Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Do the Opposite of Therapy

 

Feelings, beliefs, the past, other people, the world... none of it matters. It's all about action and moving forward. Never forget that recovery is not a function of time, faith or will. We cannot just get sober, sit around, hit some meetings and whine on the therapy couch. We cannot wish ourselves better. Recovering from alcoholism and addiction is purely a function of action. Right action.

From Do the Opposite of Therapy:


So if therapy is sitting on a couch and talking about yourself, you wanna do the opposite of that.


Comment:

I can't wait to get my hands on your new book Charlie! :)

Here is a question for you about your comment that we should do the opposite of therapy. What about those people whose lives have been destroyed by an addict - partners who have been abused in every possible way for many years - codependents I guess you could call us. Do you think therapy is a waste of time for us, too?

Sometimes I wonder how I am going to pick up the pieces and get my life back.


Response:

Thank you so much about the book! Taking longer than usual because of new baby and toddler, but coming along nonetheless.

So I was talking about addicts and alcoholics specifically. I guess I wouldn't know if therapy wasn't totally useless for non-addicts because I am an addict through and through, but I do believe strongly that action and removal of self are ultimately the best things for us. I also know many non-addicts who haven't changed at all after years and years of therapy, but then again, maybe their therapists are just clueless. But if it feels good or provides you comfort, that is all that matters.

When I write these things, they are directed purely towards addicts and alcoholics, unless otherwise noted ;-)

When it comes to addicts, you kind of have to turn everything around. We're not normal, so what may be appropriate for everyone else, an addict may need the opposite.

For example, if my sister stole something from me, I might just go talk to her and perhaps even tell her not to beat herself up, but if she was an addict and stole from me, I would probably have her arrested. The first sister may have needed compassion and not to judge herself so harshly, whereas the addict sister needed to be humbled.

And to note, I've never come across a case where an addict didn't need to be humbled, and in a significant way.

Bless you. 
     
     This can be summed up with one simple and inspired anecdote, told by the sponsee of a friend of mine.
     
     "When I tell my therapist about something that pisses me off, he says, 'Yes I can understand why that would make you angry.' When I tell my sponsor about something that pisses me off, he says, 'What was your wrong in the situation? Don't focus on others, focus on yourself.'"

     Beautiful. Clearly God was speaking through this guy, though I'm sure it was lost on everybody else in the meeting.


God, please teach us not to ask others for answers but to find them ourselves, to focus not on others but rather ourselves, and to blame not others but rather ourselves... 

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