“And remember, no matter where you go, there you are” – Confucius
Hello to you today. It’s an overcast Thursday morning as I write to you from here in North Texas. I hope this finds you well today. The quote from Confucius really resonated with me this morning as Kyle and I contemplate our future. I read today that Mexican migrants have begun to head to Canada (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-mexico-canada-idUSKBN16N1W0) ….a thought Kyle and I have tossed around a lot lately mostly in exasperation. We know that in truth, there is no place to go to escape ourselves. What’s to say that we wouldn’t move to Canada and find a whole new set of circumstances to be frustrated with? What happened when our ancestors fled to America? Just another set of problems but in a different geographic location….different faces and places but the same problems.
The phrase Kyle and I use a lot is to “bloom where you are planted.” Sometimes, and this is true for far too many humans and other living beings we share this planet with, the only choice is to flee for your life. But sometimes instead of running, the answer is to stand still long enough to find out the real source of the reason we want to run away. Once you have discerned the honest truth of why you are running, then you take action! Sometimes, and Kyle and I have been in such circumstances before, the answer is still to leave. But in most of the instances I have taken the time to really think about why I want to leave, I have found the reason I want to go isn’t an external reason. The reason is usually me wanting to run from myself! There is only one escape from that problem and I’m not ready to feed the worms just yet!
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.
Henry David Thoreau
Labels are for cans, not people.
People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.
A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.
Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live.
A subject that came to me along with running away is the issue of either being and or dealing with a controlling type of person. This is an issue I still struggle with myself on occasion and is probably why I can get so unhappy with life at times. The only person I truly have control over is myself!
Toxic relationships can sneak up on almost anyone. And controlling behavior on the part of a partner knows no boundaries—people of any age, gender, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status can be in controlling relationships, playing either role.
Many of us visualize a controlling partner as one who openly berates everyone in their path, is physically aggressive, or constantly makes overt threats or ultimatums. We picture the grumpy bully who belittles every server he or she encounters, or commands their partner how to dress from head to toe. While those signs are indeed troubling, there are many additional signs that might show up quite differently.
Controlling people use a whole arsenal of tools in order to dominate their partners— whether they or their partners realize what’s happening or not. Sometimes, the emotional manipulation is complex enough that the person who is being controlled actually believes that they themselves are the villain, or that they are extremely lucky that their controlling partner “puts up” with them. Whether controlling behavior leads to more severe emotional or physical abuse or not, it is not a healthy situation. If you notice more than a couple of these signs within your relationship or your partner, take it seriously. And if you are concerned for your safety or want to learn more about possibly abusive relationship patterns, check out www.thehotline.org (link is external).
Controlling People: Signs of a Controlling Person and How to Deal with Them
Alicia was once free, happy, and prosperous. She regularly met with friends, enjoyed working, and made many decisions on her own until two years in a relationship with Randy. Her boyfriend began to control Alicia. She had no idea what was going on. Controlling people can do that.
Alicia didn’t think her boyfriend was someone with a controlling personality – two years later she is still confused about her boyfriend’s behavior. She tells her friends that Randy controls what she does and how she feels, but they say it’s typical for men to behave that way. She has gone to a counselor. Everyone says to work on her relationship more. Alicia sometimes thinks if she loves Randy more, he will change.
Few people know the signs of a controlling personality. You could even be unaware you’re a controlling person. By the time such behaviors are evident, years of misery pass in the relationship with much verbal or physical abuse. The sooner you can identify the signs of controlling men or women, and how to handle these people (but more importantly yourself) with the advice I’ll give you in this article, the better you’ll protect yourself from a dangerous person who can create an abusive relationship.
http://sobertransitions.org/halt.html – for those visiting that may have been looking for something like this but didn’t realize it. This is a tool I use all the time to do a self-examination when things are starting to get out of hand and I can’t figure out why. Remember when you point at something or someone as being at fault, there are 3 fingers pointing back at you!
The following article appeared in the Grapevine,
The essence of AA H.A.L.T.
The rule of HALT is a reminder that can help us all along the road to recovery As adjuncts to AA’s spiritual program and meetings, there are clichés, systems, gimmicks, and a myriad of other tricks that have been used by AA members down through the years to maintain sobriety. I, for one, strongly uphold the application of the foremost of these, the “RULE of HALT,” not only for the new members, but for the old-timer as well. Further, I sincerely feel this simple rule to be too often ignored or passed over lightly. In the beginning, new members, as we all know, are usually confused and completely without direction. Some are sincere to the very bottom of their souls, while others are only lukewarm in their desire to “put the plug in the jug.” Both sorts look to us for answers explaining how, and all too often they are disappointed. (This is understandable, for how many of us know how AA Works?)
We have precious little to give our “babies” save encouragement, fellowship, and living proof that the program works–at least for us. Why not, then, pass on whatever practical information and instruction we can to each newcomer to make his beginning more palatable and to enhance his chances of success should he choose to follow these instructions? We are certain that most
members of AA are aware of the Rule of “HALT,” but to what degree we cannot be certain. To scrutinize the rule briefly may be helpful to the reader and will certainly be so to the writer who has proved in reality that violation of it in part or in total can, and often does, lead to relapse. Here, then, is the meat of the rule
Don’t get too Hungry. For a reason we cannot explain, there seems to be in the alcoholic a peculiar psycho physiological relationship between hunger and the urge to drink. On some occasions, we would eat a big dinner and then find that it literally destroyed our desire to drink afterwards. Conversely, and eventually more often, we avoided eating because we knew it would interfere with our drinking. Years ago, my sponsor told me that if I had a physical urge to take a drink, I should go out of my way to drink a milk shake. If that didn’t work, he said, I should drink another. And another. I can testify that if you can drink liquor on top of two or three milk shakes, you aren’t an alcoholic. You’re nuts! And so, when you are hungry, eat. Simple and important. (This writer eats little at one time, but may eat something as many as five times a day.)
Don’t get too Angry. Wow! Of all things to tell an alcoholic! But we don’t have to be on the program very long to realize that anger, righteous or not, is better left to those who can handle it. Borrowing from Father John Doe: “Let the other guy get mad. If somebody calls me a SOB, either I am or I ain’t. If I am, So What? If I ain’t, why should I make myself one by getting mad about it?” We can’t afford to get angry–especially at people. Kick the wall or the TV if you will, but “Let the other guy get mad!” We know too well where anger leads: to resentment. and brother, do we know what resentment brings! Rule of thumb? Well as the young folks say in this age, “Cool it, baby. Cool it.”
Don’t get too Lonely. Nonalcoholic members of the psychiatric profession tend to equate loneliness with boredom, and we are inclined to agree. If there is
any one thing that must be included in the alcoholic’s life before he can once again become a whole man it is worthwhile activity. This may be Twelfth Step work, his vocation, his avocation, or anything else. But we feel such activity must be present in order to fulfill his existence and eliminate loneliness. We must also consider the loneliness brought about because the newcomer lives alone. But this is easily rectified. It takes only a phone call or a visit to an
AA-oriented social club. Or, for the AA Loner, far other members, the Big Book or a letter to an AA pen pal may suffice. Under any conditions, Loneliness is the mother of self-pity and the ultimate end is resentment and drinking. The rule of Thumb? Do something!
Don’t get too Tired. In its effect, the last ingredient or direction in our rule is not too different from the first. Physical fatigue will affect both our bodies and our minds adversely and will thereby lower our defenses against the urge to drink if there is any possibility at all of such a desire being present, consciously or subconsciously. And there the rule of thumb is “When you are tired, put the body down!” (How many times have we read and said Easy Does It?) So there it is: HALT–Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. This rule, when coupled with meetings and living our day-by-day lives according to AA principles, will make things much easier, not only for the newcomer but for the old-timer as well. Once we recognize that these four conditions are dangerous if succumbed to, we should avoid them as carefully as we would that first drink
for any one of them could be the first step to a drunk. Dr. John, San Diego, Calif.*
*Dr. John now resides in Vancouver, WA. E-mail address: DrJohnVanc@aol.com