I just added a page about the 8th trait in the Laundry List, our addiction to excitement.  It gave me something to think about, a different view of how things go in my life.  While I was putting that page together the following came to me.  Just thought I would share.

When someone says to me, “same ole, same ole”, or “nothin’ much happenin'”, or “nothin’ goin’ on but the rent”, I used to think, how boring your life must be!  But I am beginning to view this in a new light.  I think this is my new goal for my life, to be boring, to be serene, to be stable and consistent.  To release my addiction to “excitement”.  To release my “need for speed” in my life.  To find it comforting when everything is taken care of in such a way that it seems effortless, stress-less, calm, ordinary.  Take care of things as they come up rather than letting them accumulate into a mountain that takes lots of effort to take care of.  If I do a little bit here and a little bit there, it all gets done.  I can become one of those “boring people” whose lives just flow.  There are no mad dashes to complete a task.  There is no guilt or shame because I’m late …  again…

What an amazing way to live life!  With minimal excitement, fear, shame, guilt, embarrassment.  Not boring, just on an even keel.

Yeah, I think this is a goal I would like to pursue….

Just Lexxie, Chatterin’ Again!

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geez, I am sitting here on the fence, getting splinters in very uncomfortable places…  if ya’know what I mean…  lol

I know many ACoA’s feel very threatened when a polar opinion comes up, so please don’t take offense or feel challenged by what I am about to say. I am not trying to decide this issue pro or con for anyone else. I am not trying to declare that anyone is wrong about this, which ever way they feel, however, several questions immediately pop into my head about this issue.

In this day and age I think anonymity is well on its’ way to becoming a double edged sword. I am, by no means, proclaiming that everyone go out and shout from the rooftops, “I AM A MEMBER OF (12 step program of your choice) AA, ACOA, NA, CA, etc, etc. AND I can completely agree that anonymity is a big deal within the 12 Step Programs. I have chosen to maintain my anonymity here on this blog, but, I am getting to the point where I have very mixed feelings about anonymity and 12 Step programs and personal recovery.

Anonymity was built into the programs in a day and age where there were very severe consequences in your life and your work world if you admitted to being an alcoholic or a drug addict. You instantly became “untrustworthy”. When in fact, the opposite was probably more the case. By admitting to being an addict or an alcoholic, you then, hopefully, began to behave in a more trustworthy manner because you knew people would be watching you more closely now that they had someone to blame things on. “oh, it was that drunk, Joey, he did it! I always knew there was somethin’ funny about him!” In many ways, unfortunately, a lot of those consequences still exist in our world today.

There is also the issue of proclaiming to the world “ I am an alcoholic and I got sober in AA” and 5 days, or months, or years later, getting arrested for another DUI and getting it splattered across the front page of the paper, or the internet home page of your choice. It does give a bad name to the program, or does it? Is it the fault of the program that didn’t work or the individuals just being human if they relapse… It seems as though no one is really interested in what was going on with the individual that they got into a place where the best option they came up with was to get drunk again. Isn’t it more about what they do about that relapse that counts than the fact that they relapsed in the first place? There is a saying that I don’t remember where I picked up, but it goes something like, “it is not about what happens to you in life, it’s about how you handle it” So by relapsing and then picking yourself up and saying, “Hey, this isn’t working for me any better this time than it did the last time I tried it!” and then doing something positive about it… like going through rehab again or going back to the meetings that saved your life the first time around. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we lived in a world where people put more emphasis on what you do when bad things happen than the fact that something bad happened in the first place. Where would Tiger Woods be if people said, “ok, you messed up, now how are you going to change your behavior, what are you going to do differently, how are you going to fix this?” But NO, everyone wants to know all the gory details, how many were there, where did they meet, how long has this been going on? We seem to all have some ACOA in us as I see it.

Does anyone REALLY have anonymity in this day and age? What with the internet, facebook, myspace, and the biggest offender of them all in regards to personal privacy/anonymity, TWITTER? Just because a website or a forum has a password system on it, doesn’t mean that no one can get into it without a password. Or that they can’t just PRETEND, and say all the right things and get into the forum and get their own password. How many databases is my information in, my surfing preferences on the internet, what I am chatting about? These can all be accessed if someone wants to badly enough. It is just that most of the time, with most individuals no one cares that much what the heck I am chattering about… lol

Isn’t anonymity, in fact, in direct conflict with learning how to break the ACA family rule of “Don’t Talk”? How do I keep this big secret about what I am doing with myself now that I am in recovery and not doing the things I used to do anymore? How do I resolve this conflict?

What about all the individuals who wear ANY kind of recovery jewelry? The camel pins, the triangle rings, etc, etc… or the bumper stickers that you can get at conventions? Aren’t all of these methods of breaking anonymity? And yet an entire industry has grown around all of it. You can even turn an AA sobriety coin into a key chain bob if you want to… Most of the people who see the pin, or key chain bob, or ring, aren’t going to know what they signify unless they are in some way connected to recovery themselves. I sure didn’t know what those items were about even after I got into recovery, until I started asking questions.

Then there is the fact that all of the steps and traditions are simply GUIDELINES, there are no governing bodies, entities, individuals within the 12 Step structures, so doesn’t it all boil down to a personal decision? As a matter of fact, the entire program is a program of suggestion… isn’t it? And who am I to become that “governing body” that says, “you bad person, you are breaking your anonymity”.

Isn’t part of the tremendous growth of ALL of the 12 Step programs simply about more people finding out that there is a way to learn how to live without addictions and dysfunctional family styles… Isn’t part of that growth BECAUSE people are speaking out about this wonderful thing that they discovered called a 12 Step Program? How many adolescents lives have been saved because their rock star idol got clean? Or their sports hero came clean and talked about how he did it, with a 12 step program…

Just Lexxie, chattering away again!

Chatter back! Let me know what YOU think about this one.


sarcasm – Word Origin & History:

1579, from L.L. sarcasmos, from Gk. sarkasmos “a sneer, jest, taunt, mockery,” from sarkazein “to speak bitterly, sneer,” lit. “to strip off the flesh,” from sarx (gen. sarkos) “flesh,” prop. “piece of meat,” from PIE base *twerk- “to cut” (cf. Avestan thwares “to cut”). Sarcastic is from 1695. For nuances of usage, see humor.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

In my early days of recovery, I was ever-ready with the witty repartee, or so I thought.  What I really had on the tip of my tongue, were words intended to verbalize my dissatisfaction in a vicious manner, all the while, claiming it was just a joke.  Can’t they take a joke…   It wasn’t until I came across a reading one day in the Alanon daily meditation reader about sarcasm and how we use it to “tear down” the alcoholic in our lives.  It went on to say that the word comes from the Greek word “sarcazo” which means to TEAR FLESH, that it was a form of irony.  And again I said, in a state of shock, “it’s just a joke, can’t they take a joke??”

I was appalled to find that my, at that time, favorite form of communication was really a form of verbal abuse.  A very passive-aggressive form of belittling someone.  Everyone I knew back then used sarcasm and used it well.   It was the place where I found one of my first character defect.

Watching my behavior, and my mouth, became a full time job for a while.  Whenever I wanted to say something sarcastic I would stop and ask myself, “are you really upset with that person?  are you meaning the words that you are saying??”  I found out some interesting things about myself at that time.  Yes, I usually was upset with the person and yes, I usually did mean what I was saying.  All of a sudden it dawned on me, it WASN’T a joke.  I meant all the mean things that I was saying.

Thus began my first venture into making amends.  The way that I chose to make those amends in the very early days of my recovery, was to simply stop the behavior.   If I found myself in a situation where I felt a sarcastic remark would fit well, I stopped and examined why did I want to say something so mean to that person.  I was then able to begin to make new choices in my communication style.  I could choose to walk away and not say anything.  I could choose to find a more direct way of saying what I was upset about.  I could choose to be gentle with myself and the person I was upset with by finding a new way to have a discussion.

As I began shifting my behavior, I also started becoming aware of how much people meant all those snide little remarks that they made and how much I no longer wanted to be the Queen of the Caustic Quip.