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”
For years we not only went with the flow of our addictions…we often drifted aimlessly.
“The moment we decide to stop and look at what is going on (like a swimmer suddenly changing course to swim upstream instead of downstream), we find ourselves battered by powerful currents we had never even suspected – precisely because until that moment we were largely living at their command.”
~ Stephen Batchelor, The Awakening of the West
Early recovery is rough. We have to deal with physical withdrawal, feelings that are unmedicated (perhaps for the first time in many years), the normal stresses of everyday life and quite a few others directly related to our addictions, expectations of ourselves and others, financial and legal problems…the list goes on and on. For most of us, getting through the first few weeks and months sober will be the most difficult thing we’ve ever done. Continue reading “Swimming Against The Flow”
We addicts and codependents play a lot of little mind tricks on ourselves to keep from owning our issues and feelings completely. We say things like:
My addict is down at the foot of the bed doing push ups, just waiting for me to get careless. [Reality: there’s no “my addict”; there’s just me. ]
My mind would kill me if it didn’t need the transportation. [Reality: this is getting a little closer, but it’s still personifying my issues as something outside the real me.]
I have some anger about that. [Reality: owning my anger, saying “I’m angry!” Either I am, or I’m not.]
My addict is/was telling me….
Ever said anything like that? If not, I bet you’ve heard it lots of times in meetings, and maybe even in group therapy. Those are examples of the mind games we play with ourselves. They sound cute, and we joke that we don’t really mean them literally. But words are important. Continue reading “Own It!”
I’m not good at intimacy. I can count the number of folks in my life who have known the Real Me on one hand, with fingers left over.
Charlie the cat is long and lean
The color of the night
And his eyes are green
He likes to snuggle…*
With Charlie, snuggling is a fairly formalized proposition. If he doesn’t invite himself, I do so by patting the bed next to me three times. He then waits what he considers an appropriate time–varying from a few seconds to a couple of minutes–to demonstrate that he is, indeed, his own cat and not responding to any orders. Then he hops up and walks back and forth a few times, purring. My position has to be just right; if not, he waits until I’ve completed my part of the ritual. Then he curls up so that his rear feet and head are in one of my hands, his body firmly pressed against my other arm and chest. Purring ensues, usually tapering off into little snores.
As we contemplate the chaos left by hurricane Harvey and look ahead at the unknown that Irma will bring, it’s good to remember that everything we think we own is on loan anyway. The only thing we can really leave behind is memories, and their content is entirely up to us.
We will all be affected by the storms in our lives. Staying in the moment is the answer, as always, but a little bit of luck can help, too. May yours be good, whether or not you recognize it at the time.
“The tides of populism and nationalism currently sweeping many developed countries have been accompanied by demands that unwelcome and inconvenient voices be removed from public discourse…
…Intolerance of alternative viewpoints is spreading to places that make me, a moderate and a liberal, most uncomfortable….I find almost everything that Mr Trump says objectionable. I consider him offensive and bigoted. But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there. His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot. His freedom guarantees mine….
“If you seek the removal of freedoms from an opponent simply on the grounds that they have offended you, you have crossed the line to stand alongside tyrants who imprison, torture and kill on exactly the same justification.”
~ J. K. Rowling
How does this apply to recovery?
Am I open-minded about the recovery ideas of others in the rooms, or do I preach the gospel of my fellowship and suggest that those who disagree with what I consider the True Way find recovery elsewhere? Am I offended by the way some speak, or how they dress? Do I raise holy hell if someone mentions drug abuse at an AA meeting? Are my tirades tolerated; my right to my opinions honored, despite the fact that I advocate curtailing the rights of others?