Friday, April 6, 2007

Damage Control Explained Pt 2

I'm a recovering addict. I still create CHAOS in my life, so whenever I clue in that I AM NOT IN CONTROL of certain things that I should be responsible for, I resort back to KEEPING IT SIMPLE and go back to DAMAGE CONTROL MODE.


This can happen with friendships
This can happen with housework
This can happen with schoolwork
This can happen with my health
This can happen with my sleep schedule

This can happen with ANYTHING at all - if I CHOOSE to allow my tendency to create chaos over-ride what I have learned with the 12-Steps - or if I forget to repel chaos, which I have attracted all my life. I will probably never be without chaos because I actually feel a little 'empty' without a little bit of it around. Many clean, recovery peers of mine say the same thing. But chaos doesn't have to RULE in our lives anymore - if we get the 'Damage Control' right!

Damage Control requires THE TWO STEPS that I began this blog with

#1 - K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Smartarse. I have to realize that I COMPLICATED whatever it is in life that is bringing me CHAOS - and that I have to take responsibility for that - because I either CREATED my own Chaos and damage - or I forgot to BLOCK OUT damage and chaos - usually because I was being a smartarse, thinking I'm okay now and that I know it all.

#2 - Don't drink or 'Pick Up.' I KNOW that if I drink or pick up the pills or grab a joint, I won't be able to concentrate on un-ravelling whatever CHAOS is affecting my life. So when things get rough, I always KISS and resolve to stay clean in order to bat the damage and chaos back down. 'Damage Control' routine requires that I initiate thinking about AA's first three steps of 'The Program.'

1. Admit to powerlessness. Admit that things are unmanageable.
2. Believe that a Higher Power can kick the butt of CHAOS right where it hurts!
3. Make a Decision to turn control over to a Higher Power and get MY WONDERFUL IDEAS OUT of the equation.

Of course, I'm using slang terms - but heck - if you wanted formal AA material, you know how to use a search engine and find the AA site...I'm tellin' you how I BRING MYSELF to follow the Program - and I don't do that by RECITING AA LIT BY ROTE. I do it by PARING DOWN TO THE BASICS I've learned from 'the program.' I don't use words in my head like, 'principles,' 'autonomous,' 'moral inventory,' 'personal inventory,' 'amends,' unmanageable,' and 'conscious contact' when I am experiencing CHAOS!

I use words like 'Step,' 'fix,' 'think,' 'correct,' 'I did,' 'creator,' 'help,' and 'truth.'

That's as simple as DAMAGE CONTROL GETS!

I don't worry about the other 12-Steps in the program during points in my life where I am experiencing great difficulties. Steps, 1, 2, and 3 of the standard 12-Step program are for use IMMEDIATELY in all situations.

Other steps follow, however, some of them require a different kind of approach and are NOT FOR USE DURING THE MOMENT OF CHAOS.

Step 4 is a contemplative effort where you learn to start to resolve old ways of thinking and admit your role in past events - not for use during CHAOS because it requires 'reflection' - and often, peace and quiet. Step 5 is a 'cathartic' event you undertake to cleanse yourself of the past, as well.

Heck - by Steps 11 and 12, you don't even have to be thinking of yourself anymore, you're HELPING OTHERS once you progress to those steps.

For DAMAGE CONTROL, other 12-step Steps don't work. The first 3, however, are INVALUABLE. This is why I just call everything related to the PRESENT actions, 'Damage Control.' All I need to know is that IT WORKS - and it works due to my having understood and having condensed what I learned of the 12 Step Program - into WORKABLE parts that I can use, even when I am not really thinking clearly and when I AM NOT IN CONTROL.

I get really PISSED OFF when I hear people spouting 'The Book' word for word. I want to know, dammit - WHAT IT MEANS TO THEM - not what the book says. I can read, for pete's sake! In turn - I rarely 'quote' anything substantial from 'The Book.' Let me re-qualify the statement "I get really Pissed Off": I get upset when I REPEATEDLY see people that I know from meetings - who continually spout off sizeable quotes from 'The Book' when I don't SEE THEM putting those concepts into use. In my 3 years of experiencing the 12-Step program, I have observed that people who don't INTERNALIZE THE PROGRAM into something workable that they use on a daily basis - usually relapse.......or are just a pain in the ass.

Eventually, I just pray for those people and realize - once my anger retreats - that they DIDN'T GET IT!

I still listen to almost ANYONE who talks of 12-Step, AA, NA, MA, whatever-A, whatever, eh? I do - I really do...and I will try to imagine WHY there might be a person before me who is quoting long sentences from 12-Step Lit when I just saw them through the window - 'performing' at a bar across from my bus stop, drunk - 2 days ago...usually - I suppose that it's to REMIND ME TO NEVER talk about shyt in the program that I DON'T KNOW ABOUT - because doing so will never help me.

And all of THIS - is why I think in terms of DAMAGE CONTROL when I have to! I understand WHAT TO DO even when I don't understand what the heck is going on around me sometimes. I don't think that utilizing the 12-Step programs available can get any SIMPLER than THIS!

I'm still clean - and grateful

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