No two people see the world and their circumstances in the same way. How could they? We all come from a life of billions of experiences, all perceived and interpreted by our individual brains. These perceptions and interpretations are colored by a palette of emotions, feelings and conscious thought. The results can’t possibly be the same for two individuals. Where else could our reality reside but in our heads? Continue reading “Thought for the day: 5/25/2017”
One of our biggest problems as addicts is that we pursue solutions that we like, rather than those we need.
Many times the best solutions to problems do not produce the outcomes that we want. Members who have been around the fellowships for awhile have seen it again and again: newcomers (and sometimes those not so new) who flail around and exhaust themselves trying to fight what more experienced folks see as inevitable: the need to make changes that we don’t like.
Usually, no one is saying that they need to be made all at once or right away. In fact, program wisdom indicates quite the opposite. In most cases not involving situations dire and immediate, we recommend that any changes be made slowly, with careful consideration of all factors. Since we’re all addicts and codependents, however, we tend to want to sweep things under the rug and ignore them indefinitely, or take the broom and beat them into submission. In either case, we want what we want and we want it now, and we want it the way we want it.* Continue reading “Solutions”
Over the years of our addictions, many of us developed some pretty sophisticated ways of dealing with low self-esteem. Most of us were pretty good at them before we even became active in our addictions. We may have learned the behavior from caretakers, without even being conscious of it. Continue reading “Careful throwing those stones! They bounce!”
Suppose you were shot with a poisoned arrow. Would you refuse to have it removed until the poison was analyzed and you were given the results?
According to a famous Buddhist teaching, one of the monks was troubled because the Buddha didn’t address existential questions such as “Is there a God, what happens when we die, and is the universe infinite.” (Some Buddhist sects do approach such questions, but that was added later.)
Anyway, the monk was kvetching, so the Buddha asked him, “Suppose you were shot with a poisoned arrow. Would you refuse to have it removed until the poison was analyzed and you were given the results? Would you want to know what kind of wood it was made of, what sort of feathers were used for fletching the arrow, the maker and strength of the bow and the name and clan of the archer?” Continue reading “The Poisoned Arrow”
What is a relapse?
That may seem like a silly question. It’s when you take a drink, or shoot up, or buy something you can’t afford, or patronize a sex worker, or begin doing for your addict (or kid) things that they need to be doing for themselves.
Well, sorta. How about if a drinker starts hanging around the local bar with his or her old drinking buddies, talking the same trash, acting out in all the old ways except taking a drink? What if, instead of cruising, a sex addict hangs out in the mall checking out all the girls walking by–or, instead of that, watches porn for an hour? Continue reading “What Is A Relapse?”
To become at peace with others,
become at peace with yourself.
Sometimes I find it difficult to embrace the virtue of tolerance. Over the years I’ve noticed it to be pretty much congruent with my feelings about myself. When my self esteem is diminished for some reason, whether it be because of interaction with another person or with the world at large–I want, I want (or “dukkha” as Buddhists call it)–I often turn into that guy who wants to make himself feel better by pointing out the faults of others: their conspicuous consumption, how stupid they are, their low standards of behavior–stuff like that.
On the other hand, when I’m feeling mellow I’m not only more willing to put up with other folks’ flaws, often I don’t notice them at all. If I do, I’m likely to write them off as amusingly human. When all’s right with me, all’s right with my world. Continue reading “To Become At Peace With Others…”
Practically all addicts have three things in common: the desire to avoid pain and “bad” feelings, wanting to get something for nothing, and wanting it right now.
I don’t mean something for nothing in terms of not paying for our relief. Goodness knows we paid out enough money, time, effort and avoidable pain to get our drugs ¹ of choice so that we could quench our painful memories and feelings. In order to survive, we had to avoid the seeming impossibility of dealing with the head monsters (and often other very real ones) that were causing the misery. Continue reading “TANSTAAFL Redux”