Saturday, February 6, 2010

Happy Horseshit, The Addictive Society and Substance

I have an anonymous commentor who isn't impressed with Eclectic Recovery. I initially responded with anger and struck back because I honestly don't understand people who feel the need to strike out at others from their own hurt places. I usually turn that hostility inward. Neither way is very effective. Anonymous indicated that I am being selfish and have no interest in helping others and nothing could be further from the truth. I'm reminded of a video I saw by Father Martin in treatment in which he stated that the worst pain can come from having your intentions misinterpreted. Father Martin was right about that.

Anonymous called my last post "happy horseshit" and I won't disagree with him/her on that score. The more happy horseshit I develop in my life the more joyful and fulfilling my recovery. Anonymous also indicated that I wasn't writing anything here of substance and with that I have to take exception. Perhaps he/she doesn't understand how to find their way around a blog so here are links to some of my more informative posts on recovery from addiction: Post Acute Withdrawal, dealing with pain, practicing radical accpetance, negative emotional states. cooking in recovery, Medicine Wheel recovery, reviews on recovery books here, here and here, nutritional supplements, gratitude, and H.A.L.T. Just to name a few. Also, if you're interested, there's plenty in the blog archives (which you can reach by scrolling through the date entries in the left-hand column) about what hasn't worked. I've been honest about my failures and successes here and I've had quite a few slip-ups in my attempts at sobriety. Also in the left-hand column are links to other websites I utilize and find helpful - some directly related to recovery from addiction, some not.

I'm reading a book now, "Willpower's Not Enough" by Arnold Washton, Ph.D., and Donna Boundy, M.S.W. which is a very practical, informative and easy-to-read missive about dealing with addictions. There's a chapter titled, "The Addictive Society" and here's an excerpt:

It is now widely known that children growing up with chemically-dependent parents are at high risk for developing addictions themselves. But what we are just starting to realize is that growing up in an addictive society affects us all too - in many of the same ways.
In fact, it may be all but impossible to grow up in our present culture and not acquire at least some vulnerability to addiction. That's because the addictive personality traits (an emphasis on image, cravings for power and control, denial, dishonesty, just to name a few) are increasingly reflected in society's values and trends. And it's a self-perpetuating process. Certain trends create the conditions in which addiction thrives, and growing numbers of addictive people reinforce these trends.
Our society, in a sense, is becoming a large dysfunctional family. And just as children in dysfunctional families become prone to addiction as they try to adapt to their troubled family, so too are we becoming more addiction prone as we try to adapt to the larger dysfunctional system in which we live.

In other words, it's become the ocean we swim in. We don't even notice how bombarded we are by sick, abusive and violent messages; we don't stop long enough to hear our own heartbeat and we certainly don't listen out for anyone else's.

I have long been frustrated about how society uses addicts and alcoholics as scapegoats for their own shadow aspects. There are many shadow tendencies that are not as overt as chemical depdency but which are just as destructive for society and the individuals that make up society. For instance: sexual addiction, gambling, corporate greed, animal and earth cruelty, image glorification, misuse of food and many, many others. Anonymous' behavior is a small example of the problem: visit a blog, read one post, decide it's crap and attack the person writing it. My little blog may not be doing much to heal society's ills, or even my own, but it's a start to being the change I'd like to see in the world.

So thanks, Anonymous, for making me think, take another look at what I'm doing here and giving me something to write about today.


Anybeth said...

When I don't like a blog, I just stop reading it. That makes more sense to me.
Why attack a writer I don't like? I don't go around sending nasty comments to Anne Rice just because she can't write her way out of a wet paper sack.
love you Angela!

Sherri said...

I agree with Anybeth. Just stop reading, Anon! I think when people are venting like that it's because what you wrote struck a nerve. They're not railing against you, but against their own frustrations. You just get to be the lucky person who gets an earful that day! lol

I find your posts insightful and uplifting and very easy to understand. Just saying. :)

AngelP said...

I’ve also realized that the things I don’t like in other people are things I generally possess myself. Now I’m trying to learn that if I love something in you, I probably have it dancing around in me too. I am so grateful for the quality of the souls of my friends.
-Brett Butler

To Angela, from Deborah. My sister in addiction.

You have taken many hard knocks for me I didn't have to take myself. I wonder if Anonymous, went to the very first entry on your blog, and read to the last one, as I did, she/he would see how much work you have accomplished in your recovery. Since I read your blog, start to finish, I have been sober... and that's no small feat.

Angela said...

I love you guys. :)

arshad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mary LA said...

I'm afraid I moderate aggressive or insulting comments quite ruthlessly without spending much time analysing them. I like constructive feedback, but the Internet is a strange space and I am wary of hostile strangers.

I blog to help myself and as a creative outlet. If what I write helps others, that is great but it is primarily self-help.

You keep right on doing what you do best, my lovely friend.

thailandchani said...

The whole purpose of self-designed recovery is that we take responsibility for finding our own way. It sounds like Anonymous wants it handed to him/her. There are programs that will offer that but I don't see this as a site that offers spoonfed pablum.


miss*R said...

oooh, grr. I dislike anonymous commentors so, so much. I have had my share over the years and it sometimes tears at my heart and I react in the same way.
I just don't understand people. I have been attacked for my spiritual beliefs whatever they have been over the past 4yrs of blogging and that is why I moderate comments.
love you blog & you Angela
and so happy that you love your lavender.. squeeze it and think of me xox

Carolyn said...

Your insightful and thoughtful posts help me daily. Thank you,

Anonymous said...

Wow, it's amazing how the world is full of people in so much pain and with so few other ways to channel the pain-turned-anger that they troll the internet and insult people. I got a comment on my blog not long ago from someone who spewed a lot of vitriol at the intended audience of that post. I read some stuff between the lines of her comment and concluded that she is being physically abused and resents people who whine about any "lesser" problems. I sent her an email advising she was welcome to join my blog community, but the nasty language and disrespectful attitude would have to be checked at the door. Then I deleted her disrespectful comment.

I hope you won't give this guy's attack any more of your energy or thoughts. What he wrote has NOTHING to do with you or your blog and everything to do with his pain and projecting his shadow stuff onto the world around him, as you know. Unconscious people can be a real pain sometimes, but I always try to find compassion in my heart for them. There but for the Grace...

Anonymous said...

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