Category Archives: family

No Burning Bushes

Many of us speak about our “relationships” with our Higher Power, whatever that may be, but how many of us spend our time asking for things instead of for the power to do things, as in the Third Step Prayer. (Look it up: page 63 in the AA Big Book.)

How many of us spend our time telling H.P. what we want, asking for advice, but then never shut up long enough to hear any answers? What kind of relationship is that? That doesn’t even work with humans! Continue reading

Sexual And Emotional Anorexia

“Anorexia is an eating disorder, and sufferers deny themselves nutrition and pleasure from food. In sex and Love addiction, Anorexia refers to Intimacy deprivation. In the most obvious sense, the anorexic is withdrawing from all physical Intimacy, but even among the sexually active, we can find emotional Anorexia. Promiscuity may signal Avoidance of deeper emotional, intimate contact with anyone. Just as it is not the amount of alcohol consumed that defines alcoholism, frequency and choice of vice does not determine sex and Love addiction.

“Is our behavior consistent with our values? Many addicts and codependents have Love-life imbalances. The origin of our Intimacy disorders is thought to go back to our formative experiences with needs, expectations and boundaries. In the original Big Book Step Four directions, we focus on three areas: fear, resentments and sex conduct. Frustration from an inability to sustain intimate connections with people drove many a Twelve Stepper, unsatisfied with peer-to-peer support, into therapy. …

“…Do my Relationships mirror my values? … Do I have social joy and Intimacy in my life?”

C., Joe. Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life:
Finally, a daily reflection book for nonbelievers,
freethinkers and everyone! (Sept. 3rd) Rebellion Dogs Publishing.

None Of My Business (Revised)

SerenityBecause I talk to folks about recovery a lot, I run across issues with self-esteem (in addition to my own). It’s not unusual to find situations where someone is obsessed with a remark they heard and blew all out of proportion by projecting their own fear onto it. Often these are comments that the offended party perceived to be “rude” and regarding which they believe that they are entitled to an apology. (Translation: “My self-esteem is damaged and I have to shore it up in any way possible without threatening it any further, therefore it’s the other person’s job to fix it.”)

I try to point out that everyone is rude on occasion, for a variety of reasons, and that even though some people behave like jackasses a good deal of the time it doesn’t mean that we have to give their remarks any more than minimal weight. I often mention that what other people think, even about us, is really none of our business. That doesn’t usually penetrate far, at least at first.

I’ve seen this a lot over the years. Some folks just don’t understand that (a.) we can’t control what people think about us, or what information about their lives they choose to share with us; (b.) that those things really are none of our business; and that (c.) we aren’t “entitled” to anything, outside of a legal framework. Our entitlements are strictly in our own heads. You get a lot of push-back when you say that to folks, but consider . . . Continue reading

Lovecraft Had It Right

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear,
and the strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”
~ Howard Phillips Lovecraft

Cthulhu

Head Monster, or just Cthulhu?

Lovecraft knew a lot about fear. From “The Color Out Of Space” to “The Call of Cthulhu” he dispensed it liberally, so well that his writings are practically legend and have even spawned a pseudo-religion.

I’ve found that fear is the principal issue that has hindered my recovery over the years, and that “unknown” part is the biggest by far.  I’ve spent a good part of my life semi-paralyzed by fear: of not being good enough, of being ridiculed, of being thought “less than,” of losing people’s love and respect, of not looking good, rejection, and abandonment — the real biggies for me. In short, all those things that addicts understand so well deep down inside, if not consciously. Continue reading