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”

Thought for the day: 5/20/2018

Do I treat my mistakes as failures, or as opportunities to learn and become more skillful?

A Little Lesson In Reality And Possibilities

Oh, crap…a snake!



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Don’t Give Up


You’re almost there…


Ahhhhhhh! At last!

The snake in the photograph above, along with the two pieces of paper,* is a drawing. Everything else, including the table, is real.

If the artist has the discipline and put in the years of work to learn to do something like this, we can learn to stay sober. It’s easier and takes less time–so what if it’s even scarier than the (fake) snake?

*The snake and the paper are actually all one sheet, cleverly cut out to provide perspective for the 3D look. If you'd like to see more of artist Stefan Pabst's drawings, click here.

Careful throwing those stones! They bounce!

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!”


Self worth wanes and shame remains when we fall short of our values–or are they someone else’s values? When we say “I should” it is worth exploring whose values we are measuring ourselves by.

~ Joe C., “Beyond Belief – Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life”, May 9th

The Poisoned Arrow

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?

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?”