It has recently become clear to me that urgency is one of the most powerful tools in the arsenal of weapons used by our disease to trick us into relapse. Along with adrenaline, urgency is a powerful drug that can drive us to behave counter to our best interests, blinding us to the potential consequences of acting while in its clutches. Continue reading →
The author’s bottom line was that “Involuntarily losing shit … brutally takes things away at random and makes you fight to get them back so that you remember and reaffirm the value of each one.”
When I lose stuff, I also often lose perspective and go quite berserk no matter how valuable the lost item. Thankfully, recovery has enabled me to improve in this arena. However, being on an extremely tight spending plan does make the pain run a bit deeper for me as I cannot blithely buy another of anything anymore. Continue reading →
I propose a moratorium on criticism, which is a subtle form of gossip. And on self-righteous indignation, which is very loud criticism. And let’s throw in giving advice, which leads to self-righteous indignation when the receiving party doesn’t want to do what I say.
I’ll probably have to tape my mouth shut for the duration because, really, what else is there to talk about? Continue reading →
“It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness.” (Page 66 of the Big Book.)
Are justice and compassion mutually exclusive? I have been thinking about this for days. I believe they may be for those of us in 12 Step Programs if we are to have any peace.
Here’s what I mean. When I see something I consider unjust, I feel myself getting all riled up. Adrenaline begins to flow and self-righteous indignation is the result. I spout off (often loudly) about the injustice of it all. I can get myself utterly worked up. And that is not good for my recovery (or my health).
In trying to live a life of peace, when I am wronged I am told in the Big Book to show “tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend.” (page 67) I am assuming that this extends out to harms perpetrated on anyone. Otherwise, the Big Book would say that it is OK to be enraged at the court system if you disagree with a verdict or the government if they don’t behave as you would like. Instead, the Big Book says on page 66:
But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintence and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die. If we were to live, we had to be free of anger.
That means I cannot afford to get worked up over anything. That means that I have to find a way to meet injustice with compassion. Or I will eventually relapse into compulsive debting.
My son graduated college two weeks ago. He fully expected to walk out of graduation into a job. But his Higher Power had a different plan in mind. My son interned at an ad agency during his last semester and found a calling as a copywriter. The agency agreed … as did the clients. His ideas and scripts were produced. He was led to believe that he would be hired. But as the weeks of his internship went on, a sure thing led to uncertainty. And by graduation, he was told that there was no job available, but they would try to see if they could possibly add him as a freelancer. And so he waits. And mopes.
I am a “Baby Boomer,” not a “Millennial” like my son. Yet, as an addict, I suffer from Entitlement-itis – the feeling that I deserve what I want and don’t have to follow the rules to get it. I “should” be given what I want without effort and I shouldn’t have to go through the effort put forth by “regular people” to accomplish goals. Even my smallest effort “should” be rewarded by accolades and riches. Continue reading →
In addition to the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, did you know that there are 12 principles of our program? These were developed by various members of Alcoholics Anonymous and provide a guidepost for practicing the opposite of your defects. Continue reading →
I don’t like pain and my defects bring me pain. But as with all things in addiction and recovery, which pain is worse? For instance, I discovered that my anger was really a preferable reaction to the underlying sadness it covered up. But when I saw it was truly causing me more harm than the discomfort of the sadness, I was willing to have the defect removed. Continue reading →