Friday, June 1, 2007

Everyone Familiar With This?

From Chapter 5 "How It Works:"

(are you familiar with this part?)

"Many of us exclaimed, "What an order! I can't go through with it." Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection."

(found on Page 60 of the book, "Alcoholics Anonymous")

Screw THAT, my friends



Or at least I want to be the only one who knows that I haven't attained SPIRITUAL PERFECTION!


I just have to say - I must still be a pretty sick recovering addict - 'cos today I had the impression that I needed to be perfect...I mean - not just excellent or faultless, but PERFECT.

I just received a rental increase letter today (grr) and I spent so much time trying to write the PERFECT rebuttal letter...

Then I realized - THERE ARE NO LAWS to keep my landlord from doing this - raising the rent - anyway!

So my PERFECT LETTER that I spent waaaaaaaay more time on than I needed to (quite a few li'l anger management breaks while I was writing heh)...has turned out to be the worst WASTE OF TIME EVER!

2 HOURS of it.

I could have studied Fairy Tales - or World Literature
(Hey shhhh-up, I heard you laughing about 'fairy tales' - it's a SERIOUS STUDY - it's a 3rd year University course)

Anyhow - I could have played with my cat (who is still sorely needing attention after that near-fire a couple of weeks ago...he's still jumpy and parks his furry self right at the window opening about 20 hours of the day!), had a nap, worked on World Literature homework, gone to see a friend, gone for a walk...(gone to a meeting shhhhhhh!)

And it wasn't the letter that had to be PERFECT!

IT WAS ME - in the letter!

Haha - I had to 'portray' myself as having been the perfect tenant, surely non-deserving of this rental increase and a buncha other stuff...and the fact is.

I still shouldn't have my rent raised


- I am not that perfect tenant I was writing about. Sheeeeeeesh - but that was what took up so much time! I didn't lie or anything - I just left out the couple of things that I should be held responsible for - like breaking my window screen and something from the past...I let a person stay here for 2 weeks without telling my landlord 'cos my friend was in a crises...technically the landlord could have charged extra money for that because technically an extra tenant was here for more than just overnight for one or two nights. I just didn't bother asking permission though I'm quite sure my landlord would have understood the situation at the time and would have refrained from charging me or my friend anything extra - since my friend and I knew the situation would be very temporary...

...neither of those things are seriously BAD things...but they do point to the fact that I am not perfect - and also - I have hidden 2 details from my landlord instead of reasonably discussion those things. I actually cranked in the letter about my screen being broken for several months...without explaining how it got that way (I locked myself out and had to come through the window - didn't even break the screen at that was when I tried to put the screen BACK later that I broke it lol).

What the heck?

.....the details aren't really bad and I'm not a bad tenant or horrible person because of those things...but I had to try to come off as PERFECT in the letter - and try to write about my situation as if I have never done anything wrong - EVER.

So - I guess I am still pretty sick, all things considered. I KNOW, myself, that I'm not perfect - but I don't want anyone else to know that!


What a dumb post, eh?

Things like this bother me - thot I would post it and maybe someone else who has had a similar experience can comment.

When I was browsing the Big Book - I got to the paragraph that I posted at the top of this blog entry.....and it kinda gnawed at me.


Ah well - maybe tomorrow I'll be perfect.


Maybe I will just act and think with more balance, eh?

This little incident is a reminder, for sure, that I can over-tip with certain behaviors once I allow my mind to get too set. Hmmm I think when I was in treatment, the counsellors used to call this 'obsessive thinking.'

So - oh great - it's not gone...obsession

Oh great - I'm still not perfect



I am grateful that it was not obsessive thinking of another sort - where I thought constantly about alcohol, drugs, using.

And - I got rid of the letter


Sunday, May 27, 2007

For Workaholics

Working can be a way of avoiding issues, creating barriers between the people that we're in relationships with, a way of escaping other details of life, in general - in the same way that substances like drugs and alcohol can be used for avoidance, blocking relationships, erecting barriers, and denying life's other details, too.

Here, like with 'shop-a-holics,' we are focused on the 'behaviors' of people who might not be using substances like drugs or alcohol - but who exhibit similar behaviors, for similar reasons as drug addicts and alcoholics do.

A lot of people won't accept 'working too much' as an actual problem, however, the behaviors that people obsessed with work display and experience - often inhibit their enjoyment of life, their actual contribution to society in other important life-realms besides the work/job fields, and their abilities to connect with people and hone healthy relationships with people.

There are good reasons to incorporate a 12-Step approach where 'Workaholic' behaviors are present - even where the presence of mood-altering substances is not a factor - because 12-step information and practices can help the workaholic to start dealing with avoidance, escaping, barriers and relationships again.

Workaholics have the behavior of 'working compulsively'
Shoppers have the behavior of 'shopping, spending compulsively'
Addicts and alcoholics 'use compulsively'
Sex addicts compulsively engage in sexual activities or obsess in the mind, compulsively, about sexual-related things.

Just because some of these things don't include 'substance abuse' - this doesn't mean that they aren't troublesome and in need of correction in our lives.

"Behavior-holic" behaviors can cause the same kinds of damage that drug and alcohol abuse can in the lives of the individual as well as that individual's family, friends, co-workers, community extensions, etc.

Workaholism currently is not considered very seriously to be a problem and this is a dangerous assumption - for ANYTHING that interferes with a person's capacity to engage in healthy relationships and cope reasonably with life situations, should be taken seriously.

Of those who aren't struggling with whether 'workaholism' is, indeed, an issue to be taken seriously, 12-Step literature and principles are often a helpful 'tool.'

Here are some questions to ask yourself, if you're worried that your attitudes concerning work and job activities, your behaviors surrounding work and job-related details might be a problem in your life:

1 Do you get more excited about your work than about family or anything else?
2 Are there times when you can charge through your work and other times when you can't?
3 Do you take work with you to bed? On weekends? On vacation?
4 Is work the activity you like to do best and talk about most?
5 Do you work more than 40 hours a week?
6 Do you turn your hobbies into money-making ventures?
7 Do you take complete responsibility for the outcome of your work efforts?
8 Have your family or friends given up expecting you on time?
9 Do you take on extra work because you are concerned that it won't otherwise get done?
10 Do you underestimate how long a project will take and then rush to complete it?
11 Do you believe that it is okay to work long hours if you love what you are doing?
12 Do you get impatient with people who have other priorities besides work?
13 Are you afraid that if you don't work hard you will lose your job or be a failure?
14 Is the future a constant worry for you even when things are going very well?
15 Do you do things energetically and competitively including play?
16 Do you get irritated when people ask you to stop doing your work in order to do something else?
17 Have your long hours hurt your family or other relationships?
18 Do you think about your work while driving, falling asleep or when others are talking?
19 Do you work or read during meals?
20 Do you believe that more money will solve the other problems in your life?

If you answer "yes" to three or more of these questions you may be a workaholic. Relax. You are not alone.

If you answered 'yes' to several of the questions, WELCOME TO MY WORLD!


Since I stopped using drugs and alcohol, my life hasn't been perfect, by any means. In particular, my BEHAVIORS and ATTITUDES didn't become perfect just because I put the substances down. Some of the above 20 points weren't really in my life when I used substances, nor were they part of my life during early recovery...I actually TURNED TO SOME of those behaviors and situations in the 20 points after I was sober and clean for a while, ENJOYING RECOVERY - after I had enough clean time to APPRECIATE RECOVERY!

I STILL learned or turned to some of those workaholic behaviors...because even if they aren't 'substance abuse' factors...those things are EASY FOR ME TO FALL INTO - because I still don't have excellent coping skills for all of what life can throw at I run and jump into 'work' - which for me is my STUDIES...

Admittedly, though I am clean and sober, I am working on incorporating the information about 'workaholic' tendencies into my life...because - in the absense of the substances I learned to rely on for years - I will still find 'behaviors' to use that feel 'familiar' to help me HIDE from responsibility sometimes, avoid relationships sometimes, ignore parts of life that I am uncomfortable dealing with!

It helps for me to snoop around and check out all kinds of 12-Step literature, whether it's about Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, Cocaine, Marijuana, Shopping/spending irrationally, Gambling, Workaholic info - anything and everything...because the literature is aimed at dealing with the behaviors, the situations behind the behaviors, the REASONS why people engage in or exhibit these unhealthy behaviors and how, why, sometimes WHEN people often rely on these types of things - instead of selecting healthier, more socially accepted behaviors.

I don't know everything about WHY or WHEN I use different unhealthy behaviors but if I turn to 12-step and other types of literature for help, I don't have the hopelessly confused attitude and feelings that accompanied me for the whole of my life during my active addictions...

The literature doesn't explain everything to me - but it sure gives me a head start on knowing that life isn't hopeless.

If you've been thinking that maybe you're working too hard and it is affecting your life in adverse ways, your relationships, your finances, even...maybe it wouldn't hurt to check out some 12-Step literature to see if anything helps. You may not find all the answers you need - and the literature won't solve your every problem, but maybe it will help you put things in perspective and help you decide if you can or you SHOULD try to do something about the way you're engaging in, thinking about, or your attitude toward WORKING - possibly 'overworking.'



Just Some Fun

Your Theme Song is Soak Up The Sun by Sheryl Crow

"I've got no one to blame
For every time I feel lame
I'm looking up"

You're laid back, optimistic, and very together
Like the sun, people feel warm and comfortable around you

Your 2005 Song Is

Mr. Brightside by The Killers

"It started out with a kiss
How did it end up like this
It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss"

Let's just say you're happy to be done with 2005!


You Are the Very Gay Velma!

She might not even realize it...
But Velma is all about Daphne... not Fred!

Do You Feel Lucky?

Your Fortune Is

Man who sneezes without hanky takes matters into his own hands.

Just Some Fun

Your Theme Song is Soak Up The Sun by Sheryl Crow

"I've got no one to blame
For every time I feel lame
I'm looking up"

You're laid back, optimistic, and very together
Like the sun, people feel warm and comfortable around you
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