A Note to my Alcoholics Anonymous Family

Alcoholics Anonymous Family,

There is so much in this world to fear. The more research I do on the condition of the Earth, food, pollution, radiation, food additives, toxins, malnutrition due to processed foods the more I am learning about THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS in 2017. So I regroup & choose faith and hope to kwell the horrible uncertainties of the future. My HP has got my back. And I know the tools that bring me back to the safety of “NOW”. Writing is one of my tools. So with all the dangers around me I moved myself on to the solutions just like my favorite AA cliche’ states; “Out of the problem into the solution”. And my 2nd fav. “Move a muscle change a thought”. 3rd “the program works”.

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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.
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Recover-ING or Recover-ED? By Lori Edgar

RECOVERED OR RECOVERING? Click here to read summary

Page 64 Big Book: Our liquor was but a symptom. We HAD TO get down to causes and conditions.

Here’s the thing.  Recovery is a process.  It can be dangerous for a person under approx. 5 to 7 years (w/variables) sober to adapt the “recovered” view point because you know what they might do.  I don’t believe anyone should stop going to meetings until they truly are fully recovered and/or know how to apply the steps in their daily life.

Who is recovered?

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WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

ACCEPTANCE IS A PROCESS NOT A LIGHT SWITCH

I WAS VERY SICK FOR A LONG TIME

When I got sober after 30 years of drinking, drugging, and sick relationships I was scared to death.  My self-esteem was zero.  I was afraid to make a choice about pretty much anything for fear it would be wrong.  I didn’t trust myself or my choices and hadn’t for a long time, that is unless I was in control-ism mode.  But once I sobered up certain behaviors stopped immediately other habits took some time to develop.

SOBER DREAMS DO COME TRUE

I met a nice guy in AA.  He had seven years sober.  I like him so much but I was scared to death.  That did not stop me from building a relationship.    Well the thing is I was also going through group therapy at the time.  All three of my

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Why Are Addicts in so Much Emotional Pain?

Why Are Addicts in so Much Emotional Pain?

Page 64 Big Book: Our liquor was but a symptom. We HAD TO get down to causes and conditions.

Why do addicts seem to have a proclivity towards self destruction?

Why are addicts so inclined to blame others for their own choices?

And the biggie, why do our sponsors teach us to not ask “why”?

Answer number one:  I was in so much pain that I needed to numb myself due to a life-time of hiding away my true identity.  By hiding intense feelings and thoughts away my pain lived inside me till I finally was taught how to let it all out.

Because of emotional neglect

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Addiction is “Fear Management”

Franklin D. Roosevelt said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”.

WHY does it seem addicts are far more fearful than other people?   It is a fear of feelings that drives a man to numb all his feelings including the blessed ones.  At the core of addiction lies fear, shame, and an inability to process our feelings in a healthy way.

Panic attacks, anxiety, stress, shame, embarrassment, nervousness, phobias, freaking out,, shame, insecurity, shyness, inferiority are all bi-products of fear.  Addiction =”fear management gone awry”.

Some may highly disagree with the fear theory.  They will tell us they are ashamed of nothing and don’t give a damn what anybody thinks of them!   And as they approach life through a platform of anger and wrath what they say is in some ways true.   We bathe in anger to cover fear, hurt and pain.  This is the addicts basic false-pride and denial system born from a core of fear and shame.  Shame is a form of fear.  Shame is the belief that other people are better than us and will see that we are BAD so we hide. (I do wish I was not writing my own emotional story here).

But please, before we slip into a warm cherry pie of deep dish denial and hang the messenger.

Please realize, addicts are not at fault for their deep fear/shame feelings.  In the formative years of which we were sponges learning the basics of life itself and where we fit into it, some adult/adults who probably loved us (as much as they were able) convinced us that we were of less value than other people.  These influential moms, dads, uncles, brothers, sisters, priests, pastures,  coaches and teachers were in a position to literally form our self-image at a core level.  Most likely they themselves reflected their own self-image onto us. They felt worthless and so we were worthless.  At times addict-type parents are ashamed even of their own children.

Low self esteem breeds defensiveness.  

We wear our hearts on our sleeves and we flinch and lash-out at any remote suggestion that we are bad, wrong, ugly, stupid, or any other negative connotation such as these.  Feeling threatened we immediately switch-off to blame-mode and block out countless opportunities for fruitful and productive relationships.  We routinely cut-off our own nose to spite our face.

And so as young emotionally defenseless children, we walked around with our heads hung low separate from the flock, prime prey for the abusive and distorted sex offender who reels us in by telling us what we crave to hear more than anything; ‘WE ARE OF VALUE, WE ARE LOVED’.

This my friend is the story of many an addict boys and girls alike.

IF AN ADDICT DOESN’T KNOW HE HAS BEEN  DEEPLY ASHAMED HE HASN’T GOTTEN DOWN TO “CAUSES AND CONDITIONS”….YET, IN his/her RECOVERY PROCESS.   But this is the beginning of healing, realizing the malady’s core.

We formed temporary emotional survival skills for our deep shame, but our skills, primal in nature have become destructive and push away the ones we love most and those we could have loved.  Our slip-shot solutions are destructive and hurt others.  We set ourselves up not as equals but rather as better than everyone else.  We do this through harsh condemning judgments and endless fault finding and criticisms.   We had to find a way to live with ourselves.  When we drink and drug then we are beautiful, then we are strong, then we do not have to be ashamed.

But the drugs quit working that’s why we are here in AA to find new solutions.  Solutions that do not consist of blame as their pre-requisite.  Solutions that will aid in our sobriety and our emotional healing.  And hopefully somewhere in our recovery we learn it’s ok to cry.  That crying  and being hurt are part of being human.  We MUST FIND WAYS TO PROCESS THE MOST INTENSE OF OUR FEELINGS IF WE DON’T, THEN WE WILL CONTINUE REPRESSING EMOTIONS.

THE SOLUTIONS ARE HERE WE JUST NEED TO USE THEM.

What do we do?  An immersion into AA or any 12 step group is vital. We do a serious third step.

We do step four and list all prejudice, shame, resentment, silent judgement, guilt, and all hurtful actions.  We do ongoing step work. We make a FEAR LIST.

We do step 12 chair meetings in jails, institutions, and AA itself, all service work will build self-worth.  The more the better.

We get therapy and develop emotional processes that work for us.  We hournal, write, cry, scream, groan, beat the bag, share, beat the bed.  (There is no wrong feeling therefore we don’t have to hide and deny them.)  We confess past offences.

We write a biography of the intense times in our life-What happened and how it made us feel.

Practice Spirituality-Step Eleven is priceless and should be ongoing.

A connection to nature and the outdoors is very helpful.  We go to rivers, lakes, springs, snow, sky, caves, animals, walks and more.)

Got Your ACE Score?

I AM NOT AFRAID OF DYING!

What is terror management theory?

 

 

YES THERE IS AN EASIER, SOFTER WAY TO GET SOBER

‘YES AS A MATTER OF FACT THERE IS AN ‘EASIER SOFTER WAY’

sex robot
Men that want to marry cyborg sex robots.

But it’s not something you can buy or special order.  You can put yourself in a position to get it but there are no guarantees if you do get it how long it will last as your only source of recovery.    The white light experience straight from God is the only easier softer way.  Usually people who receive white light experiences go on to carry the message of Jesus Christ or God while not doing any of the 12 step work on their character flaws.  And why would they?  They are riding a pink cloud.  But pink clouds don’t last.  God will remove some flaws during this experience but seldom, well I have never ever seen God make anybody perfect…ever.  So usually these people fall into some flavor of character flaw.  Most likely they delve into judging others, get their resentment back and relapse.  Then they really hate themselves even more because now they are turning their back on a God they know exists.

I know, sad story…I am talking about myself during my first bout of recovery.  And I have seen this same pattern manifest often in others, usually Christians in recovery.  Never the less it does not mean God fails or Jesus has abandon us somehow.  It just means God clearly WILL NOT TAKE A HUMAN’S SELF-WILL.  He will enlighten us, but it’s up to us to go out and get fulfillment once we are enlightened.  Hence step eleven and why it works, it fulfills us spiritually.  Step twelve builds our self worth, and fulfills us spiritually.  Step Ten, well I have found that Ten really isn’t enough, but instead it’s step four that I need to revisit every six months to a year and do thoroughly.  When fear of relapse slips in, I remember two things, I have turned my life and will over to the care of God.  And the program works, I can turn to the program, work a step.  This is what keeps me sober after countless lapses.  Sure if I rely on me I will fail.  I rely on God, the steps, and the fact that I am being healed and healing by processing core issues.

So can I really call this a cure?  ABSOLUTELY! There are many things that humans have to do to stay well.  Such as eating, sleeping, nurturing and being nurtured.  We do not call ourselves sick because we require food.  why would I call myself sick because I require a spiritual program?

Is Resentment the Number One Offender?

Is Resentment the Number One Offender?

What is at the core of your addiction?  I suppose everyone must answer it for themselves.   But I think it’s important to answer it.  For me it was a deep wound.  An emotional constipation.  A deep hurt that I didn’t know how to express  in a way that was healthy and appropriate.  Shame was at the core it surrounded the wound.

So when I finally got the spiritual and emotional laxative (therapy, 12 steps, God)  it took quite some time to cry it all out.  All that’s left now of my malady is a scar and a few old habits that die hard called character flaws.  Many of the character defects I acquired through the years of addiction, like resentment were nothing more than a distraction from my painful shame.   Resentment was a place to lay blame on how a felt.   I needed to lay blame because it was myself I condemned deep in my heart.
No, for me resentment wasn’t the number one offender, shame was. I mustn’t be ashamed and keep secrets. I try to stay clear of shame and be an open book. Writing and sharing…the truth sets me free. Shame….no one wants to admit shame.  People are ashamed of shame because it is perceived as weakness.  It’s a dirty little word.
It wasn’t the wound so much as the shame I blanketed it in that made me so self destructive.

I was taught to be ashamed of who I was, and that my feelings were wrong.   And that basically I didn’t even have a right to be on this earth. That’s a hard one to shake…so I drank.

Resentment is the acceptable blame based emotion that distracts me from my hurt and shame.  I am too ashamed of being hurt cause I see it as weakness.  So I cover it all up in a nice package called “blame” and put a big bow on it called resentment.  And I carry the package around with me never having to look at what is really inside.

That is until  I got sober nearly Ten years ago.  But for the Grace of God, But for the Grace of God.

THE CURE FOR MY  ADDICTION IS WRITTEN IN PART 1 OF THIS TWO ARTICLE SERIES-RESENTMENT THE NUMBER ONE OFFENDER.  http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/resentment-number-offender/

CHARACTER ASSASSINATION ON FACEBOOK

FACEBOOK IS A PRIME PLATFORM FOR CHARACTER ASSASSINATION.

So what is the legal definition of defamation of character and who does it really hurt.
Defamation of character occurs when someone makes a false statement about you that causes you some type of harm. The statement must be published like on a Facebook page(meaning some third party must have  heard or seen it).  It must be false, and it must result in harm, usually to the reputation.
Defamation of Character Lawsuits happen all the time.

In recovery, if we are in a 12 step program that means we are trying to live by spiritual principles.  It means that we have put our life in God’s care and we are making an effort to trust God with our well being.  This spiritual recipe for living takes revenge and doing harm to others off the table.  It means that when we are wronged we pray for our enemies and try to understand that when someone trashes us on Facebook they are a sick person and their actions are rooted in fears of various flavors.

WHERE THERE IS A RESENTMENT THERE IS A “MY PART” GETTING TO THAT CORE FEAR IS WHERE I FIND MY SOLUTION TO HATE

So when I see my picture plastered all over someones FB wall with lies and vicious comments and I want to destroy the person I don’t  Furthermore I may want to call their parole officer and report them for this real crime of defamation of character.  But I don’t.  Also this is a man that I have done many good things for.  I helped him in many ways and with charity.  So, I pic up my prayer tool and pray for him.  I ask for  all the blessings of heaven and earth to cover him.  I never argue and engage in defensive strategies.  I call another person in the program and vent my anger.  I write a Step Four resentment grid that might look something like the following.  And remember just because I know that I am right and good in my intellectual mind my feelings have a mind of their own.  My heart does not have to be either logical or reasonable.  To expel the resentment I examine my own core fears.

“I resent John Doe because he told lies about me on Facebook.  He said I am bad and a liar.  He said that I have stolen from the most innocent and needy of victims.  He said that I am greedy and a pirate thief. ”  I ask myself “what is my core fear behind the resentment?”

FEARS

I am afraid that others will believe the accusations.  This fear is rooted in my own insecurity.  My heart thinks I am not good enough and not as good as other people.  I fear at my core that somehow what this man said about me is true.  (illogical but real and important to recognize).  My carnal reaction is to run to my own defense and argue and send out messages to the people reading the lies.  I fear I am not good enough. I fear that God will not protect me and that certain and sure damage will be done to me by these evil posts.  My society fear kicks in (reputation), my security fear kicks in because he is also crucifying my business websites as being unfair, evil, and dishonest.

Although I have taken no wrong action since I have resentment and want revenge I now have a “my part” that needs addressed before I can let it all go.  So what is my part?  I am not trusting God and I have certain insecurities called “fear of what people think of me”.  This is why the mans sin angers me and I am resentful.  I want this man to be righteous and he isn’t.  So I have some “controlism” in there also.  Please know that at the same time my anger is just and my feelings which want my reputation clear are just as well.  Nevertheless I want the resentment and obsession over it to be gone so I….

KARMA AND POWERFUL LOVE

I ask God to remove my character defects of fear, control and distrust of God. and to replace them with Love and understanding  I DEPLOY LOVE IN DEFENSE OF EVIL AND FEAR.  I ask God to help me trust Him and to give me understanding toward the man.

Jesus said pray for those who despitefully use you.  It is also written In Proverbs that to “return evil for good” is one of the most dangerous sins because of the karmic laws in place.  I helped this man and had good motives and actions toward him.  He took my charity and crushed it under hate and fear.  So me and this man bot have fear it’s the actions which define us, not our fear.  Without fear their is no such thing as courage and overcoming.

Proverbs 17:13

Evil will never leave the house of one who pays back evil for good.

My anger is valid and the proper reaction to being attacked.  But I am responsible for processing my anger.  The man that told the public lies cannot relieve my anger and resentment this I must take action to relieve.    And so I have done the work to fend of bitterness.  I am no longer hurt by the wrong done to me.  However the man that did the deed, unless Grace intervenes to block the karma of “evil will never leave his house” he is majorly squittled.  His hate and wrong actions toward me will never relieve his feelings of fear and wrath.  By his actions he intensifies his short-comings and he works on separating himself from his God.  He is making a spectacle of himself to the people who see through his actions.

NOW THEM BY WHO THEY SHOW YOU THEY ARE, NOT BY WHO THEY TELL YOU THEY ARE

A good and spiritual man will rarely engage in rallying support for the direct punishment of another human being.  Good people know that if we are wronged we pray for that person not trash them on Facebook.  We recognize that if someone is trashing another person on Facebook it is most likely the man doing the trashing who is actually the guilty party.

 

The Fear List

The “FEAR LIST”  is in the Big Book in Step Four pg.67-68  If you are happy, joyous, and free don’t read any further this article is not for you.  “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

If we expect more out of the program of AA than just sobriety we will have to go deeper into our fourth step.  The fourth step in depth can cure anxiety, depression, resentment, co-dependency and fear.  Best to begin step work with a prayer for guidance and revelation.


If the pop up window doesn’t work in your browser click here for full page link.  Big Book fear list

The fear list is an important part of on-going maintenance in recovery.  The fear list is in Step Four of the big book.       Some people teach we only do step four once.   And few sponsors teach sponcees to write down fears not associated with a resentment.  For me step ten wasn’t enough until I formally worked the 12 steps at least 5 times and learned how to use a fear list.  When resentment, depression or anxiety pops up and won’t go away no matter how much service I do  I do a mini fourth step coupled with a fear-list inventory.  The purpose of the mini fourth is to hone out what my core feelings of self-image are which triggered the fear or resentment.  Once I get to the core fear/feelings I ask God to remove them it works like magic.  

Surface fears are associated with sex, security, and society.  Meaning fear of losing a girlfriend/boyfriend, not having a roof over my head or money or losing my reputation among my friends and fellow AAers.  

Root causes and feelings go even deeper than that, they are the ones that most often we WILL NOT ADMIT MUCH LESS ADMIT TO OTHERS.  Core issues that drive fears are anchored in inferiority, unworthy feelings and low self image and are usually a little illogical, often we dismiss them by intellect.  

But the heart does not have to be logical.   Our heart needs to be heard or at least acknowledged.  It’s quite natural for an addict to feel inferior, unworthy, bad, wrong, ugly, gross, pitiful at the core of our being. Not just addicts, it is often the human condition.   It’s not our fault, we were  taught who we are at a young age it sticks in our heart until it can be released by a fear list or confession.   If  a shameful human condition weren’t common the world would not be in chaos and disarray.  When we feel high self-worth and are trusting God we are not prone to fear, anxiety, anger and depression.  Emotional balance depends on a healthy self-identity.  

SOLUTION:   First do the regular step four and five.  Then GET TO THE CORE FEELINGS ATTACHED TO THE FEARS on your list AND ASK GOD TO REMOVE THEM all.  Apologize to our Higher Power for our lack of trust and ask for help with that.   Confess to someone the way we feel no matter how illogical or even un-true those feelings are, they come from a valid place, our heart which is only guilty of believing what it was taught.

Disclaimer:  This does not apply to everyone.  This is mainly for those of us who were traumatized, neglected, and abused when we were children or young adults.