Healing And Understanding
Posted: March 12, 2007, 5:14 PM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005





If you love me let me fall all by myself. Don't try to spread a net out to catch me, don't throw a pillow under my a** to cushion the pain so I don't have to feel it, don't stand in the place I am going to land so that you can break the fall (allowing yourself to get hurt instead of me) ...
Let me fall as far down as my addiction is going to take me, let me walk the valley alone all by myself, let me reach the bottom of the pit ... trust that there is a bottom there somewhere even if you can't see it. The sooner you stop saving me from myself, stop rescuing me, trying to fix my broken-ness, trying to understand me to a fault, enabling me ... The sooner you allow me to feel the loss and consequences, the burden of my addiction on my shoulders and not yours ... the sooner I will arrive ... and on time ... just right where I need to be ... me, alone, all by myself in the rubble of the lifestyle I lead ...
resist the urge to pull me out because that will only put me back at square one ... If I am allowed to stay at the bottom and live there for awhile ... I am free to get sick of it on my own, free to begin to want out, free to look for a way out, and free to plan how I will climb back up to the top. In the beginning as I start to climb out .. I just might slide back down, but don't worry I might have to hit bottom a couple more times before I make it out safe and sound ...
Don't you see ?? Don't you know ?? You can't do this for me ... I have to do it for myself, but if you are always breaking the fall how am I ever suppose to feel the pain that is part of the driving force to want to get well. It is my burden to carry, not yours ... I know you love me and that you mean well and a lot of what you do is because you don't know what to do and you act from your heart not from knowledge of what is best for me ...
but if you truly love me let me go my own way, make my own choices be they bad or good ... don't clip my wings before I can learn to fly ... Nudge me out of your safty net ... trust the process and pray for me ... that one day I will not only fly, but maybe even soar.


Passion
Recovering Addict





You can't make me clean

I know it is what you want for me to be and until I want it - I won't be.



You can't love me clean ...because until I learn to love myself. I won't be.

I know you must wonder how can I learn to love myself when I am caught up in a lifestyle of self-hatred and self destruction. I can learn from my own experience ... I can learn from the things that happen to me along the path of my own mistakes. I can learn by being allowed to suffer the consequences of my choices. Life has a funny way of teaching us the lessons we need learn.

I know it devastates you to watch me hurting myself. I know you want to jump in and save me. This helps ease your pain, but I don't think you understand just how damaging it is to me.

You see although I look and sound like your loved one. Me, the person .. is locked away deep down inside my being. What you see before you is a addict ruled and reigned by my addiction. The main focus of a addict is to feed the addiction. Every effort you put forth in the name of helping me *the person* falls prey to my addict giving more power to the addiction to shackel down *the person in me .. a little more each time.

I feed my addiction enough ... please don't help me.


The only way for the person in me to get free is to be free .. to fall as far as I need to go in order to find the strength to fight back and break free.

How can or will I ever be able to get clean.

The same way I gave myself over to my addiction is the same way I can give myself over to my recovery. BY MYSELF

By allowing me to reach 'rock bottom' you move over and allow me to find the my own way back .. It is in the fight to break free that I will find myself .. it is in the fight that I learn to love myself .. the more I love myself the more I will do to better myself.

I am aware that when I use I am playing russian roulette with my life. I know this, but that is a chance we take when we use. The addict in me is willing to take that chance in the name of getting high.

Rock bottom is but a circumstance away. I can't get in if you are blocking the entrance ...

Please for the sake of the person in me .. move out of the way .. and let me fall as far down as I have to in order to reach the bottom .. and pray for me that when I do hit .. that is not with the impact that leaves me for dead (I know that is your greatest fear), but if it comes to that .. be sure to tell my story so that others might learn and live.

Passion
Recovering Addict


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You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
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Posted: March 23, 2007, 10:20 AM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.


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You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
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Posted: March 24, 2007, 11:24 AM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



The 12 Steps Explained

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Step One

We admitted we were powerless over the addict—that our lives had become unmanageable.

Step One may be easy to read and easy to agree with, at least on the surface. We can freely admit the fact that our lives are in real trouble. After all, that is why we finally came to Naranon.

It may not be so easy to admit we are powerless, or that we cannot control and manage our own lives. We may say it is not so: “It is the addict that is out of control—if I could only change him, I could manage very nicely, thank you.”

We have tried all kinds of things to show them how wrong they are. It seemed so obvious to us! “If only he would decide to stop using. If only I could do just that one right thing to make him stop. But none of it works; he is so stubborn, blind, uncaring and cruel.” If our lives were unmanageable, it was certainly not for lack of our trying! We have believed we were the only reason we have managed so long. After all, we have kept it together, alone, all this time.

The frustration and anger we feel clouds the issue, but slowly we begin to see that the parts of our lives that are unmanageable are not ours to manage. We are indeed powerless over the addict. All the manipulating and maneuvering has not helped. We cannot control and manage, because it is not our lives we are trying to manage. We must realize where our responsibilities end. We do not like it when our well-meaning relatives and friends try to tell us how to live. Neither do our loved ones (our addicts) like us to tell them. This is when we need to remember the Naranon reading, “we didn’t cause it; we can’t control it and we can’t cure it.”

The other part of Step One begins to become clear. We must let go of the addict’s part. We only prolong their struggle by meddling. We must stop our crazy compulsive behavior and let them dance with their addiction alone. We can stand back, without losing our love and compassion for them and “NOT DO”. It’s OK, it doesn’t cause a dramatic change, and it didn’t change when we “DID” either. Some of our craziness leaves and we realize we feel a little better. All it took was inaction.

Still, we feel resistance. The idea remains that perhaps we can “help” our addicts. We have not completely surrendered to the idea that we cannot stop their behavior, but the prize looms there in front of us. If only we could let go of that nagging voice to “do” that one little thing that will finally make the difference.

Try a little exercise with Step One. Substitute the name of your addict for the word addict, and then read through again in the first person. Then put another name in its place, and another, all belonging to people you have tried to change because YOU KNEW how THEY NEEDED TO CHANGE. Over and over say the lines.

Do you see?

_____________________________

Step Two

Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Many of us have lived with or had relationships with addicts who have occupied a significant amount of our time, energy and thought around fixing that person. If we can fix it, we can control it. We can fix it had become our unwritten credo and obsession. It left little time for much else. In Step One, admitting that we were powerless over the addict left us time and emotional void.

Moving from Step One to Step Two presents us with a realization that our lives were less than sane. Are we ready to accept sanity? After all, insanity had become our norm.

Maybe if….I spend 24 hours a day with them, they won’t use.
Maybe if….I use with them, they won’t use as much.
Maybe if….I control the money, they can’t use.
Maybe if….I get so ill they’ll be forced to take care of me, they won’t use.
Maybe if….I become the ideal lover, wife, husband, parent, child, they won’t use.
Maybe if….I become the evil lover, wife, husband, parent, child, they won’t use.

We had committed ourselves to insanity: doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. Changing our commitment to living with sanity presented us with a challenge.

Many of us have not had a defined relationship with a Higher Power. Many of us had rejected a notion of a Higher Power at earlier times in our lives. It can be helpful, at first, to allow ourselves to admit to the possibility of a Higher Power. Sometimes, attempting to restore our trust in our own instincts and judgment can prepare us for acceptance.

Faith in a Higher Power may not strike us like a lightening bolt. The focus and emphasis of our daily lives change. We see different results from our actions. We feel more confident in the challenges and choices that life presents. We can begin to feel, enjoy, and trust again. Our Higher Power can free us from the anxiety we have carried.

It may take time to recognize our connection with our Higher Power. We slowly begin to let things happen. When we do this, glimmers of realization appear. We no longer expect that the worst will happen.

The phone no longer rings with the expectation of bad news. We choose not to be alone to wait, cry, and obsess. We have new reactions to things instead of having a set response. Things have changed. We begin to acknowledge that something or someone or some presence was caring for us in a sane way.

Sometimes other people’s images and descriptions of their Higher Power can help us connect with what we feel comfortable with: ~A ring of light ~ A cloud like presence that surrounds them ~ A sense of warmth and affection ~ Nature ~ A feeling of peace ~

Insanity was the result of our past behavior. Letting go of the control that created such a hold on us can be frightening, but, as we listen and learn from others, we can begin to feel and see miracles. Trust and acceptance in a Higher Power are bound to follow.

_______________________________


Step Three

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.


There is a saying in the AlaTeen Twelve Step Program that says, “God Can’t do his work if you’re standing in His way.”

Several years ago a popular song said, “If it don’t fit---don’t force it---just relax and let it go---Just cause you want it---doesn’t make it so.”

Some people use the three-strike rule. Try three times to force your will—and then turn it over to your Higher Power.

Many of us in Naranon find Step Three very difficult to apply to our lives. Some of us come to a stop at Step Three while others just step over it. We are not willing to turn our will and life over to a God or Higher Power that we don’t know or understand. For too long, we have been the controllers, the ones our families expect to fix things. A lot of times, we were there to help even when our help was not needed or wanted and even rejected. How many of us have called the addict’s employer, lied about their being late or not going to work? How many of us have paid the traffic tickets, the bails, the lawyers, the rent, the bills and covered up for them when they didn’t show up at family and social affairs? We got the information for the addicts about the recovery centers and meeting schedules. We took them to their meetings, and gave them advice on how many and how often they should attend. We have done (and some of us still do) for our addicts the things they need to do for themselves. We forced our will, and didn’t allow the will of the Higher Power to be done.

As we started to work this Step, most of us became confused about when we are helping and when we are hindering. Maybe if we could just remember that the addicts didn’t need our help when they started and continued their drug abuse, we might be able to step aside and allow them to suffer the consequences of their actions and seek their own recovery. Maybe if we could learn to “Let Go”, and apply the Serenity Prayer to our lives, we might be able to make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God or a Higher Power.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.


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You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
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Posted: March 29, 2007, 12:01 PM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



An excerpt from the book, "Gratitude - Affirming the Good Things in Life" by Melody Beattie

Denial

The first stage of the process of acceptance is denial. This is the stat of shock, numbness, panic and general refusal to accept or acknowledge reality. We do everything and anything to put things back in place or pretend the situation isn't happening. There is much anxiety and fear in this stage. Reactions typical of denial include: refusing to believe reality ("No, this can't be!"), denying or minimizing the importance of the problem ("It's no big deal"), denying any feelings about the loss ("I don't care"), or mental avoidance of the problem (sleeping, obsessing, compulsive behaviors and keeping busy). We may feel somewhat detached from ourselves, and our emotional responses might be flat, nonexistent, or inappropriate (laughing when we should be crying; crying when we should be happy).

The deep, instinctive part of us knows the truth, but we keep pushing that part away, telling it, "You're wrong. Shut up." According to counselor Scott Egleston, we decide three's something fundamentally wrong with us for being suspicious, and we label ourselves and our innermost, intuitive being as untrustworthy.

Denial is the bugaboo of life. It's like being in a deep sleep. We aren't aware of our actions until we've done them. On some level, we really believe the lies we tell ourselves. But there is a reason for this.

Denial is the shock absorber for the soul. It is an instinctive and natural reaction to pain, loss, and change. It protects us. It wards off the blows of life until we can gather our coping resources. In this respect, we don't need to beat ourselves up when we realize we have been in denial about a situation. We need to move on when the time is appropriate and appreciate the lessons we learn along the way.


Anger

When we have quit denying our loss or problem, we move into the next stage: anger. Our anger may be reasonable or unreasonable. We may be justified in venting our wrath, or we may irrationally vent our fury on anything and anyone. We may blame ourselves, God, and everyone around us for what we has happened. Depending on the nature of the problem, we may be a little peeved, somewhat angry, downright furious, or caught in the grips of soul-shaking rage.

This is why setting someone straight, showing someone the light, or confronting a serious problem rarely turns out the way we expect. If we are denying a situation, we won't move directly into
acceptance of reality--we move into anger. That is also why we need to be careful about major confrontations.



Bargaining

After we have calmed down, we attempt to strike a bargain with life, ourselves, another person, or God. If we do "such and such" or if someone else does "this or that", then we won't have to suffer.

We are not attempting to postpone the inevitable; we are attempting to prevent it.
Sometimes the deals we negotiate are reasonable and productive; "If my spouse and I get counseling, then we won't have to lose our relationship." Sometimes our bargains are absurd: "I used to think that if I just kept the house cleaner or if I cleaned the refrigerator good enough this time, then my husband wouldn't drink anymore," recalls the wife of an alcoholic.



Depression

When we see our bargain has not worked, when we finally become exhausted from or struggle to ward off reality, when we decide to acknowledge what life has socked to us we become very sad, sometimes terribly depressed.

This is the essence of grief: mourning at it's fullest. This is what we have been attempting at all costs to avoid. This is the time to cry, and it hurts. This stage of the process begins when we humbly surrender. The depression will disappear only when the entire process has been worked through.



Acceptance

After we have closed our eyes, kicked, screamed, negotiated and finally felt the pain, we arrive at the state of acceptance.

We are at peace with what "is". We are free! We are free to stay, free to go on, free to make whatever decisions we need to make. We have accepted our problem, our loss, whether it be minor or significant. It has become an acceptable part of our present circumstances. We are comfortable with it and our lives. We have adjusted and reorganized. Once more, we are comfortable with our present circumstances and ourselves.

Not only are we comfortable with the circumstances and changes we have endured, but we believe we in some way benefited from our loss or change even if we cannot fully understand how or why.

This is where gratitude comes in. We have faith that all is well and we have grown from our experience. We deeply believe our present circumstances, including ALL the details of them, are exactly as they ought to be for the moment..

In spite of our fears, feelings, struggles and confusion, we understand that everything is ok even if we lack insight. We settle down. We stop running, ducking, controlling, lashing-out and hiding. And we know it is only from this point that we can go forward.



Conclusion

Going through the five stages of acceptance is awkward and sometimes painful. We may feel as though we are falling apart. Whenever this process begins, we usually feel shock and panic. As we go through the stages, we often feel confused, vulnerable, lonely and isolated.

Over time we become familiar with this process. The whole thing may take place in 30 seconds for a minor problem or loss. Or it may last years when the loss is significant. Because this is a model, we may not go through the stages exactly in the order described. We may travel back and forth; from anger to denial, from denial to bargaining, from bargaining to denial.

Regardless of the speed and route we travel through these stages, we need to go through them to move forward. It is not only a normal process; it is a necessary one.

We are sturdy beings, but in many ways, we are fragile. We can accept change and loss but this comes at our own pace and in our own way.

We don't have to act or behave inappropriately, but we need to go through this.
Other people have to go through it too. Understanding the process helps us be more supportive to other people too.

One thing that helps me is thanking my Higher Power for the loss - for my present circumstances--regardless of how I feel about them. Another thing that helps many people is the Serenity Prayer.


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.



--------------------
You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
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Posted: March 31, 2007, 6:46 AM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



10 Ways Family Members Can Help a Loved One with a Drug or Alcohol Problem
By Ed Hughes, MPS

The pain and suffering of addiction is not limited to the alcoholic or drug addict. Family members share a tremendous burden as well. Shame, guilt, fear, worry, anger, and frustration are common , Everyday feelings for family members concerened about a loved one’s drinking or drug use. In most cases, the family has endured the brunt of the consequences for the loved ones addiction, including the stress of worry, financial costs, and life adjustments made to accommodate the addicted person’s lifestyle. Addiction leads the addict away from positive influences of the family. The disease twists love, concern, and a willingness to be helpful into a host of enabling behaviors that only help to perpetuate the illness.

Family and friends are usually very busy attempting to help the alcoholic or addict, but the help is of the wrong kind . If directed toward effective strategies and interventions, however, these people become powerful influences in helping the loved one “hit bottom” and seek professional help. At the very least, families can detach themselves from the painful consequences of there loved one’s disease and cease their enabling behavior.

Here are 10 ways family members can help there loved one and themselves:

1) Do learn the facts about alcoholism and drug addiction . Obtain information through counseling, open AA/NA meetings, and Alanon/Naranon.
Addiction thrives in an environment of ignorance and denial . Only when we understand the characteristics and dynamics of addiction can we begin to respond to its symptoms more effectively. Realizing that addiction is a progressive disease will assist the family members to accept there loved as a “sick person” rather than a “bad person.” This comprehension goes a long way toward helping overcome the associated shame and guilt. No one is to blame . The problem is not caused by bad parenting or any other family shortcoming. Attendance at open AA/NA meetings is important: families need to see that not only are they not alone in there experience, but also that there are many other families just like theirs involved in this struggle. Families will find a reason to be hopeful when they hear the riveting stories of recovery shared at these meetings.

2) Don’t rescue the alcoholic or addict. Let them experience the full consequence of their disease.
Unfortunately, it is extremely rare for anyone to be “loved” into recovery. Recovering people experience a ins“hitting bottom.” This implies an accumulation of negative consequences related to drinking or drug use which provides the necessary motivation and inspiration to initiate a recovery effort. It has been said that “truth” and “consequences” are the foundations of insight and this holds true for addiction. Rescuing addicted persons from there consequences only ensures that more consequences must occur before the need for recovery is realized.

3) Don’t support the addiction by financially supporting the alcoholic or addict.
Money is the lifeblood of addiction . Financial support can be provided in many ways and they all serve to prolong the arrival of consequences. Buying groceries, paying for a car repair, loaning money, paying rent, and paying court fines are all examples of contributing to the continuation of alcohol or drug use . Money is almost always given by family members with the best of intentions, but it always serves to enable the alcoholic or addict to avoid the natural and necessary consequences of addiction. Many addicts recover simply because they could not get money to buy their drug. Consequently they experience withdrawal symptoms and often seek help.

4) Don’t analyze the loved one’s drinking or drug use. Don’t try to figure it out or look for underlying causes.
There are no underlying causes. Addiction is a disease. Looking for underlying causes is a waste of time and energy and usually ends up with some type of blame focused on the family or others . This “paralysis by analysis” is a common manipulation by the disease of addiction which distracts everyone from the important issue of the illness itself.

5) Don’t make idle threats. Say what mean and mean what you say. Words only marginally impact the alcoholic or addict . Rather “actions speak louder than words” applies to addiction. Threats are as meaningless as the promises made by the addicted person.

6) Don’t extract promises. A person with an addiction cannot keep promises. This is not because they don’t intend to, but rather because they are powerless to consistently act upon their commitments . Extracting a promise is a waste of time and only serves to increase the anger toward the loved one.

7) Don’t preach or lecture. Preaching and lecturing are easily discounted by the addicted person.
A sick person is not motivated to take positive action through guilt or intimidation . If an alcoholic or addict could be “talked into” getting sober, many more people would get sober.

8) Do avoid the reactions of pity and anger. These emotions create a painful roller coaster for the loved one.
For a given amount of anger that is felt by a family member in any given situation, that amount-or more-of pity will be felt for the alcoholic or addict once the anger subsides. This teeter-totter is a common experience for family members—they get angry over a situation, make threats or initiate consequences, and then backtrack from those decisions once the anger has left and has been replaced by pity . The family then does not follow through on their decision to not enable.

9) Don’t accommodate the disease.
Addiction is a subtle foe. It will infiltrate a family’s home, lifestyle, and attitudes in a way that can go unnoticed by the family. As the disease progresses within the family system, the family will unknowingly accommodate its presence. Examples of accommodation include locking up ones and other valuables, not inviting guests for fear that the alcoholic or addict might embarrass them, adjusting one’s work schedule to be home with the addict or alcoholic, and planning one’s day around events involving the alcoholic or addict.

10) Do focus upon your life and responsibilities.
Family members must identify areas of there lives that have been neglected due to their focus on, or even obsession with, the alcoholic or addict. Other family members, hobbies, job, and health, for example, often take a back seat to the needs of the alcoholic or addict and the inevitable crisis of addiction. Turning attention away from the addict and focusing on other personal areas of one’s life is empowering and helpful to all concerned .

Each of these suggestions should be approached separately as individual goals. No one can make an abrupt change or adjustment from the behaviors that formed while the disease of addiction progressed. I can not over-emphasize the need for support of family members as they attempt to make changes. Counseling agencies must provide family education and programs to share this information. They must offer opportunities for families to change their attitudes and behaviors. The most powerful influence in helping families make these changes is Al-Anon/Naranon . By facing their fears and weathering the emotional storms that will follow, they can commit to ending their enabling entanglements.

The disease of addiction will fervently resist a family’s effort to say “no” and stop enabling. Every possible emotional manipulation will be exhibited in an effort to get the family to resume “business as usual .” There will always be certain family members or friends who will resist the notion of not enabling, join forces with the sick person, and accuse the family of lacking love. This resistance is a difficult but necessary hurdle for the family to overcome. Yet, it is necessary if they are to be truly helpful to the alcoholic or addict. Being truly helpful is what these suggestions are really about. Only when the full weight of the natural consequences of addiction is experienced by the addict- rather than by the family- can there be reason for hope of recovery .


--------------------
You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
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Posted: April 1, 2007, 8:10 AM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



8 easy ways to SPOT an Emotional Munipulator

Emotional manipulators get extra marks for subtlety. A patronizing, mind-****** can bend and twist and warp but somehow after a period of time they set off the ol’ bulls*** meter. An emotional manipulator is smoother. You’ll have to adjust the sensitivity of your bulls*** meter to escape unscathed. What is emotional manipulation? Well, emotional manipulation is a method of using words, body language and behavior for the purposes of provoking a particular reaction, getting a desired response or to just plain ol’ screw you over. If the emotional blackmailer is any good, he’ll having you offering to bend over and be ****** one more time, "anything you want dear." Lets talk about how an emotional manipulator works and how to recognize the game (because it very much IS a game) so you can reset that bulls*** meter and safeguard against possible attack.

1.There is no use in trying to be honest with an emotional manipulator. You make a statement and it will be turned around. Example: I am really angry that you forgot my birthday. Response - "It makes me feel sad that you would think I would forget your birthday, I should have told you of the great personal stress I am facing at the moment - but you see I didn’t want to trouble you. You are right I should have put all this pain (don’t be surprised to see real tears at this point) aside and focused on your birthday. Sorry." Even as you are hearing the words you get the creeped out sensation that they really do NOT mean they are sorry at all - but since they’ve said the words you’re pretty much left with nothing more to say. Either that or you suddenly find yourself babysitting their angst!! Under all circumstances if you feel this angle is being played - don’t capitulate! Do not care take - do not accept an apology that feels like bulls***. If it feels like bulls*** - it probably is. Rule number one - if dealing with an emotional blackmailer TRUST your gut. TRUST your senses. Once an emotional manipulator finds a successful maneuver - it’s added to their hit list and you’ll be fed a steady diet of this ****.

2.An emotional manipulator is the picture of a willing helper. If you ask them to do something they will almost always agree - that is IF they didn’t volunteer to do it first. Then when you say, "ok thanks" - they make a bunch of heavy sighs, or other non verbal signs that let you know they don’t really want to do whatever said thing happens to be. When you tell them it doesn’t seem like they want to do whatever - they will turn it around and try to make it seem like OF COURSE they wanted to and how unreasonable you are. This is a form of crazy making - which is something emotional manipulators are very good at. Rule number two - If an emotional manipulator said YES - make them accountable for it. Do NOT buy into the sighs and subtleties - if they don’t want to do it - make them tell you it up front - or just put on the -man headphones and run a bath and leave them to their theater.

3.Crazy making - saying one thing & later assuring you they did not say it.If you find yourself in a relationship where you figure you should start keeping a log of what’s been said because you are beginning to question your own sanity --You are experiencing emotional manipulation. An emotional manipulator is an expert in turning things around, rationalizing, justifying and explaining things away. They can lie so smoothly that you can sit looking at black and they’ll call it white - and argue so persuasively that you begin to doubt your very senses. Over a period of time this is so insidious and eroding it can literally alter your sense of reality. WARNING: Emotional Manipulation is VERY Dangerous! It is very disconcerting for an emotional manipulator if you begin carrying a pad of paper and a pen and making notations during conversations. Feel free to let them know you just are feeling so "forgetful" these days that you want to record their words for posterity’s sake. The damndest thing about this is that having to do such a thing is a clear example for why you should be seriously thinking about removing yourself from range in the first place. If you’re toting a notebook to safeguard yourself - that ol’ bulls*** meter should be flashing steady by now!

4.Guilt. Emotional manipulators are excellent guilt mongers. They can make you feel guilty for speaking up or not speaking up, for being emotional or not being emotional enough, for giving and caring, or for not giving and caring enough. Any thing is fair game and open to guilt with an emotional manipulator. Emotional manipulators seldom express their needs or desires openly - they get what they want through emotional manipulation. Guilt is not the only form of this but it is a potent one. Most of us are pretty conditioned to do whatever is necessary to reduce our feelings of guilt. Another powerful emotion that is used is sympathy. An emotional manipulator is a great victim. They inspire a profound sense of needing to support, care for and nurture. Emotional Manipulators seldom fight their own fights or do their own dirty work. The crazy thing is that when you do it for them (which they will never ask directly for), they may just turn around and say they certainly didn’t want or expect you to do anything! Try to make a point of not fighting other people’s battles, or doing their dirty work for them. A great line is "I have every confidence in your ability to work this out on your own" - check out the response and note the bulls*** meter once again.

5.Emotional manipulators fight dirty. They don’t deal with things directly. They will talk around behind your back and eventually put others in the position of telling you what they would not say themselves. They are passive aggressive, meaning they find subtle ways of letting you know they are not happy little campers. They’ll tell you what they think you want to hear and then do a bunch of jerk off **** to undermine it. Example: "Of course I want you to go back to school honey and you know I’ll support you." Then exam night you are sitting at the table and poker buddies show up, the kids are crying the t.v. blasting and the dog needs walking - all the while "Sweetie" is sitting on their a** looking at you blankly. Dare you call them on such behavior you are likely to hear, "well you can’t expect life to just stop because you have an exam can you honey?" Cry, scream or choke ‘em - only the last will have any long-term benefits and it’ll probably wind your butt in jail.

6.If you have a headache an emotional manipulator will have a brain tumor!! No matter what your situation is the emotional manipulator has probably been there or is there now - but only ten times worse. It’s hard after a period of time to feel emotionally connected to an emotional manipulator because they have a way of de-railing conversations and putting the spotlight back on themselves. If you call them on this behavior they will likely become deeply wounded or very petulant and call you selfish - or claim that it is you who are always in the spotlight. The thing is that even tho you know this is not the case you are left with the impossible task of proving it. Don’t bother - TRUST your gut and away!

7.Emotional manipulators somehow have the ability to impact the emotional climate of those around them. When an emotional manipulator is sad or angry the very room thrums with it - it brings a deep instinctual response to find someway to equalize the emotional climate and the quickest route is by making the emotional manipulator feel better - fixing whatever is broken for them. Stick with this type of loser for too long and you will be so enmeshed and co-dependent you will forget you even have needs - let alone that you have just as much right to have your needs met.

8.Emotional manipulators have no sense of accountability. They take no responsibility for themselves or their behavior - it is always about what everyone else has "done to them". One of the easiest ways to spot an emotional manipulator is that they often attempt to establish intimacy through the early sharing of deeply personal information that is generally of the "hook-you-in-and-make-you-sorry-for-me" variety. Initially you may perceive this type of person as very sensitive, emotionally open and maybe a little vulnerable. Believe me when I say that an emotional manipulator is about as vulnerable as a rabid pit bull, and there will always be a problem or a crisis to overcome.

Some would say it is possible with time, a great deal of honesty and communication to work through emotional manipulation. Personally I think life is short and precious - the only worthwhile thing to do when confronted with an emotionally manipulative person is to BROOM THEIR a** TO THE CURB! A Relationship with emotionally manipulative person is similar to re-exposing yourself over and over and over to a highly toxic and potentially fatal virus. Each brush with it reduces your immunity and weakens your defenses. It can take more time for someone that has been in an emotionally manipulative relationship (READ: ABUSE) to recover than it does for someone that leaves a physically abusive one. At least you can name that punch that hit you. Emotional abuse is subtle. It is insidious. It is dangerous. If you are in it - away and never look back. Make it a rule!



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You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
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Posted: April 5, 2007, 9:52 PM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



Families and Addiction

Families are always baffled by alcoholics and addicts simply because their behaviors defy reason. Addictive behavior runs counter to known survival skills. Mistakes are made and then repeated over and over again in an almost ritualistic fashion. The addict uses the substance, then swears off of the substance only to return to it all over again. Consequences seem to mean little. Relationships are manipulated with precision by the substance abuser leaving people around them feeling used and confused or angry, frustrated and helpless.

To clarify why this is we must define the roles and attitudes of family members as they presently exist, and then redefine those roles as they should exist if the Substance Abuser is to be helped. No one can force sobriety . But an atmosphere conducive to recovery can be created. For this to occur, misconceptions about what is helpful and what is not helpful must be addressed.

First and foremost the Chemically Dependent person is not usually a bad person, although the behavior may be reprehensible and even criminally abusive. It is a coping mechanism and a chemical reaction of the body. With that knowledge in hand it stands to reason that if we were to expand the behavioral choices of the person, better coping mechanisms would result.

An addict aka alcoholic is by definition insane in behavior. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. What outcome? Normal drinking or using. The ability to regain control of the substance to which the addict uses. The substance has become linked to conditioned thoughts and conditioned actions which are by and large habits.

Recognize that all addicted persons are by nature actors. This is a survival skill for them. They are very often charming when it counts and abusive when charming doesn't work. They will often soundly agree that they have a problem that needs to be addressed. The problem that they will want to address is more likely what it is what others do to cause them to use, or why it is that the family does not understand their needs. Addicts are proficient blame shifters ever rationalizing, intellectualizing and justifying their position to throw others off balance.

Most, if not all addicts display some of the characteristics of Borderline Personality Disorder . BPD's straddle the line between sane and insane. BPD's are very impulsive and impatient people who display unpredictable moods and actions that tend to menace those around them. They are proficient spousal abusers in many cases as well as stalkers.They often go through lovers and friendships by exploiting others until destruction of the relationship occurs. They are often very seductive and sexually loose. They never seem to realize the impact of their behavior on others. When faced with the ultimate consequences of their actions, they explode in anger threatening violence or suicide as a ploy to regain control over what their behavior has cost them.

Another symptom of addiction in progress is Antisocial Personality Disorder. APD's are a great deal of fun to have around. Rules aren't made for them. As kids these people skipped school, vandalized, shoplifted, drank or huffed or both, picked on some poor kid they thought they could bully, and were a total pain in the a**. As adults they lie, cheat, steal, miss work, fail in family responsibility, go deeply into debt, and push conventions to the limits and beyond. These are the stereo blasters, loud mouths and disruptive people who victimize neighborhoods or local bars. When confronted they raise such a ruckus that people tend to back down. Most repeat drunk drivers fall into this category. Help for these characters is generally prescribed in a pre sentencing report.

The behaviors explained on this page will no doubt strike a cord with many of you. Somewhere on this page was an "I know that person." No Chemically Dependent Person Is Unique! . 2+2=4! Some people will have all of these symptoms while others will have combinations of a little of this and a little of that.


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You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
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Posted: April 12, 2007, 3:44 PM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



Carrying The Message, Not The Addict

"They can be analyzed, counseled, reasoned with, prayed over, threatened, beaten, or locked up, but they will not stop until they want to stop."

Perhaps one of the most difficult truths we must face in our recovery is that we are as powerless over another's addiction as we are over our own. We may think that because we've had a spiritual awakening in our own lives we should be able to persuade another addict to find recovery. But there are limits to what we can do to help another addict.

We cannot force them to stop using. We cannot give them the results of the steps or grow for them. We cannot take away their loneliness or their pain. There is nothing we can say to convince a scared addict to surrender the familiar misery of addiction for the frightening uncertainty of recovery. We cannot jump inside other peoples' skins, shift their goals, or decide for them what is best for them.

However, if we refuse to try to exert this power over another's addiction, we may help them. They may grow if we allow them to face reality, painful though it may be. They may become more productive, by their own definition, as long as we don't try and do it for them. They can become the authority on their own lives, provided we are only authorities on our own. If we can accept all this, we can become what we were meant to be - carriers of the message, not the addict.

Just for today: I will accept that I am powerless not only over my own addiction but also over everyone else's. I will carry the message, not the addict.


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You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
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Posted: April 13, 2007, 7:08 PM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



Things Addicts SAY from Jail/Prison
(Don't believe a single one of them)

1) THIS time is it/I’m done
2) I'll do ANYTHING you want if you go back with me/help me
3) You can hold all my money
4) I'll go to meetings/treatment
5) Give me a break
6) Work with me on this
7) I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry
8) I want to quit, but...I can’t do it without you
9) I know what I have to do
10) You drove me to use, I’m worse now because you put too much pressure on me
11) Don't abandon me
12) I need you as a friend
13) I wouldn’t leave you in jail/abandon you if you were here
14) I don’t belong here, I’m an addict, I’m not a bad person
15) I need to stay clean for myself
16) I’m getting too old for this $hit
17) I don't want to use
18) I've found God
19) I have a long climb ahead of me to get out of this pit I've dug for myself
20) Look at the damage I have done to (fill in the blank)
21) I am so far in debt, I owe so much to so many people who have helped me
22) I want to be respected and will have to work really hard to earn that respect back
23) I will do anything to make it right
24) I am going to kill myself.
25) I am so lonely in here
26) If you were the addict, and had this disease I would stick by you 100%
27) Forget the past and look forward to our future together.
28) I’m so ashamed
29) I will change
30) I’m hungry, can you put some money on my books



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You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
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Posted: April 15, 2007, 7:34 AM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



This was posted on the Alcoholics board by an alcoholic in recovery. But like so much of the recovery exercises, books, writing, literature, and thoughts, it really has universal application, not only to addicts and alcoholics, but to each and every one of us. We talk about the addicts and alcoholics in our lives and focus so much of our attention on what somebody else is doing or thinking or saying or the harm they are causing or the things they won't see, but unless we are working on improving ourselves and willing to change and grow, we are really only fooling ourselves.

And, as with so many other things in life, if we are not growing and learning and changing and developing, we are dying. It's a walking death. Dead man walking.

Without preaching, we should each ask ourselves, what are we doing today to help ourselves and what are we doing to let the spirit of life capture us and engulf us and heal us and transform us ?

Just how open are we to change ?

How much time, effort, energy, thought and resources are we expending trying to change someone else or wishing and hoping someone else will change, when it's US that need to change ?

What habits, thoughts, activities, defects, bad thinking, are we addicted to ?

What rut are we in ?

Which of the 12 Steps do we need to be "working," not reading, but working today ?

What's one thing that we are going to do today that we haven't done in years ?

As the saying goes -- "physician, heal thyself."


Here's the post from a recovering alcoholic -----


When I first came into recovery I had built up a lot of defects and shortcomings .Defects where things that I was doing and shouldn’t have been doing .
And shortcomings are things that I wasn’t doing and should have been doing.

This inventory list has helped me in daily recovery to minimize those defects and shortcomings and have days without any great drama going on. What a blessing


MY DAILY INVENTORY
LIABILITIES-----------------------------------------------ASSETS


WATCH FOR:-------------------------------------------STRIVE FOR:


SELF-PITY-----------------------------------------------SELF-FORGETFULNESS

SELF-JUSTIFICATION-------------------------------HUMILITY

SELF-IMPORTANCE---------------------------------MODESTY

SELF-CONDEMNATION ---------------------------SELF-ESTEEM

DISHONESTY ------------------------------------------HONESTY

IMPATIENCE------------------------------------------- PATIENCE

HATE ----------------------------------------------------- LOVE

RESENTMENT ----------------------------------------FORGIVENESS

FALSE PRIDE ----------------------------------------SIMPLICITY

ENVY ----------------------------------------------------GENEROSITY

LAZINESS ----------------------------------------------ACTIVITY

PROCRASTINATION--------------------------------PROMPTNESS

INSINCERITY------------------------------------------STRAIGHT FORWARDNESS

NEGATIVE THINKING------------------------------POSITIVE THINKING

VULGAR, IMMORAL THINKING----------------SPIRITUAL, CLEAN THINKING

CRITICIZING------------------------------------------- LOOK FOR THE GOOD !

UNBELIEF----------------------------------------------FAITH

GIVING UP---------------------------------------------DETERMINATION

HALF MEASURES----------------------------------FULL MEASURE

COMPLIANCE ---------------------------------------COMMITMENT

God bless All

__________________________________

Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes.

Change your mind, change your world.

Take your body, your mind will follow.

--------------------
You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
  Top
Posted: April 16, 2007, 12:01 PM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



Detachment WITH LOVE

Detachment WITH LOVE is neither kind nor unkind. It does not imply judgement or condemnation of the person or situation from which we are detaching. Separating ourselves from the adverse effects of another person's addiction can be a means of detaching. It does not necessarily require physical separation. Detachment can help us look at our situation realistically and objectively, enabling us to make decisions based on facts and not just feelings.

We believe we have the family disease of addiction. Living with the effects of someone else's drug abuse and addiction becomes so devastating that most people cannot bare it without the help and support of others.

We are learning that nothing we say or do can cause or cure our loved one's addiction. We are not responsible for anyone else's disease or recovery.

Detachment WITH LOVE allows us to let go of our obsession with our loved one's behavior and begin to heal ourselves, so that we can lead happier and more manageable lives, with dignity and rights, guided by a Power greater than ourselves. We believe we can do this while continuing to love and care for our loved one - without liking their behavior or accepting the consequences of that behavior in our lives. We believe we can change ourselves, others we can only love.

In Nar-Anon we learn the we do not have to suffer as a result of someone else's actions, reactions or consequences. We do not have to permit ourselves to be used or abused by others. We no longer feel obligated to do for others what they can do for themselves. We learn that we harm ourselves and our loved one when we attempt to manipulate situations so others will behave as we see fit. We come to understand the covering for another's mistakes or misdeeds only contributes to the problem. We learn to neither cause nor prevent crises in the lives of our loved one, nor attempt to make better or worse the consequences of their actions.

By DETACHING WITH LOVE, we learn to focus on ourselves, our own ideas, emotions and attitudes. We understand we have a role to play in the situation we find ourselves experiencing, and we choose to focus on improving our role in the situation. As we do so, our well-being and our situation improves - for ALL involved.




--------------------
You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
  Top
Posted: May 29, 2007, 7:20 PM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



Escape the Trap of Hurt Feelings

© 2006 by Doug Britton (Permission granted to print for personal use )

...For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).

[Love} ... keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5).

Taking things personally often leads to anger or depression.
One of the major causes for anger or depression in many people is taking things personally, allowing their feelings to be hurt by others’ word and actions.

The following ideas can help you not take things personally---even if the other person means for you to take them personally!

Steps to avoid hurt feelings or taking things personally

If someone says or does something that hurts your feelings:

Consider asking if there is a problem between you and him or her.

Concentrate on loving the other person. This focus helps you get away from being self-centered or self-conscious.

Realize the other person’s reaction may reflect time pressure in his or her life.

Realize the other person’s reaction may reflect tiredness or exhaustion.

Realize the other person’s reaction may reflect concentration on issues or plans.

Realize the other person’s reaction may reflect personality problems. You can lovingly say to yourself, "That’s his (or her) problem."

Realize that you may not see things clearly or may misinterpret something.

Realize that you may have set yourself up to be hurt.

Realize that you may be too sensitive, or that your expectations may be unreasonable.

Realize that there are cliques or in-groups that will not accept you because of your social status, clothes, finances or other superficial reasons. This is a sign of their immaturity. Do not take it personally.

Realize the other person’s reaction may reflect difficulties or tragedies he or she is facing.

Realize that you may have done or said something to cause the person to react the way he or she did.

Realize that you cannot read other peoples’ minds.

Realize that the nature of relationships may change over time. Interests and needs change, and sometimes relationships change accordingly.

Realize that some people won't like you, or that there may be personality conflicts. Still be polite and still love them, but do not feel an obligation to win them over.

Realize that everybody is imperfect. If someone is inconsiderate, rude, or insensitive, you can lovingly say to yourself, "That’s his (or her) problem." There is no need to take it personally, even if it is meant to be taken personally..

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You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
  Top
Posted: May 30, 2007, 8:28 PM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go

Peace with the Past

Even God cannot change the past.
--Agathon

Holding on to the past, either through guilt, longing, denial, or resentment, is a waste of valuable energy - energy that can be used to transform today and tomorrow.

"I used to live in my past," said one recovering woman. "I was either trying to change it, or I was letting it control me. Usually both.

"I constantly felt guilty about things that had happened. Things I had done; things others had done to me - even though I had made amends for most everything, the guilt ran deep. Everything was somehow my fault. I could never just let it go.

"I held on to anger for years, telling myself it was justified. I was in denial about a lot of things. Sometimes, I'd try to absolutely forget about my past, but I never really stopped and sorted through it; my past was like a dark cloud that followed me around, and I couldn't shake clear of it. I guess I was scared to let it go, afraid of today, afraid of tomorrow.

I've been recovering now for years, and it has taken me almost as many years to gain the proper perspective on my past. I'm learning I can't forget it; I need to heal from it. I need to feel and let go of any feelings I still have, especially anger.

"I need to stop blaming myself for painful events that took place, and trust that everything has happened on schedule, and truly all is okay. I've learned to stop regretting, and to start being grateful.

"When I think about the past, I thank God for the healing and the memory. If something occurs that needs an amend, I make it and am done with it. I've learned to look at my past with compassion for myself, trusting that my Higher Power was in control, even then.

"I've healed from some of the worst things that happened to me. I've made peace with myself about these issues, and I've learned that healing from some of these issues has enabled me to help others to heal too. I'm able to see how the worst things helped form my character and developed some of my finer points.

"I've even developed gratitude for my failed relationships because they have brought me to who and where I am today.

"What I've learned has been acceptance - without guilt, anger, blame, or shame. I've even had to learn to accept the years I spent feeling guilty, angry, shameful, and blaming."

We cannot control the past. But we can transform it by allowing ourselves to heal from it and by accepting it with love for others and ourselves. I know, because that woman is me.

Today, I will begin being grateful for my past. I cannot change what happened, but I can transform the past by owning my power, now, to accept, heal, and learn from it .


--------------------
You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
  Top
Posted: June 1, 2007, 10:34 AM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



I didn't write this, but I sure could have. It's from a Nar-anon board I go to.

Letter to My Higher Power

Dear God,

Please help me. I’m lying on the cold, wet ground, holding on for dear life to my son’s wrists.
You see, he is falling off a “cliff” and if he falls, he will die.
I’m getting tired, and he’s getting heavier. I just don’t know how much longer I can hold on.
Even though my arms ache, I’ve got to hold him up.

I’ve always been the strong one, but am I trying to “play God”? That’s your role, God, not mine.
It seems hard for me to trust that you can take better care of him than I.
I heard in Naranon that I should “Let Go and Let God”, and I really want to try, but I’m afraid You may not catch him and let him die.

I’m so cold and weary. I’m losing ground and getting weaker by the minute.
Oh, why won’t I let go? I seem to want everything in “contract form”.
Yet, if I don’t let go, eventually we’ll BOTH fall and DIE.
Why do I think I’m so powerful….that I can do it alone and handle everything?

I know I’m wasting a lot of time and energy by hanging on. There is so much I could be doing.
I feel drained, and all my energy is concentrated on pulling him up.
I have no goals for me…no future. I haven’t laughed or played in a long, long time.
I know I would have tremendous freedom if I would only let go.
Freedom to be my own person, and take time for and care for myself.
Someone told me to “have Faith”. I’ve got to have faith, because I know I can no longer hold on.

I found temporary relief by switching arms and giving one a rest, but I know that letting go is the permanent solution I’m looking for.
I’m getting desperate. I’m a mess—dirty, exhausted, and a nervous wreck.
How can I take care of someone else when I can’t even take care of myself?
My way doesn’t work. I can’t do it any longer.
Deep inside God, I know You can take better care of him than I can. You will watch him, won’t You?

I think I know what powerless means now, and my life is certainly unmanageable.
I realize I’m not able to control the world around me, let alone my SON.
I know You know what’s best for me and my loved ones, and You love me just as I am, with all my faults.
I need to accept help from others in the Program. I don’t have to do it alone.
Striving for honesty, openness, and willingness, I know I can make it.

I surrender right this minute, making a decision to turn my will and my life over to Your care, as I understand You.
I pray for the knowledge of Your Will for me, and the power to carry that out.
May Thy Will be done, not mine.
With a sigh of relief, I now LET GO!
THANK GOD!

--------------------
You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
  Top
Posted: June 18, 2007, 2:03 PM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



Competition Between Martyrs

"Yes, I know your spouse is an alcoholic, but my son is an alcoholic, and that's different. That's worse!"

My pain is greater than yours!

What an easy trap that can be for us. We are out to show others how victimized we have been, how much we hurt, how unfair life is, and what tremendous martyrs we are. And we won't be happy until we do!

We don't need to prove our pain and suffering to anyone. We know we have been in pain. We know we have suffered. Most of us have been legitimately victimized. Many of us have had difficult, painful lessons to learn.

The goal in recovery is not to show others how much we hurt or have hurt. The goal is to stop our pain, and to share that solution with others.

If someone begins trying to prove to us how much he or she hurts, we can say simply, "It sounds like you've been hurt." Maybe all that person is looking for is validation of his or her pain.

If we find ourselves trying to prove to someone how much we've been hurt or if we try to top someone else's pain, we may want to stop and figure out what's going on. Do we need to recognize how much we've hurt or are hurting?

There is no particular award or reward for suffering, as many of us tricked ourselves into believing in the height of our codependency. The reward is learning to stop the pain and move into joy, peace, and fulfillment.

That is the gift of recovery, and it is equally available to each of us, even if our pain was greater, or less, than someone else's.

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You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
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Posted: July 15, 2007, 2:14 PM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



I didn't CAUSE it
I can't CURE it
I can't CONTROL it
I can take better CARE of myself
by COMMUNICATING my feeling
Making healthy CHOICES
and CELEBRATING my life

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You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
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Posted: July 25, 2007, 6:39 AM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



The Drug Abuser’s 3 Weapons

The family’s best defense against the emotional impact of alcohol and drug abuse is gaining knowledge and achieving the emotional maturity and courage needed to put it into effect. The people most responsible for the abuser may need more assistance and counseling than the abuser if an effective recovery program is to be launched. Addiction is an illness, one which has tremendous emotional impact upon the immediate family. The more distorted the emotions of these persons become, the less adequate their help will be. The best thing they can do is to seek help and treatment for their own situation, so that they will not play into the progressive illness pattern of the abuser and thereby contribute to the progress of the disease rather than recovery.

In trying to control and use the family, the abuser uses 3 primary weapons. The family must learn to defend against these, or they will become virtual slaves to the illness and may create for themselves emotional, mental or physical illness.

The first weapon is the ability to arouse anger or provoke loss of temper. If the family member or friend becomes angry and hostile, this person has been completely destroyed insofar as ability to help the abuser is concerned. Consciously or unconsciously, the abuser is projecting an image of self-hatred against the other person. If it is met by angry, hostile attacks, it is thereby verified, and the abuser in his own mind justifies his former usage, and also now has an additional excuse to use drugs in the future. The gods first make angry those whom they wish to destroy, and the abuser has a long experience of acting like a little god. If your temper is lost, all chance of help is thrown away, at least for the moment.

The second weapon of the abuser is the ability to arouse anxiety on the part of the family. When the family is anxious, they feel compelled to do for the abuser that which only the addict himself can do if the illness is to be arrested and recovery initiated. A bad check is a good example for this principle. The check may be written before, during, or after the drug abuse period. The addict does not have money in the bank to redeem this check. When the anxiety of the family members becomes too intense with regard to what will happen if the check is not redeemed, they secure money and cover the check. This relieves the anxiety of both the family and the abuser, but it establishes a pattern for the addict in the area of problem solving. The abuser now learns that his family is not going to let him suffer the consequences; and he may expect this to be done whenever another bad check is written or whenever he creates a similar problem.

More important still, if the family redeems the check, the abuser cannot redeem it and therefore this failure is made permanent. The abuser cannot undo what others have already undone. This increases the abuser’s sense of failure and guilt, and increases the family’s sense of hostility and condemnation of the abuser. The abuser is actually doubly injured. The criticism, scolding and moralizing add to the abuser’s guilt and resentment against himself and his family. The entire situation is thus made worse. The family did not write the bad check, but in making it good, they gave a form of approval while they verbally condemned the same act.

Abusers are propelled along the progress of the disease when the family is unable to cope with anxiety aroused by the addict. This is, in effect, part of the illness. Neither the abuser nor his family is able to face reality. The writing of the bad check and the redemption of it by the family are but two sides of the same problem. The abuser can never learn to solve his own problems in a responsible way if the anxiety of the family compels the removal of the problem before the abuser can be brought to face it and solve it, or suffer the consequences from it. This home training course increases the addict’s irresponsibility, and also increases the hostility, resentment and tension between the addict and the family.

The third weapon of the abuser is the ability to arouse guilt. It is common to hear parents say, “We don’t know what we did wrong….” And then go on to list all the things they thought had been done right.

Moreover, the abuser will often accuse the family of injustices. He may or may not have truth on his side. If he succeeds in making the family feel guilty, he can probably manipulate them. Most of us, under the pain of guilt, will try to make amends and be nice to the offended party. But being nice often takes the form of enabling the abuser to avoid the pain of facing the result of his actions. At times, a parent feeling guilt will actually provide the money for the abuser’s continuing abuse, enabling him to face tremendous danger at a point where he is especially vulnerable.

Tough love does not allow a child to play with a loaded pistol, no matter if the child accuses one of lack of love. And so it is with the family of the abuser. Parents are notoriously susceptible to the words, “If you really loved me you would….”. Even though there may be some truth to his accusations, love should not provide him the means to get high. Such manipulation is destructive to you as a person, to the abuser, and to the relationship between you.

Guilt, anger, and anxiety must be dealt with by the family, or the family will contribute to the progress of the illness. The family members must first learn to cope with their own problems before any beneficial effects can reach the addict. This requires help, just as any serious illness requires help from doctors and nurses. The abuser can continue to deny that he has a drug problem and that he does not need help, as long as the family provides an automatic escape from the consequences of his using drugs.












This was a really good one. Our emotions are a major part of the continuing spiral.

The original post and discussion.

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You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
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Posted: July 26, 2007, 6:53 AM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



Can living with a drug addict affect you mentally?

A) Yes. This is why the disease of addiction is called a family disease. The alcoholic and/or drug addict is obsessed with getting and doing their drug of choice,and the family is obsessed with the problem.

If anyone spends any length of time with an alcoholic and/or addict they will go a little neurotic. If you think about it, it is insane to allow someone to do to you the things that an addict does to people. You wouldn't let your neighbor come over for a visit to steal money from you, take and pawn your TV, stereo, jewelry, etc., or write forged checks from your checking account. You certainly would not let your "healthy" son or daughter come back to live with you, stating they will not work, pay rent, or help with keeping the place clean. You wouldn't put up with your significant other not taking a shower for two weeks, or let them sleep for 5 days straight. If this were anyone else doing all these crazy behaviors, and you just put up with it, you would go seek counseling because you would identify immediately that it is not normal and healthy to allow someone to do these things to you.

It is different when it comes to the alcoholic and/or addict, and that makes for an even more needed response of stepping back mentally and emotionally to take an objective look at the situation , and asking yourself "WHY?" Why are you putting up with this? Why are you avoiding getting some advice? Why are you avoiding getting counseling for yourself? Now here comes the big question. What do you fear? Keep in mind that all behaviors are functional. This means that there is a reason why you do what you do, or not do. My strong advice to you is to get some objective advice, either through counseling, a member of the clergy, Al-Anon meetings, your local mental health provider, your companies EAP- something, anything- and do it right now.

The reality is, that the alcoholic and/or addict is not going to change just because you want them to, or because it is healthy. The only real thing you can do is learn how to deal with them differently. If you don't do it, you will get sucked into the abyss of "The Dysfunctional Family System" and this then becomes very unhealthy, and can leave those around the addict with permanent damage.

Let's go back to that big question- "What do you fear?" I already know the answer, but you have to identify it for yourself. If you fear the addict going on an alcoholic or drug binge because you confronted them on their lifestyle, and let's say in your mind the following happens. They get angry, and walk away saying something along the lines of, "I'm going to get really fuc _ ed up, and you're to blame," and you don't confront them because you fear this happening, then guess what? You are affected mentally by them. The reality is that if they choose to go out and get drunk or stoned, they have chosen to do this.

Also, keep in mind that if you enable them, the next time they get drunk or stoned may be their last time. They might die as a result of an auto accident, not to mention the others who may die, or overdose and die, and I now would ask you my other tough question of, "What part did you play in this ?" By allowing the behavior to continue, you are playing a part in their destructive lifestyle , and it will definitely affect you and others, and this is definitely the road to a lifestyle fatality.

On the other hand, if you state that you are not going to put up with their lifestyle, they will either change or continue to do what they choose to do. If they decide to continue, you are allowing them to hit their bottom, and this will be their motivation for change . If they decide to change, it is because they want to change, but don't know how to begin. You can step in and offer suggestions, but DO NOT do it for them. They must play a big part in their treatment and recovery. You can provide contacts for help, but DO NOT dial it for them, allow them to get into action- it is important, and has a big part to play in whether they succeed or not. I look at it like two people in a car and one person decides to go get a burger from a drive thru place. You could suggest a number of places to go, and then you must allow them to choose from the list you mentioned. If you take over and drive, order, pay for, and eat the burger, then they don't get to experience the responsibility of paying for their own way , they don't get the nutrients from the food, then they die from lack of food.

You can be emotionally supportive, but not emotionally enmeshed. Step back and allow them to experience that they can succeed. You cannot be there for them 24/7. If they learn to stand on their own two feet and stay clean and sober they will succeed. I suggest you attend some Al-Anon meetings to learn from others what to do, what not to do, when to step in, and when not to step in. In synopsis, get help for yourself, and you will be in a healthier position to make the right choices of what to do or not do when the alcoholic, and/or addict decides they want help.

This response was written by, Rev. Steve J. Murray, CRC, NICD Director

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You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
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Posted: September 10, 2007, 5:49 AM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005




Addiction, Lies and Relationships
Author Floyd P. Garrett, M.D.

Addiction means always having to say you are sorry and finally, when being sorry is no longer good enough for others who have been repeatedly hurt by the addiction, addiction often means being sorry all alone.

Addiction is often said to be a disease of denial but it is also a disease of regret. When the addictive process has lasted long enough and penetrated deeply enough into the life and mind of the addict, the empty space left by the losses caused by progressive, destructive addiction is filled up with regrets, if-onlys and could-have-beens. In early addiction the addict tends to live in the future; in middle and late addiction he begins to dwell more and more in the past. And it is usually an unhappy, bitterly regretted past.

The first casualty of addiction, like that of war, is the truth. At first the addict merely denies the truth to himself. But as the addiction, like a malignant tumor, slowly and progressively expands and invades more and more of the healthy tissue of his life and mind and world, the addict begins to deny the truth to others as well as to himself. He becomes a practiced and profligate liar in all matters related to the defense and preservation of his addiction, even though prior to the onset of his addictive illness, and often still in areas as yet untouched by the addiction, he may be scrupulously honest.

First the addict lies to himself about his addiction, then he begins to lie to others. Lying, evasion, deception, manipulation, spinning and other techniques for avoiding or distorting the truth are necessary parts of the addictive process. They precede the main body of the addiction like military sappers and shock troops, mapping and clearing the way for its advance and protecting it from hostile counterattacks.

Because addiction by definition is an irrational, unbalanced and unhealthy behavior pattern resulting from an abnormal obsession, it simply cannot continue to exist under normal circumstances without the progressive attack upon and distortion of reality resulting from the operation of its propaganda and psychological warfare brigades. The fundamentally insane and unsupportable thinking and behavior of the addict must be justified and rationalized so that the addiction can continue and progress.

One of the chief ways the addiction protects and strengthens itself is by a psychology of personal exceptionalism which permits the addict to maintain a simultaneous double-entry bookkeeping of addictive and non-addictive realities and to reconcile the two when required by reference to the unique, special considerations that àat least in his own mind- happen to apply to his particular case.

The form of the logic for this personal exceptionalism is:

Under ordinary circumstances and for most people X is undesirable/irrational;
My circumstances are not ordinary and I am different from most people;
Therefore X is not undesirable/irrational in my case - or not as undesirable/irrational as it would be in other cases.

Armed with this powerful tool of personal exceptionalism that is a virtual "Open Sesame" for every difficult ethical conundrum he is apt to face, the addict is free to take whatever measures are required for the preservation and progress of his addiction, while simultaneously maintaining his allegiance to the principles that would certainly apply if only his case were not a special one.

In treatment and rehabilitation centers this personal exceptionalism is commonly called "terminal uniqueness." The individual in the grip of this delusion is able to convince himself though not always others that his circumstances are such that ordinary rules and norms of behavior, rules and norms that he himself concurs with when it comes to other people, do not fairly or fully fit himself at the present time and hence must be bent or stretched just sufficiently to make room for his special needs. In most cases this plea for accommodation is acknowledged to be a temporary one and accompanied by a pledge or plan to return to the conventional "rules of engagement" as soon as circumstances permit. This is the basic mindset of "I'll quit tomorrow" and "If you had the problems I do you'd drink and drug, too!"

The personal exceptionalism of the addict, along with his willingness to lie both by commission and omission in the protection and furtherance of his addiction, place a severe strain upon his relationships with others. It does not usually take those who are often around the addict long to conclude that he simply cannot be believed in matters pertaining to his addiction. He may swear that he is clean and sober and intends to stay that way when in fact he is under the influence or planning to become so at the first opportunity; he may minimize or conceal the amount of substance consumed; and he may make up all manner of excuses and alibis whose usually transparent purpose is to provide his addiction the room it requires to continue operating.

One of the most damaging interpersonal scenarios occurs when the addict, usually as the consequence of some unforeseen crisis directly stemming from his addiction, promises with all of the sincerity at his command to stop his addictive behavior and never under any circumstances to resume it again.

"I promise," the addict pleads, sometimes with tears in his eyes. "I know I have been wrong, and this time I have learned my lesson. You'll never have to worry about me again. It will never happen again!"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(continued)

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You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
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Posted: September 11, 2007, 8:37 AM


Posts: 2378
Joined: December 30, 2005



(continued)

But it does happen again and again, and again, and again. Each time the promises, each time their breaking. Those who first responded to his sincere sounding promises of reform with relief, hope and at times even joy soon become disillusioned and bitter.

Spouses and other family members begin to ask a perfectly logical question: "If you really love and care about me, why do you keep doing what you know hurts me so badly?" To this the addict has no answer except to promise once again to do better, "this time for real, you'll see!" or to respond with grievances and complaints of his own. The question of fairness arises as the addict attempts to extenuate his own admitted transgressions by repeated references to what he considers the equal or greater faults of those who complain of his addictive behavior. This natural defensive maneuver of "the best defense is a good offense" variety can be the first step on a slippery slope that leads to the paranoid demonization of the very people the addict cares about the most. Unable any longer to carry the burden of his own transgressions he begins to think of himself as the victim of the unfairness and unreasonableness of others who are forever harping on his addiction and the consequences that flow from it. "Leave me alone," he may snap. "I'm not hurting anybody but myself!" He has become almost totally blind to how his addictive behavior does in fact harm those around him who care about him; and he has grown so confused that hurting only himself has begun to sound like a rational, even a virtuous thing to do!

Corresponding in a mirror image fashion to the addict's sense of unfair victimization by his significant others may be the rising self-pity, resentment and outrage of those whose lives are repeatedly disturbed or disrupted by the addict's behavior. A downward spiral commences of reciprocally reinforcing mistrust and resentment as once healthy and mutually supportive relationships begin to corrode under the toxic effects of the relentless addictive process.

As the addictive process claims more of the addict's self and lifeworld his addiction becomes his primary relationship to the detriment of all others. Strange as it sounds to speak of a bottle of alcohol, a drug, a gambling obsession or any other such compulsive behavior as a love object, this is precisely what goes on in advanced addictive illness. This means that in addiction there is always infidelity to other love objects such as spouses and other family - for the very existence of addiction signifies an allegiance that is at best divided and at worst -and more commonly- betrayed. For there comes a stage in every serious addiction at which the paramount attachment of the addict is to the addiction itself. Those unfortunates who attempt to preserve a human relationship to individuals in the throes of progressive addiction almost always sense their own secondary "less than" status in relation to the addiction - and despite the addict's passionate and indignant denials of this reality, they are right: the addict does indeed love his addiction more than he loves them.

Addiction protects and augments itself by means of a bodyguard of lies, distortions and evasions that taken together amount to a full scale assault upon consensual reality. Because addiction involves irrational and unhealthy thinking and behavior, its presence results in cognitive dissonance both within the addict himself and in the intersubjective realm of ongoing personal relationships.

In order for the addiction to continue it requires an increasingly idiosyncratic private reality subject to the needs of the addictive process and indifferent or even actively hostile to the healthy needs of the addict and those around him. This encroachment of the fundamentally autistic, even insane private reality of the addict upon the reality of his family and close associates inevitably causes friction and churn as natural corrective feedback mechanisms come into usually futile play in an effort to restore the addict's increasingly deviant reality towards normal. Questions, discussions, presentations of facts, confrontations, pleas, threats, ultimatums and arguments are characteristic of this process, which in more fortunate and less severe cases of addiction may sometimes actually succeed in its aim of arresting the addiction. But in the more serious or advanced cases all such human counter-attacks upon the addiction, even, indeed especially when they come from those closest and dearest to the addict, fall upon deaf ears and a hardened heart. The addict's obsession-driven, monomaniacal private reality prevents him from being able to hear and assimilate anything that would if acknowledged pose a threat to the continuance of his addiction.

At this stage of addiction the addict is in fact functionally insane. It is usually quite impossible, even sometimes harmful to attempt to talk him out of his delusions regarding his addiction. This situation is similar to that encountered in other psychotic illnesses, schizophrenia for example, in which the individual is convinced of the truth of things that are manifestly untrue to everyone else. Someone who is deluded in the belief that he is the target of a worldwide conspiracy by some organization will always be able to answer any rational objection to his theory in a fashion that preserves the integrity of his belief system. Even when he is presented with hard and fast data that unequivocally disproves some of his allegations, he will easily find a way to sidestep the contradiction and persist in his false beliefs. (He can for example easily claim that the contradictory data is itself part of the conspiracy and is expressly fabricated for the purpose of making him look crazy! Anyone who has ever tried -uselessly- to reason with delusional patients knows the remarkable creativity and ingenuity that can be displayed in maintaining the viability, at least to the patient, of the most bizarre and obviously erroneous beliefs.)

The addict's delusions that he is harming neither himself nor others by his addictive behaviors; that he is in control of his addiction rather than vice versa; that his addiction is necessary or even useful and good for him; that the circumstances of his life justify his addiction; that people who indicate concern about him are enemies and not friends, and all other such beliefs which are patently and transparently false to everyone but himself, are seldom correctable by reason or objective data and thus indicate the presence of genuinely psychotic thinking which, if it is more subtle than the often grotesque delusions of the schizophrenic, is by virtue of its very subtlety often far more insidious and dangerous to the addict and those with whom he comes into contact. For in the case of the delusional schizophrenic most people are quickly aware that they are dealing with someone not in their right mind - but in the case of the equally or at times even more insane addict, thinking that is in fact delusional may be and commonly is misattributed to potentially remediable voluntary choices and moral decisions, resulting in still more confusion and muddying of the already turbulent waters around the addict and his addiction.

In many cases the addict responds to negative feedback from others about his addiction by following the maxim of "Attack the attacker." Those who confront or complain about the addict's irrational and unhealthy behaviors are criticized, analyzed and dismissed by the addict as untrustworthy or biased observers and false messengers. Their own vulnerabilities may be ruthlessly exposed and exploited by the addict in his desperate defense of his addiction. In many cases, depending upon their own psychological makeup and the nature of their relationship to the addict, they themselves may begin to manifest significant psychological symptoms. Emotional and social withdrawal, secrecy, fear and shame can cause the mental health of those closely involved with addicts to deteriorate. Almost always there is fear, anger, confusion and depression resulting from repeated damaging exposures to the addict's unhealthy and irrational behaviors and their corresponding and supporting private reality.


--------------------
You can get busy living. Or get busy dying.

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.
Jennifer Louden

There are no excuses, just people with excuses.


LINK: Posts about understanding and healing.


A fool learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. However, a brilliant man learns from what has been done right, and what others have done right, and avoids mistakes.
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