What is Addiction Really?

What is Addiction Really?

We do not have to know “why” we became addicts to recover.  If our brains are still prone to obsession it’s understandable that our sponsors suggest to us “don’t ask why”.    For the sake of peace in the first few years we should both “choose our battle’s” wisely and choose our purposes and goals wisely.  “Out of the problem into the solution” is by far one of my most valuable mantras for recovery.

However moving on into a more mature lifestyle I am discovering my truths and who I am.  If I question nothing and never ask “why” I shut myself out to both knowledge and learning.  This flipside of the “why ask why” coin is both dangerous and lacks depth.  A lack of learning is akin to a stagnant mind and stunted emotional growth.  My mind should have moved on into sanity at some point.  If I work the steps and get some good therapy.

First let me tell you this.  I have had long periods of sobriety then relapsed.  My last sober run beginning in 2006 and still going strong.  Oddly the topic of addiction interests me thoroughly even today after years of sobriety.

So what is addiction really?  Is it cunning, baffling and powerful?  At some point we can all agree that “yes” it is.  What does the Big Book tell us?  It’s insidious,  progressive, deadly, destructive and a spiritual sickness or malady of sorts.  Some says it’s inherited and genetic.  Some say it grounded in our environment.

“From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.”  Big Book fourth step.

There’s that contradiction again “spiritually and sick”.  Spirituality is in some ways a replacement drug for addiction.
Continue reading “What is Addiction Really?”

DO YOU KNOW YOUR EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS?

DO YOU KNOW YOUR EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS?

Very important to learn our emotional triggers in recovery otherwise…we will project every hurt, anger, and pain onto usually those we love most.  When we first get sober we are emotionally R.A.W. Ripe anger within.  Feelings follow actions not the other way around.  Meaning if I wait till I feel like doing something I am letting my feelings rule me.  At the same time denying and repressing feelings will make me sicker.  Emotional balance is what alcoholics often lack.  But for now, If we are not walking around with our hearts on our sleeve then we are not an addict in early recovery.  The thing is we usually want to Love and be Loved desperately but we continually push people away with our reactions to twisted perceptions.  WE ARE NOT BAD PEOPLE TRYING TO GET GOOD, We are Sick People Trying to Get Well.  We must rangle in our emotions long enough to get a sponsor and make some new recovery friends.

BLAME GAME HURTS ME AND MY RELATIONSHIPS

So how do we identify our emotional triggers so we don’t blame the world for our own feelings?  First we start the day with the precept of “I am responsible for my own feelings” even when I am wronged.  Even if I am wronged I am the one who must process the pain and hurt from that wrong.  I am the only one who can let it go.  So rather than trying to fix all my triggers in one day by taking my heart out of my chest and washing it off.  That would be impossible.  But what I CAN do and do have control over is my tongue and my thought processes.  I can intervene and basically “fake it till I make it” emotionally.

So when I suddenly find myself furious or deeply hurt, my face is turning red and I want to attack someone because it’s their fault that I feel the way I do…Instead I say.  “I am responsible for my own feelings.” I write out what I am feeling on paper.  I talk out what I am feeling with an empathic and understanding listener who WON’T POINT OUT MY SHORTCOMINGS AND DO MY STEP FOUR AND TENTH STEP FOR ME by taking my inventory.  My support group can help me see my triggers by their understanding and sharing their experience and their own past triggers.

DON’T BE ASHAMED OF FEAR

I must be able to admit fear or I won’t find my triggers.  I have to ask myself…”What is it that I am afraid of when angered and hurt?”  Am I trying to control everyone by making them have all my same viewpoints?  Am I playing God?  Am I afraid of losing something, like control or power?  Do I feel belittled and inferior as if the person I blame directly insulted me?  Do I feel I need to defend myself because I am afraid that I really am worthless, bad, inferior, stupid, or anything along those lines? (that’s the most common.)

HOW TO BUILD SELF-ESTEEM

We don’t come into recovery brimming with high self-worth and the self-esteem of an accomplished CEO of a large corporation.  Working on the 12 Steps however ALL OF THE STEPS will gain us the self improvement and esteem that we lack.  And that is exactly what we need to do to quell the incessant emotional triggers that hurt and anger us at a core level.

Know this my friend…nine times out of ten if I am triggered in early recovery IT IS NOT ABOUT THE PRESENT AT ALL.  It’s really about what lives in me and the baggage that needs worked through.  Repressing my emotions by denial will only make things worse.  I AM NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING! This is the attitude that will keep me sick.  All humans have fears and when I start realizing mine that doesn’t give me permission to point out everyone else’s.  But it does give me the advantage of understanding people at a deeper level.  When I realize my fears and ask God to remove them I realize often the same fears in other people by their behaviors.

STEP 11

We must go one step further in our self-examination process by finding the original “hurt” behind the triggers.  Practicing meditation will help me realize what my past trauma emotional issues are.  And remember none of the self-awareness is so I can beat myself up or condemn myself for my past.  Self punishment never has and never will get me well emotionally or stop my addiction.  If it could it would have already.  If I find myself in a place of self abasement then I say “OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION.” And I practice one of the programs’ many tools at that point.

By RUTH EDGAR -feedback welcome

If the grammar and punctuation of this article makes you crazy please contact Lori Edgar who is most likely willing to make you an editor on this recoveryfarmhouse website.

 

TRUE BEAUTY LIES WITHIN? SICK RELATIONSHIPS IN RECOVERY

Before recovery and the 12 steps, in a room of 100 men I would be attracted to the sickest and most abusive.  This audio has some answers to why.

When is it safe to date after narcissistic abuse?  Part 1  By Empowered Love Radio  Relationship Recovery Expert Melanie Tonia Evans

This audio show starts a little slow but picks up volume and speed.  It turns out to be very informative and full of healing ideals and precepts.

More Co-da and Narcissist Info at Melanie’s Website

A Thought on ‘True Beauty Lies Within’

True beauty is found within but don’t pretend it can’t be found within and with-out. simultaneously   Or is Suzanne Summers the only one who realizes the prejudices that transpire toward  the beautiful?  All humans suffer from prejudice in one way or another.  Is there a man alive under the age of  60 that could overlook this woman’s beauty

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long enough to hear what her heart speaks?  Or how about  a woman out there who was dealt a crappy hand in the “looks” department.  The ugly duckling is tempted  to say “beauty is skin deep”.  The envious woman insinuates that all beautiful and voluptuous women are incapable of caring love, and charity .  To infer the absence of inner beauty based on outer beauty is what?  The punishment for possessing outer beauty?  HOGWASH!  Are all unsightly women drenched with a kind and giving heart?  Certainly The wicked Witch of the West can attest.   The rejected and abandoned tend to seek out such prejudices as aforementioned.  As for this beauty below?  Her heart is as kind as Cinderella and  her beauty as stunning as Snow White.  Rather than jealousy I think an awe of God’s handy-work is in order. ________The Writer

 

 

 

 

I WON’T CO-SIGN YOUR BULLSHIT!

“I WON’T CO-SIGN YOUR BULLSHIT!”

Scream the 12 step sponsors to the detriment of their heartsick fellows! There is a great need in AA to understand the difference between co-signing bull shit and showing Love by exerting understanding, compassion, and care.

There is a great need to understand the difference between self-pity and the expression of valid feelings such as anger, and hurt.

Human feelings that result from an abusive past need expressed for us to stay or get sane.

The words, “I know how you feel, you have a right to feel your pain, grieve and to process your hurt…even if, the feelings derive from years prior” are words that can heal a heart. Most addicts have stuffed down tears for years that desperately needed to be cried for us to attain emotional balance and healing. Usually when we get clean & sober all our un-cried tears come to the surface and scream to get out. We then ask ourselves: “What’s wrong with me, why am I so depressed, nothing bad is going on right now? Next our sponsors quickly tell us to “get over it and write a gratitude list” as they watch us slam the door in the face of AA.

Gratitude lists work great for those stomping their feet because things are not going their way (self-pity). However when it comes to the horrible feelings of grief that result from abuse, abandonment, neglect and other childhood trauma all our sponsors suggestion does is add to our low self-image and push us out the doors.

The most common “grave emotional disorder” that addicts in the rooms suffer from is the inability to process deep hurts and trauma inflicted as children & sometimes through adulthood. We have turned our hurt to anger and continually search for a scape-goat to blame for our intolerable feelings. Our hurts have morphed into anger because “grief”, unless short lived and a result of the death of a loved one is unacceptable in our society. When we experience any other cause of emotional pain except what’s socially acceptable we are often told to just “GET OVER IT!” So driven by shame we bone-up, pretend we are tuff-girls and boys, file our feelings under the “wrong and weak” category in our hearts and make ourselves sick till we have no other solution except to numb that which we have labeled “Invalid feelings”.

Is it no wonder that when one of us relapses so many seem to be so devastated by it…

even when we scarcely know the person who went back out? We are desperate to let out some of our grief in a way that is acceptable to our fellows. We all step up our meetings and talk about our pain and loss when it usually has nothing to do with the guy who just relapsed who we have never invited to our home by the way.

The need for validation of our deep hurt is huge and necessary for healing. It’s hard for us in recovery to see when we are stuffing down a pain that really needs to be expressed. Few of us were taught by example or in school that it’s ok to scream and cry feelings out, or that crying is a part of emotional health.

Grave emotional disorders

are not healed by just writing down [our part] and transferring all the blame from one scape goat to the next; [ourselves]. Please don’t hear what I am not saying…we addicts have boatloads of character defects that we need to work on however, not all grave emotional disorder is solved by doing a guilt based fourth step. Furthermore, if Bill W. would have had a course in empathic healing and were taught that his feelings are valid and how to emotionally process them he may not have spent at least 12 years sober and depressed trying so many therapies and pharmaceutical remedies.

Typically Bill was too hard on himself. There comes a time when we must pause from blaming ourselves for where we are at emotionally if we are to find answers and heal. There comes a time when we should realize that we were dealt a mistaken hand where our understanding of emotions is concerned and the steps don’t fix everything.

THERE IS NO WRONG FEELING

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SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE STRENGTH AND HOPE

Fees for your story could be as much as $100 per page depending on where we publish your recovery story.  If it is published it will be on either one of several websites or in our recent book.

Your recovery story and the way you tell it may be exactly what others need to hear so they too can recover and start a new life.

We are searching for stories of people who have overcome not only alcohol addiction but also crack, opiates, opioids, methamphetamine,  and other oppressive drugs.  Please fill out the following information and we will get back to you as soon as possible  We will be publishing many stories on various websites and possibly in our new text book.  There will be fees paid to all published stories.  I will e-mail you back with information about publishing and payments when I receive your email.

 

SOBRIETY-damned if I do and damned if I don’t

How to get clean and sober, emotional sobriety, recovery and emotional healing.

 

Click here to read continue from Facebook

Hi I am Lori I am a recovered alcoholic crack head, heroin addict. Before I came to AA I learned how NOT to cry. I was in abusive relationships and cried so many times I swore I wouldn’t allow my verbally abusive x husband to make me shed another tear. Unfortunately I turned those tears into anger and then wrath. I nearly killed my x husband at one point. When I came to AA and group therapy it was by cop car from a 60 day vacation in Levy County jail. I watched many women shed many tears in my new woman’s therapy group. They were able to let their feelings flow out with their tears. They were finally talking about things that hurt them and what they were ashamed of. After the first group session I attended I looked at my counselor and said “I don’t belong in this group, I don’t have any pain.” I was a tough girl a survivor I had to be to survive on the streets. read more…

 


But that tough girl persona wasn’t going to help me now.  If anything it would have made it impossible for me to recover unless I abandoned it and allowed people to know what I was feeling inside.  I had to be honest about what I was feeling and what I had done or I might as well pick up my stem and concede to self destruction.

When I got sober I felt like I had a crushing heavy pain filled bowling ball sitting in my chest.  I felt as if I were a cracked vase that would shatter to pieces at any moment .  I felt an impending doom that encompassed me preventing me from feeling joy, happiness and peace.  But even with all these feelings I was terrified of going back to the crack traps and jail. I had just detoxed off Methadone, crack, Xanex, cigarettes, caffeine, and alcohol.   I  had the worst insomnia so it was like living in hell 24/7 .  My anxiety was sky high.  IT SEEMED LIKE SOBRIETY- damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

Each day I got out of bed I chose sobriety and just prayed it would get better and it did.  I had been arrested on Good Friday of 2006.  Nearly ten years ago …I sometimes take for granted things like peace of mind and freedom.  I forget how miserable I was and how much God has done for me.  That’s why I write and why I go to AA groups and share.

In a nutshell this is how I got and stay sober for nearly ten years, but more importantly this is how I prevent my own misery, anxiety, and depression:  By working the 12 steps enough times for it to become a way of life (once a year for 7 years).  By doing the valid suggestions of AA and rehab.  Taking meetings to jails and institutions.  Telling my story, what is was like, what happened, and what it is like now, Having fun doing AA functions.  Getting close to nature outdoors, the beach, parks, springs, woods, etc.  Extensive meditation and prayer.  Church.  A year of group recovery therapy which taught me how to let out and process intense emotions so they don’t turn to bitterness.  Eating right and exercise.