Friday, November 29, 2013
When he would hear someone pissing and moaning about their physical problems accompanying their advancing years, my late sponsor Larry used to say, "We weren't even supposed to be here. Addicts used to die very young. Those who don't get into recovery, as a rule, still die young. What a miracle it is that those of us in recovery have lived enough additional years to be able to bitch about getting old."
The big setup for any addict in recovery is the malignant flyspeck. What's the malignant flyspeck?
Imagine a pristine wall of white or some pleasing color. The wall fills the universe with its pleasing light, an existential vessel for our joy and serenity. While you're looking at that wall, though, you notice a flyspeck on it. You stand closer, making the flyspeck seem larger, to examine it better.
"Look at that!" you cry. "Some damned bug attached itself to our beautiful wall and crapped all over it!"
You stand closer and closer until all you can see is the flyspeck. The universe is no longer beauty, joy, and serenity; It's all shit!
Anyone ever tell you about addiction's bag of tricks? Its number one trick (therapists like to call it a "dynamic") is behavior based on the disease's founding premise: Nothing comes between my addict and the drug.
Happy, grateful, serene recovering addicts don't use. Hence, thinks the disease, I must destroy the joy, kill hope, and vaporize serenity. In other words, if the addict can be made to make himself miserable enough, the addict will go back to the drug.
Meanwhile, back at the flyspeck that seemed to have swallowed the universe: if I step back from that unfortunate mark on the wall, noting the 99.9999% remainder of the wall that is clean and beautiful, it is no longer such a big deal. Some might even go so far as to get a sponge and remove the flyspeck.
However, if I choose to focus on the flyspeck until it seems to fill my universe, life for me will suddenly become hopeless and unbearable. That is precisely when that little green dragon climbs up on my shoulder and begins suggesting certain chemical "solutions" to take care of my "problems."
Can't seem to get away from that flyspeck on your own?
Go to a program meeting and share.
Write a gratitude list.
Call your sponsor and talk it out.
Oh . . . you don't have a sponsor? Haven't been to a meeting in awhile?
The way Larry put it to me was this: addiction has a bag of tricks; the program gives me a bag of tools. To counter the tricks I need to use the tools. If I choose not to use the tools, I am choosing to live and die in that universe full of crap in which staying clean is all but impossible.
You ever try to unplug an overflowing toilet by bitching, feeling depressed, and sticking your head in the bowl? No. You either use a toilet plunger or get someone to come in and . . . use a toilet plunger. The tools of recovery and how to use them to stay clean and live life joyous and free is what the program provides.
So, when you find yourself stacking up things about which to be miserable, health problems, love relationships falling apart, pets taking a dump on your carpet, you burning the turkey, losing a job, sticking your head in a toilet, or all of the above, use the program tools to help back you away from that flyspeck.
If you want to stay clean.
Friday, November 08, 2013
Bubba had had just about enough of going to Twelve Step meetings. All of this don't use, go to meetings, and ask for help crap was really pissing him off. Everything was making him angry and all he wanted to do was hit someone.
"One drink won't kill me," he said to himself, and he headed for the nearest bar.
Once he got into the establishment, he saw Willy, an old sponsor of his who had gone out again, sitting at the bar, hunched over a drink. Bubba walked over, grabbed the guy's drink, gulped it down, and said, "So, what are you gonna do about it?"
"Come on, man," said Willy. "I'm a complete failure. I stopped going to meetings and got back into drinking. My wife left me and took the kids. Then I was late to a meeting with my boss, and he fired me. When I went to the parking lot, I found my car had been stolen and I don't have any insurance. I left my wallet in the cab I took home, I opened the door, a burglar hit me on my head, stole my computer and TV, and when I woke up my dog bit me. So . . . I came to this bar to work up the courage to put an end to it all. So I buy a drink, drop a cyanide capsule in it, and sit here watching the poison dissolve, then you show up and drink the whole damn thing! But, enough about me, how are you doing?"
Thursday, November 07, 2013
A lady goes to her priest one day and tells him, "Father, I have a problem. I have two female talking parrots, but they only ever say one thing."
"What do they say?" the priest inquired.
"They say, 'Hi, we're hookers! Do you want to have some fun?'"
"That's obscene!" the priest exclaimed. Then he thought for a moment. "You know," he said, "I may have a solution to your problem. I have two male talking parrots, which I have taught to pray and read the Bible. Bring your two parrots over to my house, and we'll put them in the cage with Francis and Peter. My parrots can teach your parrots to praise and worship, and your parrots will surely stop saying that awful phrase."
"Thank you," the woman responded, "this may very well be the answer to my prayers."
The next day, She brought her female parrots to the priest's house. As the priest ushered her in, she saw that his two male parrots were inside their cage holding rosary beads and praying. Very impressed, she walked over and placed her parrots in with them.
After a long moment, the female parrots cried out in unison to the male parrots: "Hi, we're hookers. Do you want to have some fun?"
There was stunned silence as the woman's mouth fell open and the priest's face turned red.
Then one male parrot turned and looked at the other male parrot. "Put the beads away, Frank," he said. "Our prayers have been answered."
Monday, November 04, 2013
The financially insecure addict, new in the program, asked his sponsor what he should do about his financial woes. "I don't know," replied his sponsor. "Ask your Higher Power for what you need."
So the newcomer climbs to the top of a very tall mountain, looks up at the skies, and cries out, "God, are you there?"
"I am here," answered God. "How can I help you?"
The newcomer felt strange about asking for all the money he wanted, so he decided to come at his request indirectly. "Lord," he asked, "what does a million years mean to you?"
And God replied, "A minute."
The newcomer nodded and then asked, "And, Lord, what does a million dollars mean to you?"
And God replied, "A penny."
The newcomer asked, "Can I have a penny?"
"In a minute," answered God.