A journey to embrace, explore, and honor the Freedom and Power inherent in active recovery.

No more shame...

No more shackles....

No more secrets.

The path--and the Power--are within. Be Free.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Advancement or Death Sentence?

Addiction is so widespread, so rampant these days.
I don't believe it's simply because we're so virtually
well-connected (that we now are privy to statistics
we didn't have before) that we know fact
just the opposite.

I think our advancing compulsivity and cross-addicted
nature as a society, our relentless feeding of habits,
is being fueled in large part from over-exposure.

Over-exposure to information, as our brains are
only capable of dealing with and processing so

Overly easy access to anything we want, any
hour of the day or night. Temptations exist and
secrecy abounds in a tech-savvy world of cell
phones, computers, Internet hookups, and secret

A lot of rhetoric and lip service is given these
days to the technical overload of our modern lives,
but the harsh reality of these legitimate stresses
and continued pressures is building. There's a
double threat; increased exposure to negativity,
temptation, and vice, and the emotional and
physical isolation of overuse of technology
(addiction to computers, online gambling, pornography,
television, and other mood-altering escapist tendencies.)

Like with all addiction, the vehicle for the 'cure' is a
part of the initial problem!

The threat is not merely burnout (which, in itself,
leaves one open to addiction and further compulsivity,)
but rather the residual effect of the information, the
lifestyle, the sped-up living.

We were not meant to do everything.
We were not meant to understand everything.
We were not meant to know the amount of information
we are exposed to.
We were not meant to go-go-go, non-stop, always on,
never disconnected from things.
The technological dependence of our times has
accelerated and aggravated both extremes of this muddled
issue; hyperconnectedness, and disconnectedness.

Our minds and psyches have not had ample time--
just like our society--to adapt to the rapid-growth techno
changes that have occurred.

Life has become more complicated than it always was
as a result of how much we can do in a moment's notice...
no impulse control, no edit button, no erase on our clicks
and typings. Instant gratification has overridden the thoughtful,
reserved, consideration of mulling things over...waiting til
the time is right....considering the importance of something.
Considering repercussions.

High stakes, high speed, high on being in the mix;
we're addicted to the race and the thrill and the excitement...
when we're on top. And when we're not, the fall may hurt us.

And of course, for many, life is also just plain harder.
Economic woes have hit a great many people; joblessness,
homelessness, loss of status, greater number of divorces,
increased's all cyclically bound to and resulting
in a greater number of addictions and addicted persons.
Dominoes, baby.

The more we see, the more we're desensitized to it all.
The more isolated we become, the easier it is to use.
It's a given that as things grow and change and expand, the
greater the number of choices will be acompanied by a
greater number of bad choices.

Even the things which assist us can be abused, and
we should always be wary to be moderate in all things.


Recovery is Living

Tips for Staying Clean
and Enjoying Life

Worried about down time or spare time
being a burden or a problem?

Plant a garden...just for fun
Do yard work
Bake dessert..and deliver it to someone
Take a walk
Ride a bike
Tutor a child
Enjoy a meal
Write a letter
Read a book
Try scream therapy
Punch a punching bag
Take a proper lunch break
Watch a funny movie
Listen to inspirational music
Hold a door open for someone
Speak to 5 strangers today
Smile every time you see someone
Let go of worry
Feed a stray
Speak your mind
Opt out of drama
Own your choices
Follow a dream
Try something new
Challenge yourself
Take a class
Trust yourself
Watch the sun set

Life doesn't have to be lived as some kind
of cosmic chess game or high stakes
power play. We needn't be solemn and stark
and eternally wounded.

There are good, bad, and in between days.
Nobody feels like they're doing everything right
or that they have all they want.
There is no such thing as perfection
and there is no need to prostrate and repress.

I am alive, and I can enjoy my life as it is.

There is so much that I can do to stay busy,
and not give in to addiction.
I can also relax and enjoy quiet time
without doubting myself and ruminating.


What we think we see...

"Re-framing" is the technique wherein people in
recovery learn to adjust--rethink--the way they
look at things. Relationships, data, drugs, the world;
everything we see through our old eyes is suspect
when we have had a history of considering and
assessing things from the point of active addiction.

The problem is that a person with an addictive
personality shares some pretty outrageous points
of view (denial, paranoia, juvenile behavior,
compulsivity, etc.)
which can either be prolonged or heightened
(or both) by using.

These 'stinking thinking' thoughts can also become
frozen in time at roughly the place a person was
when they started using.
Add to this that addictive behavior--and drugs/
alcohol themselves--can intensify and rewire the brain
to more significantly consider wild thinking,
and induce new ways of incorrectly interpreting the world
around us.

(Thoughts experienced under the influence can
resonate more strongly than thoughts considered
under normal circumstances, just like thoughts
that constantly or repetitively cycle can form a
groove--and even cause enhanced neural sensitivity.)

So, once sober/clean, the need to learn a new way
of viewing things is necessary.
It starts with questioning what we know,
versus what we think we know.

Do people really ostracize and malign us,
or are we oft-putting with our brashness
without even realizing it?
Is everyone untrustworthy, or are we
unwilling or unable to trust due to bad experiences?

Reframing is rewiring the brain to see that
not all of our deeply held beliefs and opinions
may be correct or justified.

Do you really need a drink in your hand
(or in your gut) in order to chat or date or fuck,
or are you just scared of talking to people
and in need of facing that?

Do you really have to have a drink when everyone
else is having one, or can you do what is best
for you, regardless of what the crowd says
or thinks?

What we steadfastly held true
could all be otherwise.
"Free your mind; the rest will follow."


Faulty Logic

The idea that we can adequately or
romantically address the needs of the average
addicted person by 'treating' them with
the volatility and parasitically dire
source of addiction
is like using a chainsaw
to perform brain surgery.

In our affected, unclear, craziness of
choosing active addiction, of listening to the
"This time will be different" or
"I don't have a problem" lies that
we tell ourselves in order to get what we
think we want,
we can overlook all reality, signals,
and lessons in favor of self-destruction.

The 'cure' is truly worse than the pain.

If we start out from a place of being whelmed,
 hypersensitivity, vulnerability, pain
resounding endlessly, too much of this world
weighing down on us, pressures and stress and
fear, sensory overload, and all the rest
that can lead us to want to check out for a
while and avoid responsibility...
what can we possibly think we will gain by
opening up Pandora's Box and adding
fuel to the fire?
Using is a way of turning over our life's reigns
to catastrophe.

When we learn to care about ourselves
and our lives, we realize that active addiction
is not a harmless, victimless crime.