From Anger to Laughter

I had dinner last night with a friend in recovery who had just had a terrible temper outburst with another recovery friend. He called me because he was afraid he was about to physically attack somebody. So we spent two hours over coffee, and he went from mad as hell to both of us laughing about how mad he had gotten, and talking about how he can make amends.
We both agreed that if we could condense that two hours into a moment, and take that moment whenever we hear something that upsets us, we’d have (and create) a lot less grief in the world.

Facing Fears

My sponsor, sober 31 years and with a heck of a program, says that when he’s at his best in recovery, he is facing his fears head-on. In fact, he often says that when he was young in recovery, he would go through times when if he was afraid of something, that meant he needed to do it. For example, if he thought somebody was an asshole, he’d take them dinner just to learn more about them.

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Am I on the Right Track Here?

an email to my sponsor:

I was at a Buddhist meditation group Friday night at the church, and the topic was facing fears so they won’t dominate us. One of the fears mentioned was the fear of alone-ness, and the light came on in my head: that’s why I make such a big deal out of this dating stuff — it triggers that fear, and I get overwhelmed by it. And my whole thing with women is trying to assuage that fear of alone-ness. I approach them saying, “Please don’t reject me and make me be all alone,” and like you say, that ain’t a very attractive trait. Doomed to fail, and the fear (ego) is proven right.

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Step 6: Crux of the Program

To me, Step 6 is the crux of the program. This is where the actual change starts to happen. It’s like we get the diagnosis in steps 1-5, then we start working on making the changes — and immediately realize we need a lot of help with this, which is what step 7 is about. Then, once we start living a new way, we can realize how far off track we were. And it’s this awareness, plus the new behavior, that allows us to go back and clean up the mess in steps 8 and 9. Then, as my sponsor likes to say, we’re all caught up with where normal people are! Continue reading “Step 6: Crux of the Program”

On Acceptance

Hi, folks.

It’s already been said here very well, but acceptance is the point where recovery starts to happen.

I could not get sober on my own. I couldn’t get sober until I came to MA. And I couldn’t come to MA until I accepted two things: that I had a serious problem with marijuana, and that I couldn’t solve that problem on my own. Once I accepted those two things, I was given the humility and courage to come to MA, which is where and how I got sober.

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Defining our Higher Power (part 2)

I’ve been through a few versions of a higher power. The first was just the meeting I went to: whatever those folks were doing in there was obviously more powerful than anything I could come up with, since they were sober and I wasn’t. So that was a good start: turning it over meant going to the meeting and trying whatever they were doing.

Next, when I started working the Steps, my sponsor encouraged me to come up with something more specific, more personal. I went with that “inner voice” which, even in the depths of my disease, was telling me to quit pot, reminding me that I hate it. I decided then that “turning it over” meant listening to that voice. I came to think of it as tuning in the Gad Radio Channel, over all the noise and static in my head. Continue reading “Defining our Higher Power (part 2)”

Why MA?

I’m Paul, and I’m an addict.

I was lucky enough to live in a place where Marijuana Anonymous was pretty strong, and I plugged right in. I occasionally hit an NA meeting just for the scheduling, and I have no problem “translating.”

What I am struggling with lately is being an old-timer. Most MA meetings I go to in my hometown have only one or two people with more time than me, and it seems I hear very little about people working the Steps with a sponsor. Maybe the key is that I don’t hear it, as in I don’t listen, but it seems like if you put a bunch of new people in a room, you get a lot of “checking in” and war stories. So that’s been a frustration for me.

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Simple vs. Easy

Written in response to a testy, defensive newcomer online:

I didn’t meant to imply that quitting pot was easy. There’s “easy” and then there’s “simple.” What I was trying to say is that for me, thinking about the rest of my life leads to some pretty complex thinking that distracts me from the present moment. So, for me, a simpler path to sobriety is to just do it one day at a time. Sometimes, early on, I had to do it an hour at a time.

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