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.
Our addictions are a reality that persists regardless of our definition.
“The ‘freedom’ to define our own addictive pattern could not be used in a self-serving way. Our addictions are a reality that persists regardless of any short-sighted, convenient definition. If we were leaving out of our personal definition some behavior that was addictive, it would certainly pull us back into the pattern again.”
~ Sex And Love Addicts Anonymous, p. 72 (Step 1)
Are we in recovery, or just abstinent? Are we just hanging around the edges talking the talk, but not walking the walk?
[Believe me — I’ve done all this stuff at one time or another!]
Is our program not working for us? Are we in recovery, or just abstinent? Are we just hanging around the edges talking the talk, but not walking the walk?
Are we hiding behind our intellect, thinking that we know more about how to “fix” ourselves than all those “uneducated” people in the rooms? Continue reading “Is My Ego Getting In My Way?”
First of all, I want to wish everyone the best possible new year, consistent with the effort that you’ve been willing to put into your recovery. I’d go with the overall “Happy New Year,” but that’s bogus: happiness, of whatever kind, is an inside job, and no magical incantation from me is going to make it anything else.
Now the kitchen.
Let’s imagine that we are cleaning the kitchen as part of our New Year’s Resolutions.
We do the dishes and put them away. We clean out the fridge and toss the containers with the green stuff growing on the top (along with the others that we don’t really dare to open). We sweep and mop the floor. We organize the cabinets and toss all the junk we’ve accumulated and will never use into the garbage with the rest of the detritus. We sterilize the cutting board, wipe down the counters, clean the stove and the oven, and store all the cleaning stuff beneath the sink.
We look at all we’ve done and pronounce it good.
Then we take the garbage, throw it in the broom closet, and slam the door. We lock it, because we don’t want anyone to see it.
Eventually we notice an unpleasant smell in the kitchen. It grows worse over time, and then we look over at the closet and we see all sorts of nasty stuff seeping out from under the door.
At that point, we either clean out the closet and remove the garbage to the dumpster, or we’ll have to abandon the kitchen and–pretty soon–the house as well.
All that work shot to shit, when all we had to do was finish the job as thoroughly as we began.
“Childhood is a tricky business. Usually, something goes wrong.”
– Maurice Sendak
Do I spend 1/10th of the time on my recovery that I spent acting out in my addiction? Do I expect something invaluable at a bargain price?