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.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Too Much of a Good Thing

Within the human essence is a deep need to belong and have meaning;
to be a part of, to be connected, to have some thing of importance that
gives you a reason to feel good.

But when anything, even a 'good' or positive association, becomes a
fanatical obsession--something that essentially can't be survived without--
then things have gone horribly wrong.

If people choose to use charitable work, a hobby, a second job, becoming
a Big Brother/Sister, or joining a group or a church as a means of focusing
their energy somewhere, so be it.

But when the compulsivity gene that accompanies most addicts rears
its head and starts seeing the one thing as predominantly more important
than all others, it's an issue.

Anything taken to an extreme is not healthy, and becoming adamant or
engulfed in something (as a means of refuge, denial, or avoidance for
what's really going on in your life) is just another addiction taking hold;
substitution in full force.

We all need places and people and passions and pass times that offer us
a respite from the chaos and the struggle. The more the better, actually,
as you'll have a fuller portfolio of support on a rainy day, rather than a
restricted, narrow limitation on you.

Whenever we focus on a singularity as our salvation is when we are
bargaining with our future. If something outside of us controls whether
or not we're going to make it, we've given our power--and our sobriety--away.


When the 'Cure' is Worse than the 'Disease'

The act of creating an inclusive world--where those who don't fit
a certain criterion are unwelcome, condescended to, ignored,
demonized, dismissed, disowned, or otherwise ostracised for
thinking/looking/acting/believing differently--is as far from 'Recovery'
as one can get.

Yet this sort of emotional blackmail is a psychological tactic used by
12 Step programs. Whether intentional or not, whether cognizant or
not, whether advocated or not, it exists.

Affections are withheld as means of emotionally steering someone
towards the desired result for them. If the individual is expressing
actions or thoughts that don't coincide with the cult's primary purpose,
they are considered a threat and a challenge. "Wouldn't it be great to
just give in and then be a part of the fun!?!?"

No one wants to be reduced or disapproved of, but specifically
within the lonely, dejected, desperate population of people who
end up coming to 12 Step groups for camaraderie, support, and help,
the required hoop-jumping takes on an ominous tone. To withhold
food from a hungry man until he listens to your prayer is the height of
selfishness and callousness.

Some sneetches say; "Sucks to be you,"
as even long ago, Dr. Seuss knew!

So long as 'non-believers' contour their actions, conforming to the
expectations of the group think, they believe they will be rewarded
with the promised inclusion and acceptance the group has to offer.
"Wouldn't you rather have friends than be on your own? Join us!"

It's not an acceptable tactic for manipulation and mind control.
Effective, yes, but not correct or permissible. It's bullying, it's corrupt,
and it's despicable.

Psychological warfare is a pretty low means of promotion, and it speaks
volumes about the integrity of the product being pushed.