12 Steps: Step 5 – Connecting

Step 5 – Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs How many times have you heard some certain 7-year old say, “sorry” like this: “Sorrrrreeee.” He’s kind of fed up with saying it. But someone told him he had to apologize. Guess what, folks? That’s not an apology. It does absolutely nothing for his soul. It does not repair in any way the injury he caused another. And just saying “sorry” – or moving on without it – will not undo any hurt you have caused those who you were supposed to love. See, here’s the sad but true fact about being an abuse victim: The Coping Strategies You Used To Survive Meant You Didn’t Know When You Hurt Others Read that line over: The coping strategies you used to survive mean you didn’t know when you hurt others. Whatever you did to survive was a means of not knowing: cutting, drinking, drugging, sex, gambling, anger rages, numbing, dissociation, whatever. They were all ways of getting away from your pain. Makes total sense. But the downside is that you didn’t know anything else either. Not knowing is not knowing. It can’t be selective. So when you’re busy drowning in drink or whatever your addiction, and you’re blessedly removed from the pain, you are quite capable of unknowingly and unconsciously hurting someone else. And it is now your responsibility to figure out what you did to whom and why it hurt. Because if you didn’t figure that out, you’d be perpetuating the damage that was done to you onto some other...

Techniques for Fighting Anger Addiction

REPRINTED FROM The Jewish Star Times, p. 16 [edited] What do alcohol and drug abuse, bulimia [gorging on food and then vomiting], and anger have in common? They all discharge tension, bringing short-term relief and long-term agony. They’re all addictions. And they are abuse. And anger is the most common one of all. Who doesn’t get angry? But, like the others, when it comes to solving interpersonal relationships, it accomplishes absolutely nothing. Not for the angry person, not for the listener. The Discharge Of Tension Is Calming It dissipates tension in one mad, powerful burst of energy that –leaves the anger bearer momentarily winded and calm, –the recipient bleeding (either outside or inside; it doesn’t matter which–the pain is the same), alienated and frightened, –and the relationship in tatters. For the moment, the angry person is relieved of stress. For the moment, that person feels much better. That is the seductive pull of anger. That Is Its Addictive Nature That is the seductive pull of chemical addictions too. They all do the same thing. They discharge nervous energy and produce artificial calm. And that calm feeling is so wonderful, so delightful that the addict, the angry soul and the bulimic keep returning to it when stress builds. Returning and fighting, like caged tigers, to keep doing what doesn’t work. Of course we all know that these are merely Siren songs. They don’t achieve calm, peace, and serenity. They don’t resolve the situations that caused the stress. They don’t communicate real feelings. They don’t deal with old wounds. And after the outburst, the anxiety is back. Obviously, because the blowup...
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