Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's called Permaculture

It always surprises me, as much reading and exploring as I do, when I come upon something that truly resonates with me on many levels. As I mentioned in my last post, my thoughts have followed a pattern of wanting to find a way of treating the addict inclusive of their place in society - rather than exclusive of it. That seems to be one of my problems with AA and related programs; I see them as separating rather than integrating the addict. A lot of people are able to use these programs to re-enter their lives fully and stay on a recovery path, but just as many use the programs as another way to avoid responsibility, practice delusional thinking and stay firmly within the addiction whether they're using or not. The anonymity factor, which I believe is actually a very good spiritual principle, does nothing to mitigate the shame factor and self-rejection that so many addicts suffer from. And it's convenient for society to separate themselves further from the problem as well. It looks to me like another cog in the addictive wheel like the war on drugs and the "just say no" campaigns. If we could just say no we wouldn't be addicted. Hello.

I first heard about permaculture through Starhawk's writings, but I thought it was mainly a gardening technique when it's actually much more than that. It's a philosophy, a way of life, a holistic model for individuals and society and more than anything I've read about, it seems to hold a lot of answers for the problems that face us now.

It's based on three ethics and 12 principles. They are:

Ethic #1 Care for the earth
Ethic #2 Care for people
Ethic #3 Fair Share

Principle # 1 Observe and interact
Principle # 2 Catch and store energy
Principle # 3 Obtain a yield
Principle # 4 Apply self-regulation and feedback
Principle # 5 Use and value renewable resources and services
Principle # 6 Produce no waste
Principle # 7 Design from patterns to details
Principle # 8 Integrate rather than segregate
Principle # 9 Use small and slow solutions
Principle #10 Use and value diversity
Principle #11 Use edges and value the marginal
Principle #12 Creatively use and respond to change

I'm just getting my thoughts together about how this can relate to recovery from addiction, but some are pretty obvious. Observe and interact, apply self-regulation and accept feedback, integrate rather than segregate, creatively use and respond to change- these are the obvious ones. And of course, permaculture is a community-based philosophy and you know how much I love that.

So that's the big solution I'm seeing right now. In the meantime, I continue to observe myself, apply self-regulation and accept feedback and don't drink one day at a time. And in the long-term I envision building a life worth living where all people are treated with dignity and respect and are valued for their contribution to the whole. I can only start with me but I'm interested in what my brilliant blogger friends think about this.

I'm working on a laptop and can't figure out how to get my links in, but I'll link to Starhawk and some of the permaculture sites soon. I'm going to a permaculture workshop Saturday and then on to Brent's. We made the decision. Boy am I eager to have a home again and get my kitten back! Thanks for visiting Eclectic Recovery.


Anonymous said...

Wow! Congratulations on the decision to move in. Also very happy you will be reunited with your kitty.

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic comparison! I can't wait to hear more about it. This really opens my mind.

Anonymous said...

In your previous post, you sounded resentful of those in your life who enabled your addiction, and white affluent men. Aren't you concerned that this move into Brent's home is a repeat of that scenario and that you'll one day be resentful of his enabling and setting expectations for you? He's white, affluent, and probably going to have some boundaries for the move into his home. What makes this different from the previous patterns of behavior that didn't work out so well. I can only imagine how desperate it must feel to be living in a shelter, but it almost feels like you're selling out just to have a roof over your head and a place to have your cat.

Angela said...

Anonymous,Yes, I do still struggle with resentment, but I'm afraid you misunderstood my post.  My anger at white affluent men is with regards to the big picture of AA and our patriarchal society, not particular white affluent men, which actually Brent is not.  Yes, he has boundaries around my moving in and I have boundaries around it, too.  I think that's healthy.  We have been discussing this scenario for awhile and we both believe we're ready for it.  I see it is a positive move in the right direction and getting my kitty back is simply icing on the cake.

Thank you for commenting.

Anonymous said...

a way of treating the addict inclusive of their place in society - rather than exclusive of it.

Can you explain what you mean by that?

AngelP said...

I wish you and Brent all the happiness in the world.

I love the part of life once a hard decision is made.

Have fun.

Diva Carla said...

I can't wait to hear about your permaculture class Angela. I like that you see the paradigm it offers for recovery. I use it as a model too. I am so happy for you, for where you've been on the road to here. And what you are now doing with it all.
Way. to. go!

miss*R said...

I love permaculture and it is damn hard to follow it let me tell you.. I try as much as I can here in my garden at Inglewood

[dontcha love people who comment anonymously, especially when they wish to challenge what you have written.. if they want to say something like that, come out from under their cover I say - here in Aus we call them gutless (sorry I had to say that..) ]

miss*R said...

ps ignore them please. I see they commented twice.. ignore or delete and disable anonymous comments.. people like that will undo what you are striving to do for your self xoxo
I will wrap you in love xo

Anonymous said...

Wow! So much hostility against an anonymous comment.

I don't have a blog or a google account. To be honest, I'm not very computer literate, so I don't even know what those other things (OpenID, URL, etc) mean. There is no other option for me to comment on the discussion. Am I unwelcome to share in this blog beause of it?

I asked the question about addicts and their place in society because I'm not sure what Angela means and I was hoping she'd clarify.

Does that somehow make me a bad person, that I need more information to understand what was meant? What about that question was so offensive? I get the feeling that open discourse is not welcome. Is that correct?

I am not trying to undermine anyone's effort or cast doubt. I am desperately trying to stay sober and will go to any lengths--even tolerate the hostility of Miss R (and that's not anonymous? Where is your true identity?)--to find answers for myself.

As to the suggestion that people like myself should be disabled from commenting, is that inclusive? or is that a form of the societal segregation of which Angela wrote?

Carolyn said...

Hi Angela,
I have been reading your blog for over a year and I too am a sober woman trying to find my own unique recovery with a variety of tools, and I too also have a man who would love for me to live with him but I have less than a year sober and I know I am not ready. Do you think you are ready to live with someone before the one year that many say needs to be in place? I know you said you do not follow AA or WFS, and I do not either, I use aspects of every recovery model. I also look to you as a fine example of sobriety and I would love to hear your thoughts, I am struggling with the living together question right now, and I appreciate any input you have as you just made the decision. You are a strong and sensitive woman!

Mary LA said...

Ang & Caroline

When I sobered up I had PAWS which took nearly two years to wear off (if that is the right term). I also had a radical hysterectomy seven months after I got sober. Despite all this I entered into a new relationships and if it was hard for me, it was hugely difficult for him, because I felt as if I was floundering and struggling in ways he could not begin to imagine. The relationship failed but I stayed sober.

Looking back, I wish I had not done that to either of us, and that I had acquired more financial independence and established my own worknase and security before moving in with him. It did threaten my sobriety and put him through hell. It is extremely hard for anyone to live with a person going through protracted withdrawal with mood swings, depression, insomnia and massive insecurity as well as rushes of anger.

I have known others who succeeded and stayed together despite these odds so my experience is not definitive. But the first years sober are an exhausting effort and sobriety has to be the top priority all the time.

Love & respect