Category Archives: Process Addictions

Personal Responsibility

“I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept
the consequences of every deed, word and thought throughout our lifetime.”

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004)


Anyone who sits through a few meetings will hear someone blaming their addiction (or other people) for their behavior. “My addict did this,” or “It was just my addict talking,” or “If it weren’t for my addiction, I….” or “If she hadn’t…” (insert appropriate whining).

Our attitudes are often the same regarding those whose social behavior fails to meet our standards. Perhaps we believe they have mistreated us or a loved one. Perhaps we believe they should know better, based on our underestanding of our reality. And do we get pissed off when they fail to apologize or make restitution in some way? Of course we do! We demand that they accept the responsibility for their actions (judged by our standards, mind you), and that they try to make things right.

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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.

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

Outside Issues (Tradition 10)

I get really tired of hearing the “book beaters” play the outside issues card every time someone in a meeting shares something that makes them uncomfortable. I’ve been reading AA-approved literature for nearly three decades, and I’ve not yet found anything that prohibits talking about drug, sex, shopping, gambling or hoagie addictions in an AA meeting.

Bill Wilson was a smoker and experimented with psychedelics. (His nicotine addiction killed him 36 years after the founding of AA, and we won’t even get into his extra-marital issues.) Dr. Bob was an admitted drug addict in addition to his alcoholism. Bill made it clear in a number of his writings that no one was to be excluded from A.A. meetings.

The long form of Tradition Ten reads as follows:

10 — No A.A. group or member should ever, in such a way as to implicate A.A., express any opinion on outside controversial issues–particularly those of politics, alcohol reform, or sectarian religion. The Alcoholics Anonymous groups oppose no one. Concerning such matters they can express no views whatever. [Emphasis mine.]

I have to wonder why there are still people, old-timers included, who don’t get that “outside issues” means things such as the above, not matters that bear directly on sobriety. Are we here to make smokers, overeaters, benzo users and others comfortable — to pick and choose our recovery — or to make newcomers welcome and support everyone’s recovery?

I’m inclined to think that some of these issues make some members really nervous, and that’s the reason for their objection to discussion of other addictions. As we all (should) know, substitute addictions are one of the most common by-products of abstinence from any “primary” addiction.

Bleeding deacons, show me some literature that contradicts what I’ve written here. Let’s get a discussion going in the comments.