Category Archives: self-esteem

Friendship In Recovery

As active addicts many of us had friends who were that in name only. Our mutual interests in acting out, trying to prolong our adolescence, and using each other for one end or another were often the sole basis of those “friendships.” How many of our using buddies tried to encourage us to continue our addictive behavior? “Hey, everyone does it!” “Oh, you’re not that bad.” “You just need to ____. You don’t have to ____!” Any of those sound familiar?

And just as tellingly, how many of our willing partners in excess stuck with us when we showed that we were serious about changing? Not too many, I’m guessing. Continue reading

Boundaries: They’re what you make them.

Boundaries: They’re what you make them.

“Good fences make good neighbors.”
~ Robert Frost

In some of our fellowships we speak of boundaries, and well we might. Good boundaries are major bricks in the foundation of emotional health and recovery. It seems, however, that many people have the idea that boundaries are like a fence we build around us that others aren’t permitted to cross.  That’s not the case; boundaries guide our behavior, not that of others.

Boundaries are essentially knowing when to say yes or no. Perhaps we were not allowed ever to say “no” to a parent. That crippled us. We felt as though expressing ourselves was against the rules, that it would place us in danger of punishment or, less obviously, by damaging a relationship that was necessary to our survival. We felt invaded and ruled. As a result we may never have learned  that it is okay to make our own healthy choices. Continue reading

Blaming

“Fair play is primarily not blaming others
for anything that is wrong with us.”
Eric Hoffer

As recovering people we strive to accept responsibility for our lives. It doesn’t matter whether we inherited our addictions, learned them by example, or became addicted through no fault of our own (which applies to a great many addicts these days). These may be productive things to ponder in therapy or while working on a fourth step, but they don’t relieve us of our responsibility to make our own changes.

In nearly every case, blaming is an attempt to avoid responsibility. Most of the time it’s just another kind of denial that we have to move past in order to get our heads on straight. Judicious blaming is justified only if we have done our very best and then someone comes along and botches the job. Even then it is often better to keep our mouths shut and learn from the experience rather than spending our time and our peace of mind figuring out how to shovel the responsibility onto someone else. After all, was there really nothing we could have done?

Neither does it make sense to blame ourselves. It happened. To repeat a trite but nonetheless totally accurate observation, What is, is. How can we now repair the damage to the best of our ability? Wallowing in the mire of self-blame wastes energy and only gets us a big load of mud to carry out the other side.

Acceptance of the facts and searching for healing solutions is ALWAYS better. If I break my leg and sue, I still have to heal from the inside regardless of what a jury may decide. The blame is immaterial when it comes to walking again.

It’s hard to continue the journey if we have to use a crutch.

Thought for the day: 7/2/18

Guy sitting on cragSelf-realization is not a matter of withdrawal
from a corrupt world or narcissistic
contemplation of oneself.
An individual becomes a person by enjoying
the world and contributing to it.

~ Francine Klegsbrun

Thought for the day 7/1/18

“There is nothing as easy as denouncing. It don’t take much to see what is wrong, but it takes some eyesight to see what will put it right again.”
~ Will Rogers
(11/4/1879 – 8/15/1935)