Addictionland - Addiction Recovery Blog

Addictionland - Addiction Recover Blog

LETTING GO OF THE DRAMA

Posted by Cate
Cate
Cate Stevens. Founder of Addictionland.com, has over fifteen years of recovery f
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 13 March 2014
in Anger Addiction 0 Comments

Recently, I became more aware of the way "drama" has infiltrated my life, thinking and fulfillment.  Early on, I witnessed plenty of drama, which included melt downs, loud arguments, silent withdrawls, he said-she said, woe is me and ain't it just terrible!

In recovery, I became aware of how the witnessing of drama turned into personal drama as a way of life.  In place of healthy coping mechanisms, I too learned to rely on substances instead of handling my upsets and issues head on.  I learned to rely on drama to provide me with a sense of purpose, excitement and entitlement.

Now, after fifteen years sober and recent encounters with other highly neurotic, dramatic and unstable people, I finally see what it is that God is trying to teach me.  Thankfully, I have learned many coping mechanisms over the last fifteen years and I know what to do when I am triggered by outside or inner drama.

Additionally, I clearly see that it is my job to politely say "No, thank you" to the drama queens in my life and allow them to have their fits without getting entangled.  I can still love and support certain individuals but I no longer have to be their confidante in order to be valuable.  I believed if I wasn't "there" for these people, they would be angry with me, punish me and possibly perish.

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GROWTH SPURTS IN RECOVERY

Posted by Cate
Cate
Cate Stevens. Founder of Addictionland.com, has over fifteen years of recovery f
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 21 August 2013
in Anger Addiction 0 Comments

This is such an interesting and relieving time in my sobriety. Proof positive that outer conditions do not dictate our inner state is the fact that I have many of life's greatest challanges before me and yet, I have never felt more at peace or hopeful.

I have always been told 1) God never gives you more than you can handle and 2) God gives you what need, not what you want.  Thirteen years into sobriety, I say "Thank God" on both accounts.

Because I do conduct a daily personal inventory, I have noticed that all of my needs are accounted for as long as I work my spiritual program. When I get to meetings, correct my mistakes, help others, pray, and meditate, the conditions of my life steadily improve and I notice synchronicity everywhere.

My mom has lung cancer and I yet I notice I am surrounded by loved ones and friends for support; when I need information regarding her medical treatment it comes through healthcare professionals I met at work; my boss allows me to take the time I need to be with my mom; the family all came together for my mom's recent birthday; my brother stayed in town all summer so she could spend time with her grandson, etc.

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CANCERISM

Posted by Cate
Cate
Cate Stevens. Founder of Addictionland.com, has over fifteen years of recovery f
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 27 April 2013
in Anger Addiction 0 Comments

My sponsor's husband died from esophogeal cancer.  During his treatment, she told me "Cancer is like alcoholism.  In fact, I call it cancerism.  IncreaseAt it's root, is resentment."

I believe it.  I can see my mom's cancer as untreated anger that converted into bitterness.  It has destroyed her insides and is like that rapacious creditor they mention in the Big Book that eats the person from the inside out.  Unfortunately for her, there is not a 12 step program called Cancer Anonymous or Anger Anonymous.  Lucky for us alcoholics, we learn about resentment and how to treat the number one killer.

My mom doesn't know she is not a victim of her circumstances today like she was as a child.  Her wounded, inner child has never been healed.  In fact, she probably doesn't even know she has a wounded inner child.  The poor, frightened child in her is buried so deep under her walls of pain, my mom can't hear her screaming.  But, boy does this cancer let her know something is terribly wrong on the inside.

I would be the perfect candidate for cancer if it wasn't for the 12 step program, my awareness of my resentments and my honest seeking to get better a day at a time.  After a lifetime of witnessing and brewing in my parents' resentment, I have trouble being happy in my romantic relationships. I need to release that pain in order to fully own my own happiness.

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AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

Posted by Cate
Cate
Cate Stevens. Founder of Addictionland.com, has over fifteen years of recovery f
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 07 November 2012
in Anger Addiction 0 Comments

I want to throw a word out to you.  I made it up.  It is called entitlitis.  The definition is an inflammation or exagerration of entitlement.  King Baby may be a term you are familiar with if you are in a 12 step fellowship.  Tantrum is another word you might know if you have a toddler or you catch yourself in a mirror on an off day. "Boo-hoo, I am not getting what I demand!" And, lastlly, dependent is another catch phrase I like which describes the person who denies the existance of All Power in their own life and prefers to wait for other people to do things to improve their life.

What is more insane than denying the existance of All-Power?  The answer to that would be failing to apply the principle of All-Power in your life.  Who might do that?  Well, for one thing, me when I didn't know that All-Power existed.  Before I came into a 12 step fellowing ship, I knew of only one power and that power was will power.  I was taught that if I wanted something to happen in my life, I needed to make it happen.  In addition, I could and should use any tactic available to me, including manipulation and force, when things didn't seem to move in the direction I wanted.

Sure, I was able to make all sorts of things happen but the acid test of how it was working for me was the feeling of anxiety, despair, emptiness and pain I felt inside. If cheating on a test to get a perfect score was good, why did the A leave me feeling empty?  If cheating on my boyfriend to get double the attention was positive, why did it make me feel less attractive?   If my methods were right, why didn't they lead me to a positive sense of self worth?

I've always been a little scientist testing hypotheses to find the merit.  When I came into the 12 step fellowship, I decided to do the same thing with the "suggestions." I would find people who appeared to have the life I hoped for, ask them what they did to get that life, and follow in their footsteps in my own life.  When I was told to get to a meeting a day, I did.  When I was told not to use alcohol or drugs for a 24 hour period, I did.  When I was told to reach out and find a sponsor and get phone numbers and use them, I did. When I was told to work the 12 steps, I worked all twelve of them.

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WHO ME? ANGRY?

Posted by Cate
Cate
Cate Stevens. Founder of Addictionland.com, has over fifteen years of recovery f
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 06 September 2012
in Anger Addiction 0 Comments

I had maybe a few months of abstinance under my belt when a man with twenty years of sobriety said something in a meeting that stuck with me to this day.  He said,"Alcoholics don't get angry, Increasethey are angry."

I left the meeting wondering what he was talking about. I thought to myself I am not angry.  I am not angry at all.  Why would he accuse me of being angry?  Not only was I in denial about my anger, I was also convinced he was talking about me!

It took many years of recovery and doing all twelve steps to begin to understand what he meant.  The Big Book warned me that the number one reason people quit the program of recovery is resentment.  It continued to say that as an alcoholic, I did not have the luxury of being angry.

When I did my fourth step and then continued on with my tenth step, I began to see my anger.  I was angry I wasn't smarter, prettier, thinner or wealthier.  I was angry my friends seemd to get what my parents wouldnt give me.  I was angry I wasn't married with children when I thought I should be. The list went on.

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HOW I ESCAPE THE PRESSURE COOKER OF LIFE

Posted by Cate
Cate
Cate Stevens. Founder of Addictionland.com, has over fifteen years of recovery f
User is currently offline
on Monday, 16 April 2012
in Anger Addiction 0 Comments

I started Addictionland.com so that addicts, in or out of recovery, could have a place to vent and potentially receive positive feedback from other addicts or recovery professionals. Whenever I am about to write, I ask myself what is currently going on in my life.  Although it is interesting for others to hear about my dark past and my recovery path, it is always important for me to do a personal inventory about today.

I was very agitated and edgy this morning because I was feeling the pressure of Monday morning, parenting a 5 year old child that moves at his own pace, not having time to experience romance with my husband, a new boss at work, less time to manage my work due to a new fleet policy about driving and talking on the phone and the regular high expectations I hold for myself in almost all areas of my life. Increase

I was ready to leave the house as Queen Baby, griping about all that I have on my plate and spoiling my own day, when my husband called out to me and said, "Honey, come get a hug."  Reluctantly, I walked over to him and his embrace magically reduced my tension.  Next, I got into the car and Lady Gaga was in the CD player.  My son loves dance music and began to smile and dance in his seat.  It was hard for me to hold on to my anger watching his whole face light up and witnessing a rash of freckles breaking out across his nose.

I thought to myself, "Thank God for the recovery process.  I still have defects and I still entertain playing the victim, but practicing the 12-step principles in all of my affairs, minute after minute, day by day, makes it virtually impossible to stay in my defects for too long.  I am completely aware of my choice to stay in the problem and suffer or pray for relief and move into a solution.

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TEMPER TANTRUMS IN RECOVERY

Posted by Cate
Cate
Cate Stevens. Founder of Addictionland.com, has over fifteen years of recovery f
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 25 June 2011
in Anger Addiction 0 Comments

"The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear--primarily fear that we would lose something we already possessed or would fail to get something we demanded. Living upon a basis of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state of continual disturbance and frustration.  Therefore, no peace was to be had unless we could find a means of reducing these demands.  The difference between a demand and a simple request is plain to anyone." Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 76.

As far back as I can remember, I demanded my needs be met.Increase  I demanded my brother pay attention to me as a child.  I demanded my mother buy me expensive jeans like my best friend's mother did. I demanded my body look like Brooke Shields in her Calvin Kleins. I demanded my boyfriend never speak to his ex-girlfriend.  The more demands I put on myself and others, the more paranoid and fearful I became.

Fast forward a good twenty years later and I have learned how to reduce my demands.  There has been no quick fix-rather a very painful process of trying to push my way through brick walls until I finally surrendered and became willing to act in a new way.  The more I was forced to act differently (or else drink again), the more I came to trust that my Higher Power always knew what was best for me.  The things or situations or people I thought I wanted ended up being wrong for me.  The things or situations or people I thought to dispose of ended up being best for my personal growth.

Whenever I become frustrated or disturbed, I ask myself what I am afraid of.  I remember all the ways my life has expanded as a result of working the 12 steps and changing my behavior.  I stop pounding my fists, take a deep breath and calm down.  Almost as soon as I relax, a new miracle occurs.

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LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS IN RECOVERY

Posted by Cate
Cate
Cate Stevens. Founder of Addictionland.com, has over fifteen years of recovery f
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 02 January 2011
in Anger Addiction 0 Comments

Recently, a girl I sponsor in recovery came to me with a relationship dilemma.  After many years, her high school boyfriend came back on the scene and the two began dating long distance.  It seemed a fairytale come true, except for the fact she constantly needed to board a plane to see him.

Over the past year, she called me every couple months to complain about a dynamic between them.  Minor facts would change, but the basic problem remained the same.  She did not feel she was a priority in his life and whenever she vocalized her upset, he felt pressure. 

Having trouble expressing her upset in a calm way, Increaseher requests came across as demands and her boyfriend would shut down and not call her for days on end.  Past abandonment issues rose to the surface.  In despair, she called me to figure out what was wrong with her and how she could make the relationship work.

"The relationship is exactly as it should be," I said.  "Relationships exist to help us heal from our false ideas. If you examine your resentments and behavior now, things will change."

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PHYSICAL EXERCISE IN RECOVERY

Posted by Cate
Cate
Cate Stevens. Founder of Addictionland.com, has over fifteen years of recovery f
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 20 November 2010
in Anger Addiction 0 Comments

Yesterday, I felt like crap.  I was irritable, restless and discontent.  A classic alcoholic focused on myself, my world looked bleak and limited despite all my good fortune. Throughout my decade of sobriety, I have found a black cloud resting above my head whenever I put material things before my conscious contact with G-d.

Lately, I've been obsessed with figuring out what to do about my current occupation.  I know I want to change careers and work as a full time writer, yet I am not certain whether that means giving up pharmaceuticals entirely or just rebalancing my life.  Because I no longer travel recovery alone in my head, I called my spiritual advisor and asked his opinion.

He listened to my thoughts, ideas and concerns and then he replied, "When's the last time you went for a good run?" 

"A run?" I responded in suprise. "Well, now that you say it, I've only been exercising once a week.  I used to run everyday before I had my son."

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LOST GIRL FOUND IN RECOVERY

Posted by Cate
Cate
Cate Stevens. Founder of Addictionland.com, has over fifteen years of recovery f
User is currently offline
on Friday, 29 October 2010
in Anger Addiction 0 Comments

Within myself is a dark closet.  Inside the closet is a lost girl.  For years, she's pounded on the door of my heart begging to come out.  When she gets too loud, I tell her to be quiet.  When she rages for my attention, I tell her to hush. Attending to her needs would force me to put myself ahead of others.

For years, I've dragged her through the mud like a rag doll hanging in the arm of a toddler.  I've given little attention to her needs and wants.  Occasionally, I throw her a bone and let her do something fun or creative. But, for the most part, I make her work extremely hard and I rarely give her a break. On top of that, I insist she does everything perfect.

Lately, she's had it with me. She let me know that if I continue to do what I am doing, she's going to make me suffer.  Already, life has a stale feel and I attribute that staleness to her dissatisfaction.  So, recently, I decided to open the door Increaseand ask her what she needs.  She didn't say much, but I got the message.

"Thank you for paying attention.  Thank you for letting me know I am a priority.  I can't grow in this darkness.  I need fresh air and sunlight.  I need to play and I need to dance.  If you let me out, your whole world will expand.  If you let me out, your sour mood will dissolve.  If you let me out, new worlds will appear.  If you let me out, you will come to know happiness as you have never known it before."

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