My addict is/was telling me….

Ever said anything like that? If not, I bet you’ve heard it lots of times in meetings, and maybe even in group therapy. Those are examples of the mind games we play with ourselves. They sound cute, and we joke that we don’t really mean them literally. But words are important. Continue reading “Own It!”

Thought for the Day 4/3/18

“Abstinence is necessary for us not just because of our [physical addictions] but because only when we begin experiencing life without resorting to quick fixes are we able to grow psychologically and spiritually.”
~ Phillip Z., A Skeptic’s Guide To The 12 Steps

They don’t call it “trudging the road of happy destiny” for nothing.

For sex, love and fantasy addicts, slips are often the rule for months–even years–before a person ends up with solid sobriety. People usually get to the “S” programs via one of two paths: a vague feeling that maybe they need to change their behavior, or a relatively catastrophic event that exposes them to extreme pressure from spouses, family, often friends, and that can affect their employment and even lead to severe legal issues.

Continue reading “They don’t call it “trudging the road of happy destiny” for nothing.”