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Posted by on in Other Addictions

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.

It didn't take but a few days before I noticed an amazing change INSIDE of me. Increase I started to feel hopeful.  I felt less afraid.  I felt less alone.  I felt understood.  In order to connect with real joy in life, I had to earn it and not expect it.  I had to stop waiting for the Prince on the White Horse to gallup in and save me.  I had to stop waiting to win the lottery.  I had to stop waiting for other people to change in order for me to be happy.

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Posted by on in none

Someone once told me to expect that any and all relationships I had prior to entering recovery would change dramtically should I continue working a recovery program. In fact, recovery and working the steps can set the foundation for being able to find something that had evaded not just me, but most of us, namely a healthy, loving, and lasting relationship. Here's what I learned along the way - The 4 A's of what most of us are looking for.

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Posted by on in Co-dependency

We heal by remembering, literally bringing back
into the wholeness of our being
that which we have lost by hiding it
from ourselves.
Joan Borysenko

When my mother first started reading my initial manuscript for Gifts From The Child Within, she looked up at me and asked, "What do you mean in the Introduction by my being a co-dependent?" My mother, being an intelligent and well-read person, caught me by surprise with her genuine lack of knowledge about the meaning of codependence. I found myself somewhat embarrassed about the necessity to explain to my mother, what for most of my life, I saw her doing with hers.

I realized I had few words to describe to her just what being codependent meant. I tried using phases such as, "too dependent on her husband," "not caring enough about herself," and "restricting her own life because of her husband's demands." These broken sentences came easily but still did not touch on the real feelings I associated with the term codependent. Finally, I looked at her and said softly, "Mom, it just means that you cared so much for Daddy that somewhere along the way you lost yourself." She understood and accepting this definition, lowered her head to continue reading.

The surge of interest in the recovery field has led us to this nebulous issue of "codependence." Some leading experts claim we all have a codependent-self, a side of us which withdraws, avoids, and denies our true Self. Others maintain codependence is a disease or illness which requires psychological methodologies and sometimes medical intervention! To assume an illness one must demonstrate a physiological, psychological, or emotional dysfunction; therefore, to label one who nurtures and cares deeply for others codependent under this rationale would commit 99% of our female population to pathology! Only when one is nurturing others to the exclusion of themselves can the ill effects of codependency be labeled unhealthy.

One of the latest definitions of what constitutes a codependent personality comes from a group of professionals who spent several hours of deliberation to confirm:  "Co-dependency is a pattern of painful dependency on compulsive behaviors and on approval from others in an attempt to find safety, self-worth and identity. Recovery is possible." This is a good working definition; however, we must remember, codependency is an individual game played by two. We must not forget it takes two to form a codependent relationship.

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