Happy Endings

Who knows what people will turn into once settled into marriage or civil union – will he wander, will she go off sex?

These fears are small beer indeed compared to the fear of finding another drunk, addict or gambler for someone who has the unhappy knack of fishing for fools. If Dad was a drunk, some women can have the inner magic of finding a drunk male substitute to love & marry. If Dad was a gambler it’s easy to find a man whose unpredictable behaviour feels ” just right “, after all it’s the excitement of not knowing what’s going to happen, that keeps your spirit alive.

If mum was depressive and snappy because her doctor stopped the prescription drugs it will be easy to find someone to spar with on the emotional front because it’s just what you are used to, and what you are used to becomes a blueprint for survival.

Take a look at any old school group photo of smiling kids. Can you guess who will turn out to have the longest marriage, the shortest life, the addictive personality? When a recovering person decides to check out their addictions, attachments and codependencies it’s easy to think that they are the ones having to work hard catching up with the rest of so-called respectable society. Many years ago I read a corporate report that stated “recovering alcoholics make better than average workers”. How can this be? A very small percentage of the population look at themselves, most spend time observing the habits of other people but drunks, drinking or in recovery, discovered that observing other people only made the situation worse. Resentments build and excuses flow to justify and enable a continuing addictive pattern, not exactly the route to personal responsibility, amends made and feelings checked, that is suggested for emotional balance. Learning to respond, rather than re-act to other peoples behaviour is vital for continued codependency recovery.

Recovering Alcoholics in a 12 Step Programme make better than average workers because they adhere to a new way of working after experiencing personal rock bottoms, act out gratitude on a daily basis, realise the need to demolish the ego and when they are wrong promptly admit it.

How many people in your life do that?

When the wedding pics are taken it’s hard to imagine the abuse that can follow or the fear of abuse returning. Robin Norwood’s book WOMEN WHO LOVE TOO MUCH way back in 1986 pioneered the realisation that good girls can choose bad guys, again & again. Recovering people also need to be aware of there own track record before they started observing themselves in detail. The reality is that no one knows whether you are going to get hitched to a drunk again, or find another person to rescue, someone who uses you as their own private bank but you can take steps to weed out the obvious candidates. In my experience it always pays to tell the truth FASTER. When selecting friends, lovers or future partners, always be clear about what you want ( by stating what you DON’T want sometimes ), and being upfront, rid yourself the desire to clam up about the past, buying into shame. Though focussing on the present moment can be taken too literally, if denial is companion. People who have grown up in a family where someone dominates the energy by anger, alcohol, depression, drug use, verbal, physical or sexual abuse need to be extra aware of relationship pitfalls. Being aware of a new friend or partners behaviour does not mean double checking everything they say and do, so lighten up, nor does it work to seek perfection. However as a recovering addict/alcoholic/codependent I would not want a relationship with anyone whose parents had similar backgrounds to my own addictive patterns. This is because I don’t want to be a teaching tool in a relationship, I would rather choose someone without an addictive background or be without a coupling. The whole point of fixing yourself is that eventually you find people who don’t need fixing.

I hear many people say ” we are working on our relationship ” as if the relationship is a therapy session. They say that love brings up everything unlike itself – I get this – but many relationships are simply a protection from the past, thus they remain in constant conflict in order to ” learn the lesson “. Maybe the lesson is GET OUT NOW. In most cases I would advise those people to fix themselves instead of the relationship, when this is done you put out a different vibration – one of interdependence – and start attracting totally different energies around people places and things. This is when REAL recovery begins and it starts with you saying NO more often, billing in time away from a partner and acting out frequent updates within the relationship.

3 thoughts on “Happy Endings

  1. . . . just a point about ” better than average workers “. I think we both agree that we would not employ everyone in the rooms, and yes they need to be able to work steps in the most efficient way tangible. Not all of us have the skills required for the task in the real world out there.

  2. Your post speaks a mouthful. I share many of the same observations.

    One point that really stands out is the fact that few in our societies really take a look at themselves and ask tough questions and seek tough truths… then deal with them.

    It almost always takes severe tragedy and pain for us to do this. A lot of 12-steppers go through this process. In my experience, there are two main reasons we steppers do…. 1. It is part of the “track we run on”. When we find ourselves seeking help through 12 step programs, we are encouraged and supported to do this. Most of us follow through and do.

    Reason 2: Most of us have exhausted all other possibilities for changing our lives and dealing with our pain so. So as the NA reading puts it… “finally, in desperation, we sought help from each other in NA”.

    Not many people with a life of comfort, surrounded by sufficiency or affluence of finances, relational support (or care-takers/enablers), good health, attractiveness, and personal safety will wake up one day and say, “you know, I really ought to take a personal inventory and get really real about who I am, how I function, and how I affect other people”.

    Even many people who attempt to practice the 12 steps are not people I would hire… they aren’t always effictive in applying the steps in tangible ways.

    But where do people who are not in crisis of addiction or other complex compulsive behaviours go for consistent, frequent and reliable help with growth? Not many places that I have seen.

    So I do agree completely that people from an environment that encourages rigorous self-assessment, honesty, willingness and humility would give a far better chance of them being a productive, functioning and reliable employee, spouse, friend, or family member.

    Ciao.

    Chaz

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