Saturday, December 3, 2011

They ALL know how to 'push our buttons'

1. OUR problem is that we so very easily go into shame about how they hurt us ---- when we cannot stop reacting to them.

We often feel shame (even if we are not aware that is what we are is often unconscious) when we 'react' to being hurt.

This kind of shame is a result of our perfectionism.

Our feeling that we are not "doing the program of recovery" well enough or good enough.

It happens when we compare our progress in recovery to others' progress.

2. It also happens when others in recovery kind of imply to us that "we are reacting still, aren't we?!" It's a subtle put-down... a sideways snipe------ and we often feel awful inside, when we hear that from others.

It is a way for others who do that, to make themselves feel temporarily puffed-up about how "much better they are doing than we are"........ at our expense.

They are usually not wanting to actually hurt us-----they are 'just' using us for the moment to feel 'better' about themselves.
They do not usually realize that they are even doing it.
Persons who do that, are usually doing it on a rather regular basis.

When, instead, we receive compassion for our hurting so much, when we are unable to 'be' at a different place in our recovery-------THAT helps us so much to get out of that stuck-place so much easier.

3. And about that perfectionism...... it's one of the family's most difficult issues to remember to think about.

But it happens so frequently that it is usually a knee-jerk reaction for most of us.

It's about the perfectionism that we have towards OURSELVES.

When we are comparing our progress in recovery with others-----we forget to remember that our circumstances are often so difficult------and our histories can be so awful-----that it is so irrelevant to compare ourselves to others.

For instance......... if "Cindy" (not real names) cannot detach from his mouth as easily as "Judy"....... Cindy often goes into shame about it...... but she often forgets that her father did the same junk to her as a little child......and that she is still probably hurting from those years of belittling and abuse. Judy might have had decent parents......and has, then, a history of self-esteem.
For Cindy, it is miles harder.

4. For those of us who have perfectionism in a huge way-------- when we've spilled our guts about our vulnerabilities, we often follow it up with wanting to feel better-than-better to 'make up for it'.
This is usually not a conscious process.

When this happens, is when the put-downs of others often follows, to temporarily feel better.

But, it doesn't really work....... the process is like a bottomless pit. For, when this is going on, it does not fill the void at all.
Other means of feeling better about oneself need to be exchanged for that old behavior.
It takes a lot of self-honesty to see that pattern in oneself.

From Toby Drews, the author of the million-selling "Getting Them Sober'' books, endorsed by 'dear Abby', Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, and Melody Beattie:
phone 410-243-8352

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