12-Step Programs, addiction, alcoholism, codependency, denial, Process Addictions, recovery, Shame, Thought for the Day

Greetings, and an observation about kitchen duties…

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.

CLICK THE PIC…
12-Step Programs, addiction, alcoholism, codependency, emotional health, Process Addictions, Quotes, self-esteem, Spirituality, Thought for the Day

Thoughts For The New Year

“Get busy with life’s purpose, toss aside empty hopes, get active in your own rescue–if you care for yourself at all–and do it while you can.”

– Marcus Aurelius, ‘Meditations’ 3.14

“The essence of all growth is a willingness to change for the better and then an unremitting willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails.”
– Bill W., The AA Grapevine, July 1965

And if your sponsor has you doing a yearly inventory, remember that inventories need to include the skillful ways along with the unskillful.

addiction, codependency, denial, emotional health, family, Meditation, Process Addictions, relationships, self-esteem, sex addiction, Shame, Thought for the Day

Meditation (Discuss with your sponsor or therapist) 12/29/17

Where The Wild Things Are – HarperCollins

“Childhood is a tricky business. Usually, something goes wrong.”
– Maurice Sendak

12-Step Programs, addiction, alcoholism, codependency, Food Addiction, Process Addictions, recovery, relationships

Hosting People In Recovery For The Holidays

Jolly, not folly…

Social occasions that involve people in recovery—especially early recovery—can pose some perplexing problems for the hosts. On one hand, a host who is aware of a guest’s need to avoid mood-altering substances may wish to do what is possible to keep from exposing them to temptation. On the other hand, social drinking is a part of everyday American culture. Most social gatherings involve some drinking by some of the guests. A host may be at a loss as to how she ought to deal with guests in recovery — especially those only a short way along on their journey.

There are some simple things to remember….

Hosting People In Recovery For The Holidays

addiction, alcoholism, codependency, drug Abuse, family, Process Addictions, recovery, relationships, self-esteem

Holiday Feelings

Holidays can be rough on people in recovery, especially those of us who haven’t yet been able to develop normal relationships with our families of origin and/or old friends. If we don’t handle them carefully, they can be a real test of our sobriety. That’s especially true if we’re alone. Then self-care and attention to our well being become especially critical.
Read more…

12-Step Programs, addiction, alcoholism, codependency, drug Abuse, emotional health, health, meetings, PAWS, Process Addictions, recovery, sex addiction, Withdrawal

Post-acute Withdrawal–Why The Quick Fixes Don’t Work

As much as we might like to have it otherwise, healthy pleasure isn’t constant. Pleasure is the body’s way of rewarding us for doing things that benefit survival of our offspring and ourselves. When pleasure becomes the norm, rather than the reward, the system breaks down. We begin to pursue pleasure for its own sake, to the neglect of nature’s original intentions. Continue reading “Post-acute Withdrawal–Why The Quick Fixes Don’t Work”

community, denial, emotional health, family, living, Process Addictions, reality

Is Something Gaining On You?

The past is behind you; watch where you’re going!

I was just reviewing old bookmarks, and ran across the last blog entry of a writer friend who is no longer with us.  If you want to read it, you can find it here.  Marsha was a fine writer and teacher, and a good person to have in your life.  She brought the pleasures of poetry and literature into the minds and hearts of thousands of students.  A pretty darned good legacy, when you think about it.

Reading her poignant post got me to thinking about the idea of a “life well-lived.”  Who decides about that?  I am agnostic, so I don’t look forward to some Great Beyond.  As far as I know, this is it — the whole show, not a dress rehearsal.  (Although I generally hate being wrong, I wouldn’t mind being mistaken about that; however, logic prevails.)  That being the case, the only life I expect to have beyond the grave is in the memories of people, slowly to fade until the wisps are carried away by the winds of time; a tiny part of the whole, but unnoticed down the years by those to come.

So, unless I want to indulge in magical thinking I have to accept that the sum of my life is my legacy as well, and I have to ask myself whether I’ve lived that life so as to leave something worthwhile behind, however ephemeral.

My desire to take a hard look at that question has varied over the years. I stopped drinking and drugging in 1989 and thought I was sober. As it turned out, I really wasn’t. (Think unaddressed process addiction that far preceded the chemicals.) Only in the past few years, after another “rock bottom,” have I started to deal effectively with that one.

Overall, though, I think my total progress and some of the things I’ve accomplished are probably not to be ashamed of. Whether others share that opinion is none of my business. I’ve slowly come to understand, at least intellectually, that I live in my reality, and what’s going on in someone else’s is not my concern.

However, I think it behooves us all to occasionally look back, think of our lives to date, and decide if they’re something we can be satisfied with.  If we feel as though we’re on the right track, maybe we can attend to the details a bit more closely. If it seems as though we are a bit short, then we might sit back and consider how we can re-map our journey. Perhaps our criterion should be something like, “Have I helped others as much as they’ve helped me.”

I don’t know.  What do you think?

addiction, alcoholism, denial, Process Addictions, recovery, sex addiction, Shame

As Sick As Our Secrets

Addiction is all about secrets.  By the same token, recovery is about letting sunshine and fresh air into the hidden corners of our souls.  In addiction we build ourselves a little fantasy world, a totally imaginary place where we go to hide when we act out. Continue reading “As Sick As Our Secrets”

12-Step Programs, addiction, alcohol abuse, drug Abuse, Process Addictions, recovery

It works, IF….

I just celebrated my 28th year sober from alcohol and drugs.  I write that only to indicate that I know something about this thing we call “recovery”, even if I haven’t done it perfectly.

Over the years I’ve heard and read many times that AA and the other 12-step programs don’t really work very well; that they are effective for only a relatively small percentage of people; that the statistics show — blah, blah, blah.  Putting aside the fact that since those programs don’t keep statistics (So from whence came that so-called data?), I’d have to say that I agree with them, but only with a major qualification. Continue reading “It works, IF….”

12-Step Programs, addiction, alcoholism, codependency, denial, emotional health, family, Food Addiction, living, Meditation, Process Addictions, recovery, sex addiction, Spirituality

An Unsolicited Plug

For several reasons I make it a point not to review books or accept ads, “infographics,“ and guest posts on this blog, except in extremely rare situations.  When I tried it the first one led to more, and to requests that didn’t meet my standards (never easy to refuse for a codependent like me), plus other complications, like conflicts of interest, etc.  I don’t like hassles, and promoting business in whatever fashion is not the purpose of this site.  However, it’s my blog, and I occasionally make exceptions for myself when I think it’s important enough.  This is one of those times.

My long-time readers will probably have noticed the blurb in the sidebar for Joe C’s book, Beyond Belief, Agnostic Musings For 12-Step Life.  No doubt the word “agnostic” turned some of them off.  I’d like to comment on that, and explain why the ad, recommendation, or whatever you want to call it is there.

Continue reading “An Unsolicited Plug”