When I watch the news or read ads on my Facebook, twitter, ebay, or any other media input, even when I have conversations with other people…I ask myself ; What do they want? What are they really saying and why? For the last ten years since the onslaught of social media developers have been working hard for powerful people. They have been finding and perfecting new ways to PROFILE YOU and we the people. What they are doing with this mind power is open to the highest bidder. Money is power and the powerful want more power. Just be aware. Choose your battles, don’t let battles choose you. The powerful are now armed with the ability to single out huge groups of people to react in the way they want. These wealthy billionaires can control not only Facebook America but also Facebook Europe, Facebook Russia, Facebook, Twitter, of the entire world. Sure people will not easily cross moral boundaries but, now it’s evident where which boundaries lie and where they don’t. Think about what even a small percentage of mind control on global levels can do. See mind control techniques here.
Imagine Your in a Relationship for 10 Years
Poll of the Week
Imagine you are in a relationship for 10 years and all is going well.
There is romance, trust and love between you both. Then all the
sudden you meet someone new and you cannot get them off your
mind. There is an unstoppable attraction that is driving you nuts.
Hammock Buddha hails from Japan and he just posed that question
in the polls. The reaction has been nothing short of extraordinary so
please visit the link above to login and kindly share your thoughts!
Find the answers to this question here…click now….
SEX IN EARLY RECOVERY
“We do not want to be the arbiter of anyones sex conduct” pg 69 Big Book. (a*r*b*i*t*e*r-a person who settles a dispute or has ultimate authority in a matter.)
“We do not want to be the arbiter of anyones sex conduct”, so it states in the Big Book and rightly so! Translation: Unless someone asks for advice don’t give it. We thank you for that clarification Bill Wilson. BUT a big BUT! It just so happens that sex is a hot topic in and out of the rooms and “not being an arbiter” doesn’t mean we can’t read and talk about what sober sex is all about. In accordance with the 12 Steps of AA (the good and righteous principles) we should live by truth, respect, humility, faith, hope, Love, charity and more,
BUT WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES? (click here for complete principles of AA)
Core Spiritual Principles of the Program: Willingness, Open-mindedness, Honesty
AA’s Code: Love and Tolerance of Others
Gratitude, Acceptance, Love, Honesty, Tolerance, Unselfishness, Strength, Serenity, Giving, Fortitude, Faith, Brotherhood, Service, Understanding, Courage, Wisdom, Humility, self-forgetting, compassion, Love, kindness, persistence, faith, hope, wisdom, harmony, willingness, fair minded, Good Judgment, Courage, Humility, Sincerity, Forthright, Generous, Prudence, Serenity, Patience, long-suffering, Admission of Defeat.
Ok these are all wonderfully spiritual qualities. And theses virtues are what Step 12 service work is all about…except, from what I have learned we don’t do step 12 service work to help others as much as we do it to help ourselves. We do step 12 to keep us sober, another “rightly so”. If we don’t take care of our sobriety first then we are no good to anyone and certainly no good in a lasting intimate relationship if we go full blown addict again.
Rule #1 Get to know a potential partner
Get to know this person way before you even think about having sex with them. Do not say I love you, do not move in with them, do not get engaged, do not profess we are soul mates until at least absolute bare minimum of 90 days. He/She could turn out to be a psycho maniac controlling hostage taker. Or he could be the 13th step king of the club and as soon as you sleep with him he intends to mark you off as a conquered foe. He has no intention of seeing you again after you comply. After you make the choice to give your precious body once…he will move on to the next conquest. And that is his prerogative and your choice.
We are building our self-esteem presently not looking to tear it down. To this sportsman you are just his secondary addiction. There’s one like him in every AA Group and it doesn’t mean that you are a victim. We make our choices and if we choose to sleep with a man of this caliber we are an adult and it is our choice. WE ARE NOT VICTIMS when he kicks us to the curb.
These type serial sex junkies are not a good choice for us even if all we want is sexual satisfaction because they don’t respect anyone that will sleep with them that makes the encounter kinda dysfunctional.
And lets not be too hard on him ladies. He is scared to death of commitment and he is also afraid if you get to know him too well you won’t like him much. Rejection is tough and it scars us all. The survival skills we have developed tend to look kinda mean and selfish but all they really are underneath is hurt.
So get to know the person you are attracted to. Find out if they are someone who is kind. find out if you have anything in common. Talk about everything and anything. Does he believe in God like I do? What is his past like? Find out how he treats his X. The healthiest X’s neither hate each other nor do they still sleep with each other, they have moved on and forgiven one another.
Jumping into relationship commitments such as moving in and saying I love you before the first 90 day probationary period is typical people-addiction behavior. Again if we “need” a relationship then we are not ready for one.
Rule #2 If you want to sleep with me you will have to get tested and show me the results on paper. If you can’t resist sex in the mean-time absolutely use a condom especially if you haven’t gotten your own results in yet. You could be committing murder.
DEFINE YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Rule #3 Walk through the Fear-Show Self-Respect and mutual respect. The fear of rejection is big in early recovery. Actually not just early recovery it’s a prime characteristic of alcoholics. But to stick with the principles we must communicate our desires to our new or potential sex partner. Again we should not be needy, if we are needy we are not ready to date. These days sex kills so monogamy and sexual commitment are things that are not so far fetched even on the first date.
It feels awkward but, ARE YOU COMFORTABLE SLEEPING WITH A MAN (or woman) WHO INTENDS TO SLEEP AROUND WHILE HE/SHE SLEEPS WITH YOU AS WELL? My support group asked me that question when I started dating in my first year. I surprised myself with a big HELL NO! Sexual commitment is not marriage, it’s not going steady and it’s not a way to control someone or take them hostage. It doesn’t mean I love you. A sexual monogamous commitment with a partner in this day and age is for safety and mutual respect and consideration. It means that while we two are dating if he or I decide we want to sleep with other people we will have enough respect for each other to tell the other partner before we sleep around.
Remember it takes assertiveness to be candid and reveal who we are with complete truthfulness. Doing this the first time will be hard because of the fear of rejection. Having a support group is so important to back you up on doing the right thing until you get used to standing on your own two feet in a place of principled morality and Loving respect for yourself and others.
Even Oprah talks about “defining our relationship” its not just a recovery thing.
Work Your AA Program First
GO HOME AT NIGHT, AND KEEP GOING HOME AND GO HOME NO MATTER HOW BAD WE MAY WANT TO FALL INTO SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE WE ARE building a new and sober life. We are finding out who we really are. And we are also re-creating who we are. It’s best if we can live alone to grow spiritually for a year or so before we commit to sharing our life with someone else.
The window to recovery is open for you now. Now is your time. It will be easier now than it will every be. Get to a meeting and meet some new friends.
Life will be good!
SOON TO COME “A MANS PERSPECTIVE ON EARLY RECOVERY AND SOBER SEX”
I am currently looking for a sober man 4 years plus to write this article to the men new to recovery.
NO RELATIONSHIPS BEFORE A YEAR SOBER..SO THEY SAY IN AA. the suggestion has much merit but there are exceptions to the rule.
We can quickly destroy all our loving relationships due to natural knee-jerk reactions that fend off fear and the feelings that fear creates. Some deadly knee-jerk solutions are blame, criticisms, hate, playing the victim or the oppressor anything that relates to putting down and condemning others to make ourselves feel better if even just for a short while. There is no shortage of people to condemn including ourselves. In the meantime we lose what our hearts really need and crave…to Love and to be Loved, to comfort and to be comforted, to understand and to be understood, to follow our conscience and to live guilt-free.
If you want to read what Alcoholics Anonymous’ take on dating and sex is read page 69 from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Also here’s the link to the Narcotics Anonymous literature on the topic.
There are some awesome suggestions in both texts. I feel obligated and inspired to write my own experience on the topic as an A.A. member since 2006. My sobriety date is 04-15-06. My name is Lori E. and I am a recovering drunk, heroin addict, crack-head, and co-dependent. Given all of the things that I have recovered from including cigarettes I needed more than just A,A, to get better.
However without A.A. I doubt I would still be sane and sober. I am the Chairman of the New Life Group in Gainesville, Florida. I have done my share of taking meetings into the very jail I got sober in and the institution that taught me emotional healing. Bridge House at Meridian Health Care. http://mbhci.org/treatment-services/residential-inpatient-services/ saved my life and it cost me about $4 a day for 28 days if memory serves. I do know at the time of my stay the government was footing most of the bill. They allow A.A. to bring meetings into inpatient on a regular basis including women meetings which at this phase of my sobriety are my favorite. Women open up on issues that are so pertinent to their healing that would otherwise be taboo in mixed meetings. I remember they told us that only one out of the 30 patients in our group would still be sober after a year. We proved them wrong due tothe excellent psychological therapy that we received from psychologists working there at that time. There is a group of 5 or 6 of us who are pushing the 10 year mark of sobriety. “Trauma in recovery” was the name of the therapy group. And we had a “women’s issues” group also. Out of the two therapists who saved our lives and taught us how to emotionally process (live with feelings) one has passed away and the other still works there.
SOBER RELATIONSHIPS and codependency
Three of the women that I got sober with including myself have been in long term healthy relationships that began during the first year of our sobriety in 2006. Two of us are with men that have at least 7 more years sober than ourselves and we met these men in the program. Technically that makes those two men 13th steppers but we can laugh about that now. Thank god for the 13th step! 13th stepping is when a member with say a year or more sober preys upon a new and vulnerable member. Technically this can be a very bad thing so I won’t make light of it without explanation. I believe if we are over the age of 18 we are responsible for our choices and that includes when we are newly sober.
We women in my outpatient therapy group were dating early on but we took every action and choice that we made regarding our new relationships into the group for feedback and guidance. We all spent at least a year in that therapy group 2 to 3 nights a week. Since we had a support group we were not technically as vulnerable as your typical and newly sober woman. Without that group I would not be in a mature and happy relationship today. But it took allot of work on myself to change. So two of us found our men in A.A. and the third women a total miracle because she found her husband in Bridge House. Hers was what we call a re-hab relationship. Re-hab relationships rarely last. Usually what happens is the two people leave rehab and use drugs together. Next they betray one another and the relationship ends in a total train wreck. That’s the odds.
Even our wise counselor at Bridge House told us that from what he had seen people who get into relationships in their first year always relapse. I remember in group one day Dr. Rand Maryowitz told us that he had never seen a relationship work that had started in the first year of sobriety. Us women looked at each other reading one another’s minds we thought, “there is no way we are ending this relationship! It feels too good.” And it was good, the trick for me was to survive the crash of the fairy tale expectations which was one of my patterns of co-dependency.
I wanted to RUN AND BLAME
so many times when my feelings would get hurt and I felt he had wronged me. That was me a runner and a blamer. I was the victim. Each time I felt that way I would call my new friends from group instead of running. I would then realize one of two things, either my new partner had not wronged me at all or he had unknowingly done so and I just needed to communicate with him on an honest level and let him know how I felt and why I felt I was wronged. Not so I could be “right” but so we could get to know each other and learn what one another considers disrespectful. If you are with a partner that is willing to work with you and communicate at a core and honest level then you have a chance of gaining a life-long mate. Soul mates THE FACES OF LOVE
RULE NUMBER ONE- STOP BLAMING MY PARTNER FOR MY OWN FEELINGS AND MY OWN CHOICES.
RULE NUMBER TWO- TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR EVERYTHING IN MY OWN LIFE. INCLUDING MY PAIN AND INSECURITIES
RULE THREE-LEARN WHAT TO DO WITH THE INTENSE FEELINGS THAT WON’T GO AWAY.
I had spent my whole life blaming others for my shit. It took a strong support group, a good counselor, and A.A (the twelve steps to be precise) for me to make the transition into self-responsibility. Here are some of the articles that talk about the solutions to relationship sabotage. I really had no idea what a healthy relationship was until I got sober and allowed myself to be emotionally vulnerable and teachable.
The thing is we get hurt and betrayed then we put up walls that protect us from that happening again. But unfortunately the instinctual walls of a sick addict push love out and bring fear in. I had to learn how to be okay with me. I had to let myself off the hook for all the mistakes of the past and make amends where I could. I had to invite God into all the areas of my life that I had been shielding Him from. Without a Higher Power the healing process does not have the supernatural punch needed for an emotional make-over. Therapy, 12 steps and God. Three ingredients to a super dooper recovery! I know many people in A.A. have given up of intimate relationships. Many times when they do give up then, finally they find their soul mate. A partner cannot fix us. They cannot process our feelings for us or build our needed self-esteem only we can do that by doing the next right thing. And continuing to do the next right thing. Here are some articles about relationships and what it takes to be a partner.
SELF ESTEEM IS BUILT BY TAKING ESTEEM-ABLE ACTION
One thing sure that will put a human-being in defensive character-defect mode is having low self-worth. One thing sure that will cause us to put on a mask of deceit, beat ourselves up psychologically, and fear (not care) what people think of us is if we think we are just not good enough as people. A negative mind-set makes us think everyone else is better than us so therefore subconsciously we reason-out that we had better start some defensive maneuvers to fix the way we are looking at us. And these maneuvers are usually not the kind that really do work to raise our self-worth. Things like anger, criticism, lashing out, looking for the negatives in other people and lesser addictions. That’s how the “ego” usually copes with low self-worth in recovery and along the way we lose any chance of filling our lives with joy, Love, and true self-worth.
Furthermore even if we have worked the steps several times we can still slip back into a low self-worth mindset because we had lived with that thinking for so long before we got sober. Our neural-pathways were set and even though we have built a recovery-bridge of healthy neural-pathways over the sick ones sometimes our thinking falls off the new bridge onto the one below and goes into a path of destructive and negative thought. Not to say we want to drink or drug…no, we no longer see drinking & drugging as a solution to anything. We have worked the steps but God did not render us defect-free nor does he take away our free-will.
So what can we do to boost our self-worth? Step twelve…chair a meeting as the “facilitator” not the controller. A facilitator serves the group not himself. We can share from our heart what God and AA has done for us with newcomers. If we share from our ego or to control others it will not work like sharing the naked and humble truth from our heart of hearts. We can do some work, clean the house, wash the car, get some tasks done that we have procrastinated about finishing for a long time.
We can do some Step Eleven meditation and prayer and be sure to speak to our Higher Power straight from our heart about our issues and give thanks.
Before we pray and meditate to God we should consider if we have left any amends undone. We should get right with our neighbors and then commune with our Higher Power.
We can confess in a meeting (step five) how we feel. We should say that we have been speaking to ourselves in an unkind way and that we have been driven under the common addictive delusion that if we beat our self up enough we will somehow get more good things done when really it’s counterproductive to run ourselves down in our minds. Fifth step confessions like this cut false pride to the quick and leave the destructive ego lying on the floor of the room.
If we are well-off financially then we can give to a charity or one of those guys in the median standing with a “please help” sign. Especially if we usually judge those guys harshly, giving to them in spite of negative feelings toward them will cut the character defect of greed, & harsh judgments to the quick. Furthermore we do not have enough information to fairly judge anyone in such a way as condemnation dictates. We don’t know what people have been through in their lives. They may be planted on the median by God just so people have the chance to give and in turn get blessed (Jesus was clear that it is more blessed to give than receive) (Acts 20:35) or alternatively to judge the homeless guys harshly and in turn be judged. (For whatever yardstick you use to judge your brother it in turn will be used to judge you.) Mt.7.2
Unfortunately allot of money has a way of making us feel secure, empowered, and better than those without it (not always of course) therefore we tend to want more just so we can get more or, keep those nice feelings we get when we increase our holdings. Jesus also said it’s harder for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God than for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle. (Mt.19:24)
OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION!
Step Four SEXUAL INVENTORY AA
(This article is based on my experiences in Alcoholics Anonymous for over 10 years. )
Why is it that there are more men getting and staying sober in the program of AA than women? Why is it that we women seem to have more emotional issues that need addressing than men? Partly we just talk about our issues more, men usually repress on a much larger scale. Nevertheless we woman that do stay sober are usually more of the “tomboy” type. The very feminine and highly fragile woman rarely can get through what it takes to stay sober.
Experience teaches that us “ruff” types often bi-sexual women have a much higher chance statistically of staying sober than do the frail and feminine. (taken from Triangle Club Gainesville, Fl statistics (Triangle club meeting schedule) Clearly experience teaches it’s the “alpha” females who stay sober in much greater numbers than the more submissive woman. However, we must learn to make ourselves vulnerable emotionally rather than protecting ourselves emotionally. “Sobriety ain’t for sissies!” So bone up ladies! You can do it but it’s gonna hurt! The bad news is…we can feel again, the good news is…we can feel again. Yes and we have a boat load of emotional issues and character flaws to give to our Higher Power and to ebb-away at.
Most addict women (who I have met) were sexually abused as children, (every stripper addict I knew when I danced (I took a pole) and the women I have gotten to know in recovery have shared this information with me). I have silent theories that this commonality is the “why” behind most addictions. The guilt and shame that a young child will place on herself for something she was not equipped to fend off is astounding and life-changing. We addict woman have learned by the age of ten or younger that we can use our sexuality against men (or women) to control them, manipulate them, and force feed them guilt to get whatever we want from them.
In spite of how men have wronged and abused us it is vital that we see “our part” concerning our resentments so we can not only stay sober but more importantly…learn to Love and keep Love close to us and in us. WE DEPLOY LOVE IN DEFENSE OF FEAR. I am saying Love is of greatest importance in our recovery however we are usually incapable of showing Love or even defining what true spiritual Love is. Often we are incapable of acting out of Love in a truly giving way when we are deep in our addiction. Sobriety must be our priority if we are to fully recover.
For those of us who were abused all we really wanted when we allowed the sexual-predators affection and didn’t run to an adult and snitch the assailant out was someone to Love us. We confused physical attention with Love and we thought to get Love we had to drop our moral boundaries. We thought we had to be hurt to get what we needed. Most addict women suffer in dysfunctional relationships, it goes hand in hand with our addiction.
I have heard many stories in AA. We normally share our story with the group by the time we have 1 year sober. We share “what it was like, what happened in AA, and what it is like now”. Some of us even sold our bodies outright for money to get drugs. We were exposed to many disgusting and painful situations. Some that we barely made it out of alive. It’s no wonder we learned to hate men. It’s no wonder we learned to hate women! They were our competition they betrayed our confidence! Screw woman we thought! We could manipulate men much easier.
But now we must put our “woman’s issues” on our fourth step. We will need other women if we are to heal and stay sober. So we pray for God to put the right woman in our lives so we can experience the “sisterhood of The Spirit”. Men absolutely are incapable of relating to many aspects of our personalities therefore they are of limited use to us in recovery when working through these core woman’s issues. If we have a chance to get into a woman’s meeting we DO IT! These meetings are much more intimate and women will share things that you absolutely will not hear in a regular meeting, shares that are vital for our healing
We begin to let our abuses out of our bag of secrets. We expose some shameful actions of our past in our fifth step with a sponsor and we expose other secrets in the rooms with the woman. We will find that doing so will put in place the connection that we need to other woman. When we listen in our women’s meeting we train ourselves to LOOK FOR THE SIMILARITIES RATHER THAN THE DIFFERENCES! We lay down our staunch invisible walls of defense and blame to let healing in.
Finding someone to criticize is an old survival skill that deflects self-guilt. Criticism feeds the ego that which it needs to go-on however, criticism is not what we need now…we need empathy, we need healing and that will never come whilst seeking differences so we can criticize others. We write ourselves a note “seek the similarities don’t criticize!” and we put that in front of us in every meeting we go to until we have trained our brains and have built a bridge over the sick neuron-pathways called addiction. Our brain-bridge is called “survival for the sober”. Building a sober brain-bridge takes work and a supernatural kick so we start by attending ninety meetings in ninety days and we pray for willingness, clarity, guidance, healing, and for our Higher Power to make a way where there seems no way.
We have deep and embedded trust issues that simply must be ignored to an extent so we can get what we need. We may not be able to trust but we will nevertheless choose a sponsor and work the Fifth Step leaving no debauchery uncovered. That which we want to keep secret the most should be at the top of our fourth step. The Truth will set us free.
We put the “blame-game” in the garbage. We are responsible for processing every feeling that comes into our hearts. If we have sex with a person they owe us nothing! It is our choice whether we have sex and unless we tell the person up-front a price for that sex…they owe us nothing. Not a phone call, not to fix things for us, not to make our choices for us, nor a place to stay they owe us nothing. If we expect something from a person we are in bed with then we should be up-front about it. We can propose that if they are screwing other people we will have to leave the relationship. They are adult they can do as they please. They can make promises they won’t keep. If they don’t respect us then we leave the relationship it is our choice if we stay therefore blame is off the table. Granted we can command respect but it is us who must draw the line in the sand and walk away when it is crossed. We cannot make other adults do anything we can only request and suggest.
If we feel we have been wronged we should call a woman and talk it out. If a law has been broken we may call the cops. We often find when we talk things out with another woman, it is our unresolved issues that are haunting us rather than the person we are in bed with in the present. We addicts tend to carry an ink-blotter stamping “guilty” on anyone we are intimate with once the fairy-tale phase of the relationship is over. Not anymore! Now we journal, we write “fuck you” letters (do not send) to vent our angers. We scream alone in our cars if we have to, it helps and releases endorphins. We beat the pillow, we talk it out with woman but we do not blame anyone anymore for our feelings ever.
Even if we are wronged…can the person process our emotions for us? No! If others had the responsibility of processing and dealing with our feelings then we would be slaves to other people which we are not. We are learning how to take responsibility for our lives and our emotions. It is not easy, it is not for sissies. But you recovery sister, can do it because ‘we’ are stronger and capable of a deeper Love than most women can even imagine. Why? Because of the deep pain you have suffered.
Your emotional pain has carved out a deep dark hole in your heart. You will process that hurt and replace it with Love. That is why we women in recovery are more capable of a deeper Love than anyone who has not been through the trauma that we have. Seek God and The Sunlight of The Spirit and you shall be a vessel of joy, Love, and happiness amidst the tears that have gone un-cried for too long.
THE GIFT OF DESPERATION
|Back when I was drinking and drugging I went through the pains of withdrawal so many times. I went through so many sleepless nights of misery I cannot count. I went through so many fights, betrayals, fears, and neglects and abuses to me and by me both.Now I am older, eight years ago I ran out of gas you could say, I was just done with that life.
I sat in one of my first AA meetings scared to death and shaking filled up with so many issues that I had never faced about me. I honestly had no idea who I was. I had developed emotional survival skills that were killing me now it was time to learn who I am and a new set of healthy coping skills.I held the gift of desperation in my heart and the open-mindedness of humble and sacred Hope sparkling like a diamond among a dense darkness.
That Hope had to be carefully nurtured or it would be buried alive by darkness and fear of the future.
The people in AA said things like, “This minute are you ok do you have what you need?” And I did. They told me “It’s completely natural to be afraid its ok”. They said “If I weren’t afraid something [was] wrong”. They said “Go to two or even more meetings a day if you need to”. They told me to “Express your fears because we are as sick as our secrets”…so I journaled.
Slowly my self-confidence rose by working step 12 chairing meetings regularly. I was a sponge that absorbed every recovery tool I could.
I still must nurture that Hope unto the end. I choose today to endure to the end no matter how scary life looks. I get up I put one foot in front of the other and I go on unto the end of my days. So I live on and keep that darkness at bay through faith, Love & Hope. Fear would have me take my end into my own hands but be reassured things always, always, get better if we endure and hold on to Hope and Faith.
Meditation: There is one thing true that will end a man before his time that is the fear of the future and a lack of trust in a Higher Power that does Love Him. Surely if I choose Love how much more will a God of my own understanding of Love save me from the throngs of death and suffering in this natural life and lead me unto a better eternity.