Wednesday, August 24, 2016

on dealing with pain in program

These are some comments that I sent to a sponsee dealing with pain, both physical pain and depression.

Keep saying the serenity prayer like a mantra

The AABB teaches us that the primary causes of addictive behavior are resentment and fear.  Pain is a huge cause of resentment and fear.  We have to pray to have resentment and fear removed.

The AABB has specific prayers for this.

The resentment prayer is on p67:

"God please help me show _________ the same tolerance, pity, and patience I would cheerfully grant a sick friend. They [new singular they usage] are a sick person, place or thing.  How can I be helpful to them? God save me from being angry.  thy will be done" [paraphrased]

The fear prayer is on p68

"God please remove my fear and direct my attention to what you would have me be."

These prayers are at the heart of the psychic change we are seeking in program.  Living on the basis of faith, rather than on the basis of resentment and fear and self-reliance. 

Program does not remove physical pain, however it can remove emotions about the pain.  Often those emotions are worse than the pain itself.

In m my person experience, though, my back pain is usually due to stress.  Doing some stretching/yoga and relaxing my mind will help the spasming muscles to relax. 

When we're abstinent we feel the feelings that we were eating down with the food.  Being willing to feel these feelings, especially during the first 90 days, is another big part of program.

During the first 90 days, I thought that, if I didn't get my favorite trigger foods, I would run out into the street screaming and the neighbors would have to call the men in the little white coats to take me away. 

I worked the tools, though: meetings, phone calls, etc.  Those pulled me through until I got through the steps, which are very helpful with the emotions.

I had one sponsee who was in bed with depression for five months.  Then we went through the steps in two and a half hours on the phone and she was able to leave her bed.  It was amazing.  Bill W was a great genius.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Bully for president

I’ve been having a number of painful Internet debates with the people who think that Hillary is a crook.

I don’t think she is a crook. I think she made some mistakes.  These people don’t seem to understand the difference between making mistakes and committing a crime.

It’s painful debating these people, because they are invariably insulting and bullying.  They are not able to have a civil conversation.

They also seem to believe that being smart means that you never make mistakes.

I had a flash of insight about these people.  They must, like me, have grown up in families where making a mistake was regarded as intolerable; but, unlike me, they haven’t spent 11 years in 12 step programs trying to unlearn that false premise.

Being smart doesn’t mean that you don’t make mistakes.  It means that you learn from them.  It means that you learn complex material quickly, that your thinking is flexible.

If you grew up in an environment where mistakes were severely punished, it limits your ability to be creative and take risks.  This limits your ability to achieve.  It limits your intelligence.

When these people call me all manner of names, because I don’t agree with them, or tell me to leave the country, I am hearing the voice of their parents.  This is how their parents spoke to them when they were little.  This is how they learned to address others.  They learned emotional abuse, so they dish it out.

For years now, we have been trying to stamp bullying out in our schools.  Then, horribly, a bully, Donald Trump (aka Adolph Drumpf) has taken control of a major party — voted in by those creepy people who are bully hangers on — who think bullying is funny.  It’s the revenge of the bullies.

Putin likes him.  Putin obviously came from a bullying atmosphere, himself.

How many bullies are there out there? 

There was a famous book that said — and I wish I remembered the title — that capitalism is a system that rewards sociopaths.  People with scruples can’t make it to the top as well as people who are heartless, selfish, driven. 

This election, more than any previous election, tests the dichotomy between the bullying sociopaths and those who seek to foster a freer, gentler environment.

For me that is the heart of the difference between Republicans and Democrats, not politics, but style.