Micro-Manage


Yikes!! Do we really think we actually have control of another human being? 

Sometimes someone will play along and let you think you have them under control, but the truth is no one can control anyone. It is all smoke and mirrors, illusion.

Doubt, fear and making that person think they owe us something, giving, giving, giving ourselves over to them so they feel guilty about trying to separate and individualize. There are so many forms of micro-managing.

“Remember just because someone is opinionated doesn’t mean they are controlling. A good test to tell the difference between someone who is just very opinionated or controlling is if they willingly accept or tolerate differences between you and them and don’t try to change any part of your core person or personality.”

So complicated.

We are free and have free choice and that is what is so cool about being human.

Claim your power!

Go Ahead!

Big Boys

Complete Control 1983


The Ninth Step


Every one has probably seen scenes in movies where an alcoholic in AA is making “amends” to those harmed while drinking. Making amends has a very skewed definition in the normal world. Most people think it means to grovel on the ground and say “I’m sorry” and spend the rest of your days making up for your mistake.

We learn in AA, it is not always the best thing to spill all our apologies and become some one’s quintessential guilt slave for the rest of our lives. This kind of amends only creates more dysfunction and saying “I’m sorry” only makes you feel better. What good has that done the person you have harmed if you don’t change your behavior? Apologies can be empty words.

The definition of amends is change. 

The 9th step says,

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

So, we don’t go to a department store and say, “Hey, I’m sorry I stole a bunch of things from your store ten years ago.”

You’ll probably end up in jail. But we can go to that store and buy some thing for the same amount stolen and donate it to a homeless shelter.

If we gossiped about some one we can change our behavior by stopping gossip and maybe say some thing nice about that person we talked harshly about or wish for that person all the happiness in the world. Or perhaps you lied to someone. Maybe stopping lying is a good solution. Never lying again may work. Telling the truth may harm them more than simply changing your behavior.

Of course it is better to tell the truth in some situations. It all depends on the situation and how good of a liar and thief you are. LOL

This is something to be discussed with a sponsor or a friend or some one who can help you decide the best way to change every thing for the better. Behavior is hard to change, but it is the only way to really get sober. We act out of fear, control, greed, guilt and shame and that can really be harmful, but making ourselves feel better by saying I”m sorry and not changing is the biggest joke.

That is the cool thing about AA is there are no right or wrong ways to do it. The steps are suggestions, not rules.

The main thing is if ya got a problem with drinking, DON”T DRINK.

It does get better.

There is so much hope in AA and so many miracles!

Keep Coming back Y’all

There are a lot of creative ways to make amends.

The amends can be simple. It doesn’t have to be a grovel act.

All Apologies

Unplugged Nirvana 1993


Lowering our Standards


“My life was falling apart faster than I could lower my standards.”

Many of us live with abuse and dishonesty. We go back into situations out of desperation or stay in what feels comfortable and “familiar,” but is not what we would choose for ourselves.

We “Settle.”

We lower or standards and live in fear or frustration and mistrust. We live in situations where our needs are not being met, because we are afraid. Maybe we feel so bad about ourselves that we think this is all we deserve.

We keep saying to ourselves, “It’s not that bad yet. I haven’t gotten a DUI yet. Everyone is entitled to one, right?” and we keep drinking or maybe we stay with some one who is abusive or emotionally unavailable, until we are doing something that we told ourselves we would never do.

The solution is clear, but we won’t face our fear. We think our lives are over if we let go of what is keeping us imprisoned.

In AA, we learn to face our fears and with that comes a resurgence of self esteem. Our lives improve and we find peace.

Getting sober takes honesty, taking care of ourselves takes courage. Pretending it will all go away on its own or it’s not that bad is just a way to fool ourselves, so we don’t have to change any thing. If we take action and change our lives,  our high standards return and we can face whatever happens with courage and strength. We can sleep well at night with a clear conscience and look people in the eye.

Sobriety rocks! Sanity Rocks!

Love These GRRLS!

 

L7

Question My Sanity


Failure


If you give up the drink does that mean you are weak, that you can’t “handle” your liquor?

When you say alcohol is stronger than you are, does that mean you have failed?

Some of us have the disease of alcoholism and yes, alcohol is stronger than us if we put it in our bodies, but we are stronger than alcohol, if we don’t drink.

This goes for alcohol in other people’s bodies as well. I can’t stop you from drinking too much, but I can take care of myself and not be affected by what you ingest.

Is a relationship a failure if it does not stay together?

When a relationship breaks up, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t work out. It just means it worked out apart.

Trying to force a dead relationship to work is like trying to control drinking for an alcoholic.

Giving up alcohol was so much easier than trying to control it and act like all was fine. Those last few drinking years were the hardest of my life. It took all my energy to make it all look good on the outside so no one knew I was miserable. I even tried to make my relationship look like it was fine too and that was a huge joke.

I just didn’t want to admit powerlessness.

I thought I was in control.  Like I had some kind of mind control. Everything all in its place, looking the part, all neat and controlled, but inside, I was outa control for real. Besides I wasn’t fooling any one really.

False Pride is failure in my book.

Why be something that you’re not?

Now I choose the easier softer way…

It looks like quite a feat to give up alcohol for 21 years, but really it has been an amazing fun adventure.

Creep  1994

Radiohead

When you were here before
Couldn’t look you in the eye
You’re just like an angel
Your skin makes me cry
You float like a feather
In a beautiful world
I wish I was special
You’re so fucking special

But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here

I don’t care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice when I’m not around
You’re so fucking special
I wish I was special

But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell I’m doing here?
I don’t belong here

She’s running out the door
She’s running out
She runs runs runs

Whatever makes you happy
Whatever you want
You’re so fucking special
I wish I was special

But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here
I don’t belong here


Saving Face and Your Ass at the Same Time


Is it really possible to save face and get your self out of deep trouble?

Meetings, having a therapist or a sponsor to talk to or clergyman or a good friend give us the opportunity to admit our shortcomings and take action.

It is not always easy to admit when we are wrong or that some thing just isn’t working in our lives. In fact, most of us would like to just hide away and let it all go by, let it all take care of itself. Meanwhile, our problems are driving a Maserati and have gone ahead of us and eaten chile at truck stop and are waiting for us at our destination. There is no geographical cure and no other way out but to admit our powerlessness and the exact nature of our wrongs.

The trick is really seeing what those problems are. Denial is such a strong force.

So baby, Watch your face, I mean Watch your ass…

Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell


Love Addicts


Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Love Addicts Anonymous

40 Questions To Help You Determine If You Are a Love Addict

If you can answer yes to more than a few of the following questions, you are probably a love addict.

Remember that love addiction comes in many forms, so even if you don’t answer yes to all of the questions you may still be a love addict.

  1. You are very needy when it comes to relationships.
  2. You fall in love very easily and too quickly.
  3. When you fall in love, you can’t stop fantasizing—even to do important things. You can’t help yourself.
  4. Sometimes, when you are lonely and looking for companionship, you lower your standards and settle for less than you want or deserve.
  5. When you are in a relationship, you tend to smother your partner.
  6. More than once, you have gotten involved with someone who is unable to commit—hoping he or she will change.
  7. Once you have bonded with someone, you can’t let go.
  8. When you are attracted to someone, you will ignore all the warning signs that this person is not good for you.
  9. Initial attraction is more important to you than anything else when it comes to falling in love and choosing a partner. Falling in love over time does not appeal to you and is not an option.
  10. When you are in love, you trust people who are not trustworthy. The rest of the time you have a hard time trusting people.
  11. When a relationship ends, you feel your life is over and more than once you have thought about suicide because of a failed relationship.
  12. You take on more than your share of responsibility for the survival of a relationship.
  13. Love and relationships are the only things that interest you.
  14. In some of your relationships you were the only one in love.
  15. You are overwhelmed with loneliness when you are not in love or in a relationship.
  16. You cannot stand being alone. You do not enjoy your own company.
  17. More than once, you have gotten involved with the wrong person to avoid being lonely.
  18. You are terrified of never finding someone to love.
  19. You feel inadequate if you are not in a relationship.
  20. You cannot say no when you are in love or if your partner threatens to leave you.
  21. You try very hard to be who your partner wants you to be. You will do anything to please him or her—even abandon yourself (sacrifice what you want, need and value).
  22. When you are in love, you only see what you want to see. You distort reality to quell anxiety and feed your fantasies.
  23. You have a high tolerance for suffering in relationships. You are willing to suffer neglect, depression, loneliness, dishonesty—even abuse—to avoid the pain of separation anxiety (what you feel when you are not with someone you have bonded with).
  24. More than once, you have carried a torch for someone and it was agonizing.
  25. You love romance. You have had more than one romantic interest at a time even when it involved dishonesty.
  26. You have stayed with an abusive person.
  27. Fantasies about someone you love, even if he or she is unavailable, are more important to you than meeting someone who is available.
  28. You are terrified of being abandoned. Even the slightest rejection feels like abandonment and it makes you feel horrible.
  29. You chase after people who have rejected you and try desperately to change their minds.
  30. When you are in love, you are overly possessive and jealous.
  31. More than once, you have neglected family or friends because of your relationship.
  32. You have no impulse control when you are in love.
  33. You feel an overwhelming need to check up on someone you are in love with.
  34. More than once, you have spied on someone you are in love with.
  35. You pursue someone you are in love with even if he or she is with another person.
  36. If you are part of a love triangle (three people), you believe all is fair in love and war. You do not walk away.
  37. Love is the most important thing in the world to you.
  38. Even if you are not in a relationship, you still fantasize about love all the time— either someone you once loved or the perfect person who is going to come into your life someday.
  39. As far back as you can remember, you have been preoccupied with love and romantic fantasies.
  40. You feel powerless when you fall in love—as if you are in some kind of trance or under a spell. You lose your ability to make wise choices.

Here’s one of my fave bands with a little obsession song for Valentine’s Day..

Enjoy

Dandy Warhols I Love You

I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,

I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.

I only just met you before
But I can’t understand you don’t want me more
You maybe think I’m too smart and weird,
But that should only make you want to hear that…

I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,

You make me feel really unsure,
But that should just make you feel secure.
Although we’ve only known each other a bit
Already I can’t sleep at night and I feel like shit.
That’s right.

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/d/dandy+warhols/#share


It Takes Two


OK This post is kinda long and intense, but it is the root of so many reasons people get blasted instead of dealing with their feelings.

Unhealthy relationships seem to be the bad bone in every addict’s life.

When we do our 4th steps in AA, we examine our behaviors and how we have affected others.

Al-Anon is the savior for sick relationships in the alcoholic home.

Lois Wilson creator of Al-anon  (Wife of Bill Wilson, one of the founders of AA) had it going on. Al-Anon heals so many situations that affect the growth of the spirit. Many others have healed using strict Codependency guidelines as well.

Have you left scratch marks in your partners when the relationship is over?

Some refuse to Let go.

I have often heard,” I don’t take partners, I take hostages” said in meetings. Very funny, but codependency can be very damaging.

Here is an article that may help.

How can you tell if you are a Codependent — with all the differing “definitions” out there? This may be difficult to realize, despite 40 years of public documentation and support on the subject; but it is quite prevalent, especially in more developed countries, and among certain (caregiving) professions, or developed as a result of religious affiliation.

Children are more codependent, of necessity; but adult Codependency is simply unpleasant — mostly for you, but also everyone around you.  A good working definition of Codependence might be, ” No boundaries combined with an inappropriate caring for others (invading a boundary), and an inappropriate reliance on another’s response (invading a boundary), in a negatively reinforcing loop”.  Negative Dependence.

You are a caring person, and there is nothing wrong with that; we are all interdependent.  Just a little self-examination, and redirection, may have you on a more fulfilling path.

Here are many relevant clues to consider, given in no particular order; however, since codependent behaviors are as variable as humans’ collective ego defenses, this is by no means a comprehensive list. Unfortunately, Codependency is difficult to see in yourself. Awareness is a major first step to a new concept, and awareness alone often alleviates many symptoms.

It is important to note that most people exhibit codependent behaviors in certain situations, and a snapshot of most anyone might be seen below. This article is to help ”you” find ”your” Codependency, and it is not recommended that you confront or attempt an “intervention” for someone else.

Realize that codependency can take many forms: ”passive” and/or ”aggressive”; in fact, terms such as “passive-aggressive”, “controlling”, “people pleaser”, “bipolar”, “empath”, “manipulator”, “narcissist” (pathological anti-codependency), “drama queen”, and many others, are more or less descriptions of some symptoms of codependency.

Stalking is an obvious codependent behavior.

Another way to describe codependent behavior is, “feeding the behavior of an individual who is causing pain and stress to the unit as a whole. These units can be the work place, school, social clubs, church, or the most prevalent place for this behavior — the family”.

Should we depend on another, or help another accomplish common goals that are ”benefiting the whole”, is not the question but: “Are we enabling unacceptable behavior in order for us to appease that person (who is causing disruption) in order for us not be rejected, confronted, challenged, or hated by them?” It is well to avoid ”fusion” with others and ”confusion” of the individual’s status within the unit.

Examine your family relationships: Codependency is a learned behavior, most often passed down through families; you learned it as a way to cope. You did ”’not”’ do anything wrong — but, as an adult, it is an inadequate and ultimately unsuccessful way to deal in relationships. You probably feel responsible for making another person or people happy, finding it difficult or impossible to say “no”, but are unaware of your own motivating thoughts and feelings.

Examine your other relationships: Although you may be fairly “successful”, your social-life is unsatisfying to you; you are too busy with everyone else’s “problems”. Consider whether you may be uncomfortable being alone.  Unfortunately, you come with ”strings” attached.  You are unhappy at best, and often suicidal at worst.

Check your major options for a “frame of mind” which might be a fairly rapid-cycling between “miserable” and “giddy” (bipolar). “Contentedness” is probably a foreign state of mind for you.  At parties, or other social settings, you quite often are an “odd man out”, or uncomfortably trying to control/help everyone have fun your way — do you give up, withdraw from uncontrollable persons — or duck out to escape the load music, noise and confusion?  Contemplate whether you are quite driven, an overachiever.  You may have an opinion about everything; you may have been labeled a “type A” personality, tending toward perfectionism (possibly manic). Hyper-awareness is common in this mode.

Consider whether you’re compulsively-seeking acceptance by your chosen audience. Do you find yourself often compulsively explaining your issues to someone when it’s unnecessary (to one who is mostly not listening, as it is irrelevant to them). If no one else is present in the same room, you may be explaining anyway, to someone two rooms away. Even your manipulative actions, often done in the open, are seeking acclaim/affirmation, expecting “they should agree; it’s the best thing–for them”.

Observe here, when no one asked for your opinion, that anyone not telling you to “mind your own business” is being kind or confused (you have subconsciously developed syntax that makes it difficult for others to back down gracefully).

Anyone unfortunate enough to have pegged you as a “sympathetic ear”, probably a stranger, is going to get more than they bargained for in your (manipulative) empathic behavior, as “Let me help (control) you”.

Another common way to describe Codependency that may bring it to light for you is that your center moves around, from yourself to the other–you often don’t stay centered. Recognize that even aggressive Codependents may have an obsequious (doormat) side. In attempting to show respect you may feel a need to be unhealthily “submissive”.   You should not find yourself receding or feeling subjugated.  Consider whether you are often accused of being wishy-washy or double-minded as you agree with what you disagree. You can be a chameleon. Schizophrenia can be  a result of codependency.

Notice that you may be waiting for the other person to just listen: You are not seeking or allowing real discussion, but making pronouncements, and issuing edicts. While someone else is talking, you are generally just waiting (or insisting) for them to stop so you can make your next announcement.

See yourself almost demanding to “let me help you”: You may be easily taken in, have little discernment.You may have friends that you consider “projects”.

See that you rely on others for your “happiness”–if you can call it that–which for you, hinges on their agreement.

Recognize that you are almost surely a goodhearted person.  People become codependent because they ”care”; which has to be better than ”not” caring; recognize that there is a better way to care.

You want what’s best; but therefore, everyone else should want what you want, in your opinion–and any other opinions may be, at best, secondary to your’s.

It may be difficult (if not impossible) to do anything for you, as you may be quick to point out deficiencies in any effort made for you ; you mean this to be constructive, but it is just sniping,”making the perfect the enemy of the good”.

You may not accept compliments or favors well. You may reject proffered gifts, only to exclaim later that you could have used that!

“I’m sorry” may rarely be heard from you, except when it is obviously necessary, and then it can come out more like, “I’m sorry you don’t understand”, but some Codependents say “I’m sorry” all the time.

You may rarely say “thank you”, because you may rarely ask for a favor right out, preferring making some deal or manipulation, subconsciously.

It may be helpful or instructive for you to practice ”asking” a friend (or maybe a stranger) for help, in any little way; just, “hey, I could use some help on…”.  Follow that with a, “hey, thanks”.  If this is difficult for you, take heed.

Realize that “now” is all you will ever have.  You may live for the future, or think about the past, constantly. Observe how often you may think that life, for you, will be better “when…”.

Check these ways to identify co-dependency; see whether or not you often:

”Walk on egg shells”: living defensively (tiptoeing in your own house).

”Feel afraid to confront others”: avoiding conflict.

”Make poor or wrong decisions”: accommodating others (eg: in your finances).

”Tell little white lies”: to avoid anger and conflict with others.

”Feel angry with yourself”: letting others get their way?

”Blame yourself”: for the others dissatisfactions.

”Overprotect unwanted behaviors”: eg, concealing alcohol or drug use, other addictions of others.

”Get hurt emotionally”: by the others behavior.

”Feel used”: but consider that you must make that as a sacrifice.

”Are unable to say “no”.

Add observable behaviors of codependency of which you are aware.

You may:

Find it difficult to set boundaries on the other persons behavior.

Feel responsible for the lack of success or ambition of others.

Find it difficult to break a poor relationship or leave an abusive person.

Feel as if you need to do more, be more, and generally feel dissatisfied with your inability to change or control the other persons happiness.

Give too much information (as a symptom of poor boundary formation); you may have been accused of giving “too much information”.

Cause others to “walk on eggshells” around you.

*The best advice for interacting with a Codependent seems to be…don’t!

*If not interacting with them is not an option, it will help you (and them) greatly if you have a prepared answer, something like, “I wouldn’t be comfortable doing that”, or a similar innocuous answer.  When they ask, “why not?”, as they surely will, it will help to recognize that you don’t owe them an answer, and a restatement, such as, “I just wouldn’t”, will often bring the Codependency to light, as they may quite likely get upset, and possibly start acting out and, while it can be difficult in this situation, do your best to avoid any snideness.

*People who must interact with a Codependent often feel “forced” into telling an offhand lie in answer to a Codependent’s manipulative question, and this should be avoided; recognize that it is completely within your rights to say, “I wouldn’t be comfortable answering that question”.

Codependents may become much happier and more socially fulfilled by changing their habits of relating to others to allow individualization.  Many times, that may be all it is; habits of relating that you are no longer ego-attached to, or never were.*

If you are Codependent, but are able to grasp as much, life can become a lot better quickly, because a kind of “switch” sometimes gets thrown, mentally, and you just stop a lot of the codependent behaviors, seemingly overnight; you are now giving people enough room to be themselves, to be free, in a sense.  People quickly notice, too, in like a couple of weeks.  You are creating a positive feedback loop that will pay dividends.  You may still notice quite a few codependent behaviors in yourself; but you’ll begin noticing them, which is a huge step as long as you don’t ignore them.

*Set boundaries and maintain them.

*Encourage the recipient of any help you’re giving, such as problem family and friends, to get help.

*Recognize that your biggest fear as a Codependent, being shunned socially, is what you are inadvertently encouraging with these types of behaviors, and that you will attract people to you when they see that you are about your business, but willing to lend a hand.

*Keeping a ”finger in everyone’s pie”, usually gets worse until the codependent recognizes the difficulty at least somewhat and begins to seek to really change (hopefully not to just withdraw or postpone). Then the codependent may continue to alleviate, mitigate the damages that have been done to one’s own life and to those lives who should be the closest/but probably are now alienated, around oneself.

*Do not revert to unreasonable caring, while never receiving permissions and certainly no real appreciation or thanks.

*The codependent-giver, though respectable, is easily drawn into dysfunctional relationships and must change or become more stuck or alienated.

*The codependent person may become cynical, bitter, withdrawn, feeling  lonely, and avoided.

*One may be the most bossy, know it all; manipulative, busy-body; officious; life of the party (but not in a good way); wasteful, unreasonably caring and not correctly analyzing the situation codependent.

*Generally, one should not intervene in the lives of competent adults, but codependents do it continually.

*Do ”’not”’ get involved (codependently) by “adopting” the needy adult, homeless or unemployed who is challenged by continual bad choices or mental disability–as you would likely, quickly be in a dangerous and codependent relationship.

*Be aware that real dependence attracts codependents. The pattern can form beginning with an external major crisis or problem such as physical disability, divorce, separation, widowing, a house fire or natural disaster. Codependents are drawn to help wherever there’s real trouble because they are caring, helpful people. Watch for your own behavior when accepting help in emergencies or especially long term bad situations. If you start falling into codependent patterns, try to identify who in your support system is helping too much and blocking paths to independence. You have a right to hold your boundaries no matter what your situation is.