It has a lot of names, such as, "turd-stacking," "projecting the wreckage of the future," "horriblizing" one's life, "fly-speck magnification," "asshole gazing," and many other ways to describe the disease of addiction's practice of adjusting an addict's focus until all he or she can see is what's wrong: in the universe, in the world, in the nation, in the job, in the home, and in his or her life.
As an old sponsor of mine pointed out to me, "If you stare into an asshole long enough, sooner or later you are going to get an eyeful of something that won't make you very happy."
Addiction's main tool to get us back into the nightmare is this: If I can make myself miserable enough, I'll use. Pain, troubles, unhappiness at work, at school, at home, it all comes down to "If you had my troubles, you'd use, too."
"What do you mean 'Make myself miserable,'" I asked in rehab after being told the above dynamic.
Then I learned one of the most important facts of addiction and my experience with it: I didn't use because I had troubles; I had troubles in order to give myself excuses to use."
My original reaction was, "Bullshit. It can't be that simple. Why would I make myself miserable?"