Reconstructing Rick – A Drug Addict’s Story

Reconstructing Rick - An Addict Trying to RecoverReconstructing Rick is a blog told from the mind of a newly recovering drug addict who’s been through the trenches of hell itself and has managed to escape.

Rick is a friend I met here online [through Entrecard] and became a friend when I saw a kindred spirit of light and honesty in his writings. His story is amazing, with his site’s byline reading, “An Addict Trying to Recover.He doesn’t have a clue I am reviewing his site, but he will. :)

In a simple to read format with plain language, Rick shares his experiences from the past – Why he got into drugs, how he got into drugs, what kind of drugs, and with some sexual exploitation and harsh abuses thrown in for extra heartache for the reader – as well as the current goings on in his mind and world as he searches for his reconstruction through recovery. 

Whether you’re an addict or alcoholic or eating disordered or sex addict or simply a *normie,* reading Reconstructing Rick will definitely be a practice in empathy and compassion as you follow along with his words for a glimpse into his former life as well as how he is attempting a reconstruction of himself today…

From Memories of Being Sold (Clean Time: 25 days)…

I’ll never forget the day I decided to run away from home. I was 15 years old and a pretty good looking kid.  It was in chicago and I was home alone. I knew that my father would be home in a few hours. I stood looking out the window and although I was not crying, tears was rolling down my cheeks. I feared yet again being abused and the thought that in a few hours I would again suffer was simply too heavy on my heart. This time, I decided to run instead of take it once more.

From I Still Miss My Abuser (Clean Time: 23 Days)…

It was me. I am attracted to people that like weak people like me. I just hope that I can find some wonderful woman or man that is truly wonderful and not like the above that I could spend the rest of my days with. I promise what you will get is someone who will love you beyond your wildest imagination. That was not an invitation for more people to victimize me…so please don’t because I simply cannot tell the good apples from the bad.

From I am my Own Anti-Christ (Clean Time: 22 Days)…

Now let’s get something clear from the beginning, this blog is not about religion or talking about God all the time. NA is not about religion… all they ask is that you have a desire to stay clean. Not that you are not using, that you just have the desire to stop. Then at some point they want you to think that there is a power greater then you that can help you. That’s not hard actually because being jailed is a power greater than me and could help me stop. So a higher Power does not mean God to all people. For me it does but not to others so don’t get all freaky on me okay?

These are just a few snippets of his blog, but enough I hope you would want to visit and offer your support to my new friend Rick. He is in a 12 step program, as he alludes to in the recent snippet [Narcotics Anonymous] so invariably he will share some 12 step related principles and modalities. This should be no problem for those of you who don’t care for 12 step ideology because, from what I have read, Rick is simply sharing his own experience, his strength, and his hope.

I don’t review a lot of blogs because not so many fit in with what I share and write about and not very many touch me in that deep place but this one did. Rick speaks of truth to me; From one recovering person to another I understand his pain, I understand his hope.


I may not be able to identify the depths of hell his life seemed to collide and intertwine with, because I never travelled to those depths – being an alcoholic – myself BUT. As we say in Alcoholics Anonymous, “Identify. Don’t Compare.” and this means I look for identification with those parts I do relate to, instead of looking for those items that somehow make me *better or higher or different.*

What I identify with is the slave mentality. The victimization. The being owned by the power of an external substance. I identify with having to make choices between misery or depravity and choosing depravity using a substance as the crutch…Somehow feeling vindicated that at least I was not *in misery.* But then I identify with the depravity turning into misery when the crutch of an external substance [mine was alcohol and Rick’s was cocaine & meth] was no longer working for me but instead, colluding against me.


A first-hand accounting of anyone’s experiences that brought them into hell and then an escape from it, inspires me. It inspires me because I have been there. It inspires me because I continually look for the denominator that all of us “escapees” must possess in order to escape. I am intrigued because not all people escape; Some physically die in the grips of it, while others wish for death in the grips of it.

Drug addiction or alcoholism – as well as any other dis-ease, “ism,” or addiction that has a stronghold over our spirits, minds, emotions, or bodies – is often a one-way ticket to hell for many people. Yet, there is a way out that has worked for hundreds and thousands of others in the form of 12 Step Recovery.  Rick shares his story. I share mine. And in the middle of them both – there is one central idea: You, too, can recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.

I’ll be following Rick’s journey. I hope you do too.

Reconstructing Rick: An Addict Trying to Recover 

A Relative’s Alcoholic Drinking Problem – A Memoir

Relatives Alcoholic Drinking - Stop! Someone else's drinking ahead!I remember walking on eggshells. I remember the fear of saying the wrong thing that may begin another spiral of nightly drinking.

I wore a wrinkled shirt to the hospital for a surgery I would have. I was scared but I said nothing. Because my oversized t-shirt that I would be taking off in less than the 5 minutes it would take us to get to the hospital, was wrinkled, I looked like a whore. She said so. I was self-centered. I was spoiled and selfish. Why would I choose, of all shirts, that one? Didn’t I know that I looked like a whore? And what was wrong with my hair? Why didn’t I curl it?

This was just one instance that remains in my memory. My female relative was an alcoholic and she loved me. She proved it often enough. I loved her too. But with the love I held for her, there was fear and misunderstanding. And with the love she had for me, there was the interference of alcoholism.

I thought if I could behave well, she would quit the drinking she often promised to quit.

One night, another typical night of close to being at the end of another attempt to stop, she called me a whore because I said “No thanks” to iced tea. Secretly calling my Mom to cry, my Mom tried soothing me and using phrases she had learned in recovery. The next morning, my relative apologized in the blanketed fashion she often did. Her memory never proved it could actually recall the hurtful words and actions she partook and, in my shame, I was never able to tell her. Until that morning.

That morning I finally told her. I told her of her actions the night before. I told her of how she usually behaved and the words she would typically use to characterize me. How she would get angry when I refused food or drink. How she would get angry when I was studying. How my mere existence seemed to drive her into a strange place. How I often would retire to my room once she started and didn’t she see that?

I remember that morning almost as clear as I remember the hurtful memories of her drinking. I remember her looking at me and my feeling as if she was really absorbing what I was saying. I remember her, in instances, glancing out the window as I was talking almost as if she couldn’t bear to listen anymore. Then she would look back at me and hold my eyes. During this conversation she asked questions about her behavior – but not too many. I think she did not really want to know the true ugliness and I obliged. I held back the more humiliating experiences because, at the time, I did have low self-esteem and felt there to be truth in some of the things she would say to me.

At the end of this conversation she said, in only few words, typical of her when she was embarrassed, “Well I need to stop that. ”

The next night, I’d checked her liquor supply. She had none left, I reasoned, so if she does not go to the liquor store tonight, I’ll be okay. She didn’t go to the liquor store or drink that night. Or the next night. Or the next night. or even the next night. I remember, still, as happy as I was, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I remember walking on eggshells. I remember trying to help her as much as I could around the house. I showed her my A’s. I shared with her my instructor’s opinions on my papers. I spent time with her thinking if she was not lonely, she would not drink. We never argued so I never really had to worry about “making her mad.” I remember taking the dog for rides happily, when she asked. I would go to the store for her. I would have gladly continued being at her beck and call but the other shoe dropping was still a pre-existing echo of the future.

The night she finally asked me to go to the liquor store for her, I remember thinking back to what I may have done to provoke her desire to drink. I remember even saying, “But I thought you were going to quit? I thought everything was going well?” She assured me it was but she just needed something after the day she’d had. So it started again.

Not long after, circumstances would have my moving out, when my own alcoholism began rearing its head. I chose to feed my own alcoholism because I’d not had any other tools to combat my feelings of low self-esteem, failure at getting my relative sober, failure at being a human being…One may think that after seeing what happened to my relative when she drank, that it would prohibit me. Well, I guess if one isn’t prone to alcoholism that would have worked. But alcohol was effectively my only solution at the time.

And after being in recovery, now for a few years, from alcoholism as well as codependency, I realized it was effectively her only solution too. It was only in addressing my own alcoholism, that I was able to see hers for what it was. This does not mean I did not have a right to my feelings about the harm she caused me. This just means I am able to understand that I did not “cause” her alcoholism anymore than someone else “caused” mine.

And thanks to Al-Anon [a specific subset of Codependent recovery where we address ourselves as we relate to others’ alcoholism] existing, friends and family members do not have to actually *be* alcoholic in order to understand someone else’s alcoholism. There is actually a solution for people who are victimized by alcohol but not through their own drinking, but by someone else’s. And this is good news.

This means you do not have to “turn alcoholic” in order to reap the benefits of recovery. This means you, too, can find the same peace, serenity, and best life that millions of recovering alcoholics, recovering al-anon’s, and recovering codependent’s have enjoyed. Whether it’s through many of the subsets of codependent recovery geared toward friends or family who used alcohol [or drugs] – like Adult Children of Alcoholics, Al-Anon or Alateen, Nar-Anon – or straight to Codependents Anonymous, or even codependent literature, peace can be achieved.

However. If you are currently using alcohol as your solution, I will share with you what my A.A. sponsor first shared with me. “After a year of A.A., I’d like for you to get to Al-Anon.” Then I did. The reason is because I needed to deal with my immediate problem first. I needed to get my own brain, mind, and spirit straightened out first, lest I go into Al-Anon backwards. [In effect, while I am on fire, going into another type of recovery to try to deal with the heat of someone else’s own fire!]

Adapted from my original article, “A Relatives Alcoholic Drinking – A Memoir” at my Newsvine column and was written in response to comments from my Newsvine article: How to Help an Alcoholic Stop Drinking although that same article originated at Living within Samsara entitled Help an Alcoholic to Stop Drinking .

10 Years Later

The above was happening around 1991. I would not get real help for my own drinking problem until about 10 years later. So that when my beloved relative was now in a nursing home for failing health and I went to see her, I told her of my joining a 12 Step program dealing with alcoholism. I’ll never forget what she said.

“So you had to go get help for my drinking? I’m so sorry about that.” It was so precious; the forlorn look she had on her face and the confusion she was exhibiting about what A.A. was. All these years, she was so engrossed in her own demon battles that she never even noticed I had my own alcoholic demons to fight. I did quickly correct her perception by telling her it was for *mY* own problem, but I don’t think she ever really understood.

I was like her for the most part. I would shut my door at night, lock it, and go to town with my drinking. I, too, like her, had a double life going on. It tells me I must have been successful, that she never knew the extent of my drinking. Sure she saw me drinking beers and vodka tonics, but I didn’t binge like she did, so when she would pass out, I was still getting my drunk on. :) And of course, when I’d finally moved out, I had the freedom to drink whenever and however I wanted, without her gaining any sort of knowledge about it.

My conclusion about our lives intertwining the way they did, manifesting the alcoholic helix that seemed to curse my generational line, I can finally draw several conclusions that have led me to peace.

Alcoholism or problem drinking is an illness. The person inflicted with that illness can NOT “just stop” [The AMA classifies it as a disease.] so it is not a matter of willpower.

What it took, for me, was a final five year staying drunk more or less every single night and an increasing evergrowing inability in contending with life on life’s terms. I hit the wall and I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired. My poor relative never got to that point and some people don’t. [See here for how to help an alcoholic stop drinking.]

Because of my own battles with alcoholism, I was finally able to love my relative completely and wholly without even expecting her to stop drinking. Because I found a solution for my problem, it also helped me to find a solution for “life’s problem.” I am so grateful I did have a second chance at life because it got me to a place of accepting my beloved’s illness along with accepting her. I credit this acceptance with my Codependent recovery after I got sober – that I never could have understood UNTIL I got sober.

I wish you love, sanity, and peace.



Suggested Links :

Codependent Healing - Samsara's Compilation of Books for Codependent Healing


Alcoholics and Drug Addicts in Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous Symbol - Cirlce and Triangle - Unity, Service, and Recovery

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope as it relates to recovery from alcoholism. Thousands and thousands of meeting are held daily worldwide. The Alcoholics Anonymous text book has been translated into several languages. And as for recovery rates? “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path…” [Chapter 5, Big Book or here is the Big Book online in its entirety.]

As for my story and how A.A. relates to it; I wouldn’t be here today were it not for the Twelve Steps and Traditions and even the fellowship of A.A.

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are for alcoholics. Increasingly, though, more and more addicts-only as well as the dual-addicted person is showing up to meetings.

How does A.A. address this? Does A.A. address this? Are “addicts only” welcome? Is it conducive to the group purpose to introduce yourself as an addict or alcoholic/addict? How about if you have no problem with alcohol? Can A.A. still help you? And who enforces the Traditions anyway? These are questions I hope to answer with extensive clarity.

Here is the A.A. preamble to begin with:

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety. [Read more at the Alcoholics Anonymous website.]

Twelve Steps help the Alcoholic 

Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book 4th Edition - The basic text of A.A. are within the first 164 pages - Buy it new or used at Amazon or get it at cost from an A.A. meeting!It’s been said that the steps are there to keep me from killing myself as I journey onward to sobriety and jokingly said that the Traditions keep me from killing you, another member. Although this is a weak illustration, I think it proves the point rather well. When I came into A.A. I had no idea the Traditions had anything to do with me. I thought they were for people who were in there and knew what they were doing.

Since then, it’s been my experience that #1, no one hardly knows what they are doing in the first place and #2, if “they” [others in A.A.] are not following the Traditions, where is my responsibility in that?

My responsibility in that is clear. Since then, I have been led through the Traditions, I have studied them, I have sought their truth. Alcoholics Anonymous – the program itself, as well as the good people in the fellowship itself who were sober –  saved my miserable life and now, as one who knows better, it is my responsibility to pass that on.

And I did something last night that, for me, required a great deal of courage. I chair a Beginner’s meeting and I have never heard of a Beginner’s meeting turning into a Tradition meeting with a Group Conscience flavor. But that’s what I did. By God. or By Bill. Whichever.

Twelve Traditions help the Group [to help the Alcoholic] 

The Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous are a set of guidelines that insure the meetings we have, although perhaps full of the sickest alcoholics in the lot, remain sane and healthy. This, I believe. I have spent years looking at this theory. And every time I see – even “well-adjusted” A.A.’s in a meeting – Traditions going overlooked, denied, or excused, it ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS turns into a very sick “spreading your disease around” point of time. I can be as *healthy* as I pretend to be when I walk into a meeting. But if I sit there and overlook broken Traditions or even contribute to broken Traditions, I am going to walk away either with nothing good from the meeting or “sicker” than when I went in.

When I meet someone through my A.A. meetings, I need to be mindful of Tradition 1 that states: “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.” as well as Tradition 5 that states: “Each group has but one primary purpose — to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.”

So with our common welfare coming first and with our recovery depending upon A.A. unity, it makes sense to me that we keep our primary purpose in mind lest we deviate into the realm of cursed “sickest group in town” status!

Are you an Alcoholic? Are you an Addict? Are you a Purple Giraffe?

Purple Giraffe. There is no AA Tradition that says you have to call yourself an alcoholic. There is only one requirement for membership.So with all that said, what about the people who come into an A.A. meeting and call themselves addicts? Frankly, I do not care. As I shared with a newcomer, who was loathe to label herself as an alcoholic (but had decided to try to stop drinking),

“You can introduce yourself as a purple green giraffe. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking; Not ‘to introduce yourself as an alcoholic.'” [From Tradition 3, if you please, that states: “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”]

With that said, at my personal core, if asked, I discourage people from saying, “My name is ____ and I’m an alcoholic and addict.” It’s because it dilutes the A.A. message. It dilutes our purpose from being there. What if I introduced myself as an alcoholic and a sugar addict and an approval addict and everything else I am trying to improve upon? And more than that, what’s the point?

Over here at An Alcoholics Story in his article “Alcoholic/Addict“, the author asks “Why?” to the thought, “Why do some people in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting say, ‘I’m an alcoholic and addict’?”

I responded (and with much fervor at that!) to the article because it’s been coming around for me lately.

I have a sponsee and we talked about this last week. She began introducing herself as an addict, not knowing she was an alcoholic til her 4th step. Discovering she was an alcoholic she added “and alcoholic” into her introduction.

So then I began wondering about our singleness of purpose and my responsibility to the 12 Traditions.

Ergo, we had a conversation that went along the lines of, “I don’t say I am an alcoholic and a sugar addict do I?” or “I am an alcoholic and a codependent in recovery.” …and on it went.

The point being that alcoholism comes with it – by it’s nature – many other manifestations and to scramble to the bottom or to the top of the heap, what am I trying to prove? Am I *more* special by being *more screwed up?* or am I trying to deviate from the AA singleness of purpose by *warning you AA people* that my story may involve drugs?

Listen. I am a Traditions person and people who introduce themselves as addicts AND alcoholics are not aligning their spirits to the Traditions. That’s exactly how I look at it. … I have been in a meeting of 15 people where 12 of them introduced themselves as both. Had I been a newcomer I would have felt like I did not belong.

So then…where DOES an alcoholic go who wants to save her life when AA begins not acknowledging the repercussions of overlooking the Traditions? The Traditions are what keep us Alcoholics Anonymous.

I’ve worked with – and been worked on – by all sorts in the 12 Step Recovering Community because after getting sober is when my manifested “other symptoms” became prominent – such as anorexia, self-injuring, people-pleasing, and even sugar addiction. Does this mean that I should have begun sharing all these other labels at my A.A. meeting? No. Vehemently, no.

Are some addicts really saying that for implicit permission to discuss their drug use; to turn our A.A. meeting into an N.A. one? You betcha! [Check out that pamphlet to the lower left.]

So did you catch my truth on that? Let me specify with another story because you know – that’s what I do best.

Are you an Addict at an A.A. Meeting?

Problems other than Alcohol PamphletLast Tuesday I needed an A.A. meeting. I wanted to connect with some friends and needed some recovery talk with “my people.” Maybe a third of the people in the room introduced themselves as addicts and maybe a third introduced themselves as alcoholics and another third as alcoholic and addict. It was a Closed meeting [meaning not just anyone is welcome. People with a desire to stop drinking were the only ones welcome and this means people who usually call themselves alcoholics.]

But before the meeting got underway, when the chairperson asked if any newcomers in the room, a woman spoke up as an addict and told a room full of recovering drunks that she’s never had a problem with alcohol; that her *thing* was cocaine [although it was crack and this became pertinent later] but she did not want to go to an N.A. meeting because “more people came to this one”.

So this woman was basically – introducing herself as an addict aside – sharing with us that she did not have a desire to stop drinking and that her plan was to become a member here because she did not like the N.A. [Narcotics Anonymous] meetings. This next part may confuse non A.A. Members so if you’re reading this just for kicks and giggles, skip on over til you get to the next blue sub-heading. But it didn’t stop there.

Then when we went around the room to introduce ourselves when it came back to almost her, instead of letting the man speak beside her, she said, “Oh and he’s nothing. He doesn’t drink or do drugs or anything. He’s a really good friend who just drove me to this meeting.” So crackhead lady speaks on this man’s behalf, which I personally thought was emasculating – and then hushed him up [ssssh! it’s okay] when he tried to speak on his own behalf. Talk about from sick to sicker. I watched this in slight amusement which would have been even more amusing, had I not felt like I needed this meeting; This CLOSED meeting.

Open Meeting versus Closed: Opening a Closed Meeting?

I wondered what my friend – who was chairing the meeting – was going to do.

  1. Would she be brave and courageous and do the hard thing and explain to them what a CLOSED meeting was, thereby inviting them to leave?
  2. Would she be brave and courageous – kinda – and explain what a CLOSED meeting was and *overlook* that they were BOTH not there for A.A. recovery?
  3. Or would she pretend there was no difference and keep going? Or maybe she really didn’t know the difference? [And keep going.] Because yes, friends, some chairpeople do not know.
  4. OR would she completely wimp out and – ignoring the needs of the alcoholics who may have travelled long distances to get there for a CLOSED meeting – “OPEN the meeting with an-in-name-only ‘mini-group conscience'” so that she would not have to make the hard-yet-Tradition-aligning decision of #1?

She did #4. I thought she’d pull a number 1 because she’s *my* friend and she’s a hard-ass. Let me clarify. She’s a hard-ass when it comes to working with people and their steps but this example has shown me that she is a softy marshmallow when it comes to invoking the Traditions.

So when she announced the meeting as OPEN I raised my hand to speak. She called on me in a room full of quiet.

I took a deep breath because I don’t care what I may *look* like when I am “being” a hard ass in an A.A. meeting but trust that my insides are not matching my outsides. It is hard for me to step out of my ‘people-pleasing’ role to invoke Traditions. But I do it because I am responsible. I, as one person, am responsible for sharing what I know to be true. Even if I am the only one who has this truth inside me, if I do not share it, I will have regret. Enough regrets, friends, and I will drink again – or cut or starve or…

“I want to share that although this has now become an OPEN meeting from a CLOSED that there is only one difference; Anyone can be in attendance at an OPEN meeting. In both cases, however, we still abide the Traditions and abide our singleness of purpose. This means that we still discuss our problems as they relate to alcohol.”

That was about it. That was me being a hard-ass. I do think it’s unfair and not wholly correct to “open” a closed meeting and no one would ever see me doing it. What if every chairperson open a closed meeting every time a visitor showed up? Again. It takes away from the alcoholic who has travelled there for a closed meeting. Not to mention, the group who decided it would be a closed meeting already decided it was a closed meeting. Opening it up the moment it begins, defers to visitors and usurps the Group Conscience who, for all we know, had unanimity with the decision to make it a Closed Meeting in the first place. It’s just wrong on many levels, in my opinion.

Toward the end of that meeting, drug addict woman shared that she had not felt comfortable sharing about her addiction and then nodded over at me and said, “Because you know…” I nearly laughed out loud so I stifled a personal smile instead. So all in all, the fact I needed a meeting turned out to be I think I needed comic relief. :) My group got 10 bonus points from me that night in not back-peddling with, “Oh you can share about your crackhead experience!” due to her transparent manipulation. [Yes, she was manipulative with that statement. Hence….good segue into the next section.]

Alcoholics Anonymous does not serve the Addict 

Alcoholics are different than Addicts and even if they are exactly the same – watch this. In an A.A. meeting, I share my experience, strength, and hope as it relates to recovery from alcohol. How is a crackhead going to feel as if she fits in? Let’s get honest here. This poor woman has done things for her drugs I couldn’t imagine doing unless *I* too had suffered the same addiction. She probably looks at me like a goody goody quite honestly and I can see how.

There is either a newer and deeper level of manipulation or even up into a criminal element going on with drug addicts that pure alcoholics can not relate to. I did not have to hit the streets and develop a thicker skin in order to survive to get my liquor. The lowest I ever went was going to a crummy ABC store in a rancid part of town. My *addiction* did not rely on really low levels of manipulation; Sure I lied to people who questioned about how much I drank but I would hardly have called myself a “con-artist” or a “thief” which is what I hear when I visit the N.A. meetings. My friends were not people who were familiar with jail or street drugs and how to get them. Now I did have friends – I found out – who doctor shopped which is still an addict but maybe the deep criminal element is missing here.

A true difference is that there are people who drink alcohol and who do not “turn” alcoholic. They suffer no weird phenomenon of craving that the A.A. Big Book talks about and specifically in the Doctor’s Opinion. I have never had a former crackhead friend explain to me he kept crack on the coffee table and offered it up when guests came to visit. Have you ever heard of someone socially shooting heroin? Besides. Even “normal” people – not having a problem with alcohol in the past – can develop addiction through prescribed pain medicine; My point being that you don’t have to be “chemically different” in order to be an addict. You DO have to be chemically different than *normal* people to be an alcoholic.

See the Doctor’s Opinion in the Big Book regarding this chemical difference. Or try to understand- for you non-alcoholics- what it must be like to have one beer only… to then crave the next one. Once an alcoholic inputs alcohol into her system, this weird phenomena of craving starts and nothing can assuage that intense craving other than more alcohol. If we never picked up the first drink, we’d be cherry. Alcoholics Anonymous gave me the tools to learn how to stay away from the first drink. It’s really that easy. Some tools may work for others that is not A.A., but A.A. worked for me. Maybe something else would have worked for me instead, but this is what did it. So I tend to stick with what works. Not to mention, I am happy. [Small detail? Nah. :)]

But all this talk of addicts differing from alcoholics…? Not pertinent as it relates to A.A. meetings. These are just my thoughts on the differences. A.A. has another pamphlet I cannot find online, but it’s a shorter version of the pamphlet above that actually has the questions answered as they pertain to addicts in A.A. I guess G.S.O. had to answer them point blank, finally, because people in A.A. seem to be so wary of excluding anyone. That, or ignorant of the Twelve Traditions.

Alcoholics Anonymous Traditions Exclude the Addict from Membership

When I chaired my Newcomers – or Beginners – Meeting last night and read the short pamphlet still entitled, “Problems other than Alcohol” that I took from our very own pamphlet kiosk, can you believe that people with 10 plus years of claimed sobriety via A.A.; via Alcoholics Anonymous [I say this because it’s important to differentiate that people who are sober not through A.A. should and would have no reason to know of the A.A. Traditions], really did say, “I think we might have to call New York and ask them the official response.”

Thank goodness someone who was there referred back to what I’d just read after saying, “It doesn’t get any more clear than this…”

(1) Can a nonalcoholic pill or drug addict become an A.A. member? No.

(2) Can such a person be brought, as a visitor, to an open A.A. meeting for help and inspiration? Yes.

(3) Can a pill or drug taker, who also has a genuine alcoholic history, become a member of A.A.? Yes.

(4) Should these nonalcoholic pill or drug users be led to believe that they have become A.A. members? No.

These questions – AND answers – came straight from the shorter version pamphlet like the one above entitled, “Problems other than Alcohol” and it’s straight from A.A. World Service; ie, New York. So you see? I read it straight out the little short pamphlet, emphasized the answers, and still there was a comment of confusion deviating from the truth.

One more time: “Nonalcoholics are not A.A. members because there is only one requirement for membership and that is a desire to stop drinking.” If there is a desire to stop smoking crack, wonderful. Has nothing to do with A.A., though because that is an outside issue. [Tradition 10. Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.]

Alcoholics Anonymous Traditions Enforcement Police

Are you a member of the Traditions police? Here's your invisible badge!I was a member of the ever-elusive A.A. Traditions police. We don’t wear badges and we’re a secret society in that we never actually tell anyone we’re the Traditions Police.

If you currently have about a  year sober in Alcoholics Anonymous and find yourself pointing out how groups are doing it wrong or how someone broke a *rule* or still use “she should have…” or are often blaming people or groups or situations for why you could not so and so, then you’re a member of the Traditions Police now, too. Welcome aboard control freak! [Just Kidding. We’ve all been there.] :p

To avoid being a member of the Traditions Police – because the most miserable member in a group will always belong to the Traditions Police Force –  it may help to remember some sayings…

  1. Live and let Live. Easy Does it. First things First. [Let people be where they are.]
  2. A good bad example. [When all else fails I just think that maybe I need to see this.]
  3. I am responsible. [If I think YOU need to be responsible but not me, that’s backwards.]
  4. Love and tolerance is our code. [Straight from the Big Book right here (Pg. 84).]
  5. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. [NOT “do it right.”]

But Seriously. What about Alcoholics Anonymous Tradition Breaks in Groups?

Alcoholics Anonymous is about as anarchy as it gets but, for an institution with no rules of any kind, the Traditions are there so that we insure A.A.’s survival. It’s that easy. If A.A. does not survive, the alcoholic who wants recovery will not have A.A. to turn to.

Jokingly I reference the term, “Traditions Police” to those people who have been where I am talking about. The miserable people who see the harm over the help. Who see the bad over the good. Who see the error rather than the forgiveness. Who see the pill poppers over the recovering examples. But in real life, there really *are* groups who break Traditions to such an extent that it’s a goddamned miracle when there is any kind of sobriety to be had by any individual. [I came from one such group and yes my sobriety was and is a miracle.]

I am well aware that people say A.A. is a cult. I address that in several posts already with basically the same sentiment that anything can turn into a cult when you get control freaks involved. [I would suggest codependent recovery if control freaks control you in A.A. or outside A.A.]

Here is how I explained it to a friend. In keeping with Tradition 2 which states For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority- a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern how is that we “enforce” these traditions?

We Become the Walking Example of the Traditions  

Non-complicated answer: By being the example.

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions A.A. Conference Approved Literature or the nicknamed 12 and 12We are the example. We learn the Traditions. We ask to go over them with our sponsor or someone who knows them. We study them. We live them and particularly in meetings. We, in effect, become “armed with the facts about ourselves” as those facts relate to the group. You know how in the Big Book it says we cannot transmit something we do not have? Well, if we have legitimate complaints about the group or problems with the group, let’s get to the reasons why.

What Traditions are going unobserved? How could the meetings improve in carrying the message to alcoholics? Perhaps our group needs a “Group Inventory?” We take time to learn these things while also realizing it “takes time to learn these things.” :)

We study the Traditions in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions for example. We grow to understand terms like “Group Conscience” and the “Twelve Concepts.” We take advantage of the internet in looking up other Group experiences. :) We read the literature from G.S.O. that is often in any A.A. kiosk at a meeting clubhouse. [If we cannot read we get what we can on tape or ask someone to read the literature to us and we discuss it with someone who has experience with the service structure.]


The program of Alcoholics Anonymous is the Twelve Steps, found in the Big Book. The group purpose of Alcoholics Anonymous as shared in the Traditions, is to carry the message to alcoholics. The message being how we got sober, get sober, stay sober, and so forth. The Twelve Traditions are to guide the groups so that we can best serve the alcoholics. They are not meant to be mean, elitist or exclusionary but are meant to be necessary for the welfare of the group. If we do not carry this message, who will? The onus is upon each of us who know better and this often requires – for me at least – courage.

But courage to speak up or do the next right thing should not be insurmountable when you understand that you do have the Traditions on your side. Remember. This is not your “best thinking” that you’re sharing and striving toward. They are principles founded and based upon the Twelve Traditions [and even Steps sometimes], and in that, how can you go wrong?

Here’s to your courage.


Release from the Opinions of other People

Getting released from others' opinions is the opposite of bondage. It's freedom.Do you or have you spent a large portion of your life insuring that people like you? Have you bent over backwards for people you may not even know, only to try to get them to like you? Do you or have you ever extensively worried whether someone likes you or not?

If you think someone dislikes you do you purposefully try to do things to “make” them like you? If you think that someone dislikes you, have you then secretly felt that something must be wrong with you? Do you sometimes think your life is spent wondering either what is *wrong* with you or why can’t you just *fit* in?

Have you ever pretended to be different or someone you weren’t in order to fit in, be popular, or be liked? Just knowing if they knew the real you, you would not be liked?

In this article, like a more recent article on Taking Care of Ourselves, despite societal expectations, I’m going to focus on how to begin the perception shift necessary for this freedom to occur. The opposite of freedom and release from other people’s opinions is bondage and control due to their opinions.

So if you’re currently at the whim of what people say or do and don’t know how to get out from under that enslaving mindset, I would encourage you to read this article, the article already mentioned, and even perhaps the articles filed under Codependency, Words can Harm, and the Four Agreements. At the end of this article there is a section entitled Related Posts.

Do not Take Anything or Action Personally

The solution to not worrying about what people think about you is to think well about yourself. When you do this, you will not constantly then be needing to look to outside sources – or at least people – to fill your bucket. But if you seem to find yourself in a never-ending circle of not feeling good and caring too much about other peoples’ opinions or you seem to be the walking low self-esteemer [I was there and yes you can escape!] then keep reading.

“Fill your bucket”: This is my famous metaphor I speak of often that refers to the bucket being my internal vessel and the “filling” being that stuff that makes me okay. We all have an internal vessel that comprises the “who we are”. Some of us were either traumatized as children or as young adults and have a filter occupying our perceptions that have us constantly searching for external solutions to *fill our bucket.* Those temporary solutions can take the form of alcohol, drugs, approval addiction, inappropriate relationships, or anything else that is temporary but harms us in the long run.

When we look to outside sources to fill our bucket we constantly need more and more sources [or substances] because people are either ultimately self-absorbed, spiritually or emotionally sick or underdeveloped in their own way or even just plain human [and the substances become so important to us we develop tunnel vision and castrate those other healthier sources that exist].

That’s the 3rd of the Four Agreements, “Don’t Take Anything Personally.”

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

It’s all well and good to say, “Don’t take anything personally” and then you can finally be free but how do we do that?

I’m a highly sensitive person; feelings as well as central nervous system. So, as nice as it is to simple say, “Don’t take anything personally” I believe we need to actually be taught how to shift our perceptions so that we can arrive at that place and way of thinking. That’s what I hope to do here.

How to not Take Things Personally

We Begin to Understand and Internalize that Realities Differ

When I really began to understand that every individual has their own ideas and have created [manifested] their own belief system, their own way of living, and their own philosophies, I better was able to understand how insignificant I was to their dream unless I fulfilled some role of their dream. So what that means is that yes, you *are* the center of your universe [like I am to mine] and so is it such a stretch to see how the unexamined life could get angry because I wasn’t fulfilling my role?

Click here for the Four Agreements Category - New WindowBut I don’t want to be angry, for example, when someone doesn’t fulfill a role I have planned for them because anger is such a painful emotion for me. I also do not want to get a swollen head when someone tells me how great I am because then I have the dangerous ego vying for that person’s acceptance, and then my own opinion may go out the window! Therefore, I have decided to acknowledge that every person is the main actor in their world and is simply projecting their own reality, no matter what they say or do! Opposite this agreement is the one I used to have that stated we all have the same reality and we’re all just trying to scramble to the top of it by arranging the people in our lives to varying positions they may not want to be in.
I do well with analogies and examples and I think in pictures so let me go ahead and offer some tangible examples that may help with showing how to shift your perceptions here.

Example 1: Our perceptions make our reality. Forget “the Ultimate Reality” but just know that if you perceive a snake as dangerous and a snake is two inches from your face, you may feel fear and your reality in that moment is threatened. You freeze until you can figure out what to do. I, however, am inside my office and writing this article and the air is on and I have a candle burning and I feel peace in my reality as I write this article. So I shout through the window asking if you want a cup of coffee because the last time my reality *merged* with your reality, you were at peace on the deck. You don’t answer me. I get angry.

  1. Think: Did you make me angry?
  2. Think: Did you not answer me in order to purposefully make me angry?
  3. Think: Did I shout out the window in order to further threaten your reality?

Example explanation: No. Of course you did not make me angry so hopefully you can deduce the rest of the answers of perceptual health. Based on my own perceptions of my reality is why I got angry.

And it’s been my experience that the unexamined life *will* get angry over small things like that. But once we shift…start shifting our perceptions by examining our former agreements, we will be less prone to becoming angry over small things like this. Okay. This was a blatant example. Hopefully most people were able to see this one for the different realities experienced by both players. The next one will be a slightly bit less obvious.

Example 2: Most of us have friends based on our merging of realities and commonalities, right? I have many friends who live not according to materialism, but who have *plenty* of materialism. Most of my friends are close to my own skin shade and gender. Most of my friends come from my country of origin and most of my friends don’t dig ecclesiastical religion. So now I have to ask: But do you have friends who do not share some of these realities? I certainly do.

My closest friend is black, comes from the ghetto, didn’t finish High School, struggles to get by and happens to be about 8 yrs older than me. But we’re so close because things that matter and are important to us, we share so deeply. We share them so deeply and personally that each others skin tone, education, age differences, and economic differences don’t come into play.

So with all that said, a real example is inviting her to come to my birthday party. She did not come. She said she would come but then she didn’t. I felt sad that she didn’t show up.

  1. Think: Did she make me sad?
  2. Think: Did she not come in order to purposefully make me sad?

Example Explanation: Because she is my closest friend in the world, I know and accept some of her foibles. One just happens to be HSP. If she is feeling too much stimulation, she is going to avoid further stimulation and especially when there are going to be many people there whose realities are different than hers. Yes I was sad. No I did not take it personally. And besides, she has always been there for me when it counted.

I don’t know why it seems that this world has taught us to blame external developments for how we feel on the inside. It’s grown weird to me. It’s normal for a child to do this because the child like autonomy and really is at the whim of the adults around her. So much of society, thought, has seemingly stayed stuck in this mindset, though, well on into adulthood and this is why I say, time and time again that codependency is the fastest spreading viral sickness we have in this world. And yes, these issues – not taking personally other peoples’ words and actions – are codependent recovery principles.

Example 3: I was taking a shower and my beloveds daughter wanted to talk to me while I was showering, so she kept opening the curtain as we talked. [She is 4.] I told her about 8 times that she was going to get wet if she did not close the shower curtain. So are you surprised when she ended up getting wet? She apparently was because she then angrily shouted after she closed the curtain, “You just got me wet!” So she stormed off, in 4 year old fashion and hollered, “I’m telling Daddy!” So then I got angry at that diseased thinking – neverminding the whole tattle culture at that age – finished up my shower and went to find her.

  1. Think: Did she make me angry?
  2. Think: Did a socially viral meme make me angry?

Example Explanation: I got angry based on my own reality and ideas of “healthy” thinking not coming to pass in that instance – and with a child at that. And that’s really the answer for all of these. We ALWAYS get _______ [fill in the emotion] based on our own realities or perceptions.

There she was. Sitting with my beloved and staring defiantly at me. I said, “I was in the shower doing what I was supposed to be doing, with the shower curtain closed. I told you several times you were going to get wet if you kept that curtain open. You kept it open, didn’t you? Then you got wet from my shower.” She’s looking at me big brown eyes [the girl is a sponge] and her defiance – yes, she was still mad – softened. So then I looked into her eyes, “So who got you wet?” She said, “I got me wet.” It was a proud moment for me! :-) I said, “That’s right! So next time I suggest you close the curtain, what might you do?” She said, “Close the curtain.”

Example 4: I have a friend who encounters gossip and rumor on a daily basis. She seems to attract and surround herself with people who tell her that “someone said something about her.” She is fairly new to recovery – about a year sober – and it’s clear she lacks the tools in which to deal with sort of thing because when she’s finished, she basically whines a lot of “he said she said” to me. She doesn’t get that when people “speak her sanctified name” it has nothing to do with her. She, therefore, thinks then that it is her job to “get to the bottom of it” and go interviewing people asking if such and such was true or not.

She is operating from a clear case of “taking things personally” and coupled with “making assumptions” [that they will tell her the truth and that the person who told her such and such is telling the truth] and being “unimpeccable with her words” [because she’s just gone to person B and *gossiped* about person A telling her something person B said, thereby perhaps causing a conflict between person A and B when person A would have told person B the information if she’d wanted her to know it. Confusing? That’s right. That’s why this is unhealthy behavior at its finest and it’s called a Drama Triangle.]

So that when Amy, a girl Jennifer barely knows, tells her that Rick said she was on drugs so can she have some, Jennifer is now mad at her friend Rick for lying about her. She goes to Rick and he denies it. So she then goes back to Jennifer and tells her that Rick denies it. So now Jennifer recalls that maybe it was someone else – now knowing that Rick knows about what she said and she has fear of what Rick will think, whether it was true or not.

My friend is so wrapped up with what people think, coupled with her ego, that she currently thinks she can stop people from gossiping about her. Not only has she not internalized that she is powerless over people, but she is currently so insecure within her self, that other peoples’ opinions rule her existence so dramatically, that any semblance of walking with integrity is out the window. Like the 4 yr old, she thinks if she stomps her baby feet, cries, screams, and yells and blames enough people that *it* will stop. It is safe to say that her entire existence is currently at the whim of what other people think about her, what other people say to and about her, and how other people perceive her.

  1. Think: Are these other people making her life “crazy?”
  2. Think: Who is the real victimizer in her life?
  3. Think: If she thought well of herself would she be scrambling about like she does?

Example Explanation: My friend is like so many others. And before I began searching out spiritual solutions to human problems, I was like that too; So it’s not a judgment of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but the necessary precursor to change which is acknowledgment. And if she never acknowledges that she is the one making her own self nuts, what motivation does she have to change? No, instead she’ll continue to scramble about trying to fix, manage and control other people, all the while, making herself the ‘victim’.

Example 5: Last night I was at a 12 step meeting for alcoholic recovery. A woman introduced herself as a cocaine addict and said she had no problem with alcohol. After the chairperson discussed the difference between an open and closed meeting, I raised my hand and said that in both cases, we still discuss our problems as they relate to alcohol. [That being the 5th Tradition.] Throughout the meeting the woman “poor me’d” and insinuated she did not feel welcome because she could not talk about her cocaine use. She also made excuses as to why she did not go to a 12 step meeting for cocaine use. At the end of the meeting when she picked up a white token, I did not clap and she looked at me and cut her eyes.

  1. Think: Would it make sense for me to take her anger personally?
  2. Think: Did I take her “poor me-ing” personally? Did I feel guilt?
  3. Think: When she comes back to this meeting and shares she did drugs due to feeling unwelcome, would that be mine to own or hers?

Example Explanation: In my agreement system, I have decided to agree with the 5th tradition of this meeting. What this means is that in a meeting I have the responsibility to share my truth and my reality as it relates to the meetings truth and reality. This is what “Walking with integrity” means, and because I no longer worry about the opinions of other people, I had the courage to speak this truth. As a result, the rest of the meeting – I was told by others recovering from alcoholism afterward – was geared toward alcoholic recovery. Not to mention, I have seen many addicts go in there and expect the entire meeting to revolve around their addiction. It did not this night and I cannot help but to think it’s because I spoke my truth as it related to this agreement.

More Reasons to not Take Things Personally

Communication, Language, Culture and Education comprise a Reality

Four Agreements Book - New WindowAnd if we can look at it from this simple point of view, perhaps we can begin to notice our perceptions slowly shifting into the more relevant aspects of our lives – where it matters. These examples are rather tangible and based on communications differences, language utilization differences, culture [our upbringing and how we were raised] and our education level. From these influences, certainly it’s no stretch to add I.Q., religion, profession, outlook on life, spiritual or no spiritual life, where we live, and other differences. If we can open our mind into understanding that different people have had *their bucket of personality* filled with perhaps different things than we have, it’s easier to not take things personally. Isn’t it?

Exemplified Statement #1: Based on a true statistic, something like 80% of all college students polled, when asked, “Do you think women’s suffrage should end?” answered yes. If you don’t find this funny, then your reality is very different from mine; I would have answered no.

Question: Do I believe that women should suffer? Hint: Look up suffrage.

Exemplified Statement #2: Or let’s say we get into a conversation on your behaving niggardly. If you were an uneducated black gangbanger from Harlem’s finest ghetto – based on my reality – I would not discuss it with you because my experience has taught me that uneducated black people do not fare with this word very well, but the fact remains, based on your circumstances you do behave niggardly – you almost have no choice.

Question: Would you think I am racist? Hint: Look up niggardly.

Exemplified Statement #3: A friend thinks that women’s duties comprise keeping house, cleaning, cooking, taking care of the children and mowing the yard in addition to working outside the home. This friend also thinks that slapping his woman once in a while keeps her loyal. Based on this information, can we safely assume my friend is not my friend who is the Professor of Women’s Studies in Gender Inequality in Antebellum Politics?

Question: Would you think the woman he is slapping around is my friend? Why or why not? Hint: The friend who teaches and this man have 180* different realities.

Exemplified Statement #4: I live in a culture that values stick-thin women. We see them on magazine covers, runways, television. We see the tabloids, with great fervor, condemning stars who’ve gotten too skinny [or too fat for that matter because there is no pleasing the tabloids is there?]. These tabloids accuse women of anorexia.

Question: Would they accuse Ethiopians or other starving countries of having too many anorexic women? Would I go to Ethiopia and pull out my soapbox, explaining to them the dangers of willfully refusing food? Of course not because theirs is a culture of starving due to lack of food. The tabloid media here, in the US, breaks all boundaries of healthy agreements. It makes assumptions that the skinny stars have food. They are certainly not impeccable because they lie, prevaricate, and spread gossip and rumors. They judge people and intentionally try to make things personal. And they’re not doing their spiritual or emotionally healthy best. They are trying to make money.

Exemplified Statement #5: I used to have a neighbor who was a very sweet girl. [She made an appearance in an article; a memoir I published not so long ago called, “Knowing Hector” if you would like to read more about her.] She has a lower level I.Q., innocent nature, and suffers abuses from her mother. Although she is well into adult age, her thought processes and sweet disposition were more like a simplified and shy 8 year old. She thought my husband was handsome and wanted to hug him – like she was daughter – every time she saw him. The reality, though, is that she was about 5 years younger than him.

Question: Should I have tried to help her by suggesting we go look for apartments? Should I have used a hard edge tactic and told her she must hate herself for living in this abusive situation? This was a tough situation for me to watch but in no way would I have spoken to her like I would speak to a peer. She had the mind of a child but the rights of an adult. What I ended up doing was being her friend; inviting her over often and spending time with her. If an outsider judged this situation in any fashion other than how it was, would be operating from a different reality. Because my reality was so different from hers, I really did not know what to do. She eventually did gain a good life.

Final Thoughts

It took me three days to complete this article because I am going through another round of EBV {which actually led to this article on “Taking Care of Ourselves” – which is another article discussing the release of societal expectations}. It’s probably why I decided to write this one with the focus being on the 2nd Agreement to Not Take Anything Personally.

It may sometimes seem as if these articles can become redundant. if this is the case, then it seems you’ve already gotten what you need insofar as information and tools and all that is left is for you to begin practicing or taking different actions.

What this means is that I may be able to hold your hand and show you some successful outcomes for creating boundaries, for example, or even give you the words in creating the boundaries you may so desperately need, but like everything else, if you don’t put it into practice by feeling the fear and doing it anyway, then it just stays in your mind and your life remains the same.

Much the same with not taking things personally or getting released from societal expectations or opinions; If you continue scrambling about and taking actions contrary to your goal, your thinking will continue to follow your living example. If, however, you truly want to begin living a different dream, you can!

  1. Firstly, yes there may be fear.
  2. There will almost assuredly be discomfort.
  3. Do it anyway. 

Continuing in practice will conquer the fear and assuage the discomfort. I promise. I also want to mention – in case you were looking for pats on the back – that the only people who will pat you on the back for your positive life changes will be people who simply want you to be the best whole “walking with integrity” being you can be. If you need a pat on the back, post your comment here and I’ll give you one! I think it’s important at a time like this to get as much support as we can. Even if you need to join a support group or rally the help of your friends who are on a similar path!

You will definitely not get pats on the back or “atta girl”‘s from people who try to control you with their opinions or actions. So don’t get discouraged if (when) this happens. In fact, take it as a sign of your growth!These people want you to continue being the agreeable actor in their (sick?) world so that when you no longer show up for that role, they may stomp their baby feet and throw their baby fit! [And what have we learned? That’s their reality so let them if they want to. You, however, can control your geography. Even if you have to use your feet to express yourself by walking away.] 

I have faith in you! You deserve your best life. It’s up to you to go get it. 

Until next time.



integrity is when we are the same person in private as we are in public and live according to our own spiritually guided principles instead of the principles of others
Recommended BookStore Sections: Integrity and Codependency

Sensitivity in an Insensitive World

Are you a Highly Sensitive Person living in a (seemingly) insensitive world?

That’s a lonely feeling isn’t it? I remember feeling that way more than I did not feel that way. And, of course, because my life has not arrived into a state of Utopia, I still feel that way sometimes; Misunderstood, lonely, alone, sensitive, shy, introverted, or even moody.  

Do you want a solution? Hopefully this article can delve a little into how we can make some perception shifts and small changes so that our *insensitive* world either does not seem so insensitive or, even better, that we begin to not notice the insensitivity! For HSP’s [and it may be due to our very high intelligence…:)] this is no easy feat. And although that was a rather flip statement I made regarding high intelligence, I meant it for the most part. I have never met a dull HSP. I have met some HSP’s who did not have command of the written language or had poor spelling or grammar but the poignancy in which they would express themselves, would reveal that they were in fact true specimens of the Highly Sensitive modality! I know this, because we are quite unique.

Some Validation of your Highly Sensitive Person Status

A large part of my insecurity in this world came from not being validated as “normal” or “okay.” So I tried very hard to change characteristics of myself in order to be seen as “normal” or “okay.” The consequence is that not only was I now worse off, but even my acts of “normalcy” did not pan out and, in addition, I suffered from intense feelings of lower self-esteem.

Think about this for a moment: If the who you are is a standard deviation or so from the *normal* bell curve and you already feel like an unaccepted-into-this-world-freak, think logically about how you would feel if you practiced being within that bell curve and still were not accepted? At least in the first scenario, where you are being true to yourself, you are being who you are. And you may think it ridiculous, but I think it as truth that when we truly do honor who we are, the opinions of other people do not matter!

But for this section I want to validate that you are weird! Yes you are! Wonderfully, beautifully, exceptionally, and uniquely weird! You have an intuitive depth – or a deeply held spiriitual knowing – that some people may be flummoxed, bewildered, or threatened by! Our little secret is that they needn’t be! They do not know you for the lightworker or spiritual human I know you to be! So some people fear or dislike you if they sense this; But rest assured, most of these people are spiritually stunted and hence, why the fear! They fear you may see something in them they do not want to acknowledge. But again, it’s our secret that you are not of this world, but of the spirit world and thus, would never want to hurt them with this knowledge! So acknowledge your specialness. It’s an honor. It is an honor for me to be in such company as other HSP’s. It let’s me know I am no longer alone or the only one and it also validates that other empaths and intuitives exist to the extent that they, too, feel like freaks of nature!

You are a sensitive, empathetic, intuitive being of light who senses truth. You are almost a personal lie detector aren’t you? You’ve felt odd since the beginning and knew you were not like other people. You saw how others operated and interacted with each other but picked up whether they were interacting in truth or love, or whether they were dissembling, prevariacating, or whether the relationship was one based in spirit or one based in the world.

You’ve often seen yourself gravitating to people who were odd or unusual and you empathized with their plight. You understand the purity of children and of animals and you respect the spirit of life in all things. You do not share your self with just anybody because what is the point? Most of them would not understand anyway and you’ve never been one for small talk on fluffy matters. Those times you have opened up have left you feeling hurt or vulnerable many times and you vowed you’d close down forever on more than a few occasions because you just get that you’re a social retard.

You’re not socially retarded, just socially different; Spiritually advanced perhaps yields many social differences, but don’t be so quick as to label you as the one defective or slow! You choose to speak with others who are like you and who get you and though you may’ve found a few, most people just don’t get you so you figured something was wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with you. It’s simply the equivalent of a genius trying to communicate to a two year old without knowing how to come down to the 2 yr olds level. That’s all. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with the 2 yr old being 2 is there? No, of course not! No more than there is anything *wrong* with the genius being a genius! The crime would be, however, if the genius pretended to not be one! Geniuses need to exist in order to teach others who come after them! Yes, use that analogy for the way in which you think I am intending it. :)

Take heart that even Elaine Aron did not coin this “HSP” concept. Perhaps she made the name more *mainstream* with her books with various “Highly Sensitive” terms in the title, but she was not the first. And what I am about to discuss may just very well blow your mind.

Even More Reasons your are Special 

As those who belong to the SU Highly Sensitive Person’s Forum know, I make many great claims about HSP’s. I use terms like “psychic” and “empaths” and “indigo” and “chosen” and “Lightworkers.” Elaine Aron never makes any such claim to the best of my knowledge. To the best of *my* knowledge she simply claims we have an overclocked central nervous system.

I went further in my research.

The Synchronicity Comes Together: With my overclocked central nervous system and valuing the information I have learned about chakras, along with taking a test years ago that consistently revealed a “too open” crown chakra. With the dreams I would have often coming true. With revealing “feelings” of things that were going to come to pass and then they did. With my spiritual searching ever since a small child. With my deeply empathetic nature toward animals to almost an “animal-whisperer.” With having experienced paranormal things or things that happened outside the realm of normal explanation of this 3 dimensional world. With astral projection becoming normal for me and delving into chakra understanding. [And if all of this sounds weird, imagine being me!]

With all these reasons, I knew it was more than just a nervous system that could pick up all sorts of physical energy. I knew that HSP’s had a built in and seemingly involuntary system that picked up all spectrums of energy and waves of energy from the physical world into the metaphysical world.

The Seat of the Soul

I helped a friend move a couple of years ago so that when I would move November 2008, this book, Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav, continued popping up within my eyesight. Because I usually have 5 or 6 books going at any one time, it would be noteworthy to mention the uniqueness of this book that had my reading it every day before my meditations and nap.

Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav [Opens in a New Window!]As it begins on the back of the book, “The Seat of the Soul is about the birth of a new species – and the explosion of human perception past the five senses,” it brings up the Highly Sensitive Person as a “Multisensory.”

That this book was published in 1989 and goes on to describe precisely why and what the Multisensory human is about, it is the closest spiritual or metaphysical rendition of the HSP I have seen that does not end with the HSP being “an overclocked central nervous system attractor.”

If anyone has related with being a Highly Sensitive Person (in an otherwise “insensitive” world), I think that Gary Zukav willl introduce you into a whole new world with his book “The Seat of the Soul.”

Chapters entitled Evolution, Karma, Reverence and Heart from the Introduction section to the the section entitled Responsibility with chapters entitled Choice, Addiction, Relationships and Soul and the Power section with chapters called Psychology, Illusions, Power, and Trust, I knew it was a book that I had meant to read. It does not specifically use the term “HSP” but instead, uses the term “Multisensory” and I knew that as I read, it was precisely describing me and my friends.

Zukav discusses this evolution and how we, as multisensories, can come into our own.

The Insensitive World

It sometimes seems as if the world is not cut out for the more unique aspects of personalities that humans can possess. Seems “they” would rather we all fit into a nice cubbyhole cut and shaped the same size and preferably to *their* cut and size. Yes, I have noticed that people here tend to think so highly of themselves that they want everyone – and sometimes even expect! – to be like them!

hierarchy of needsThe term “normal” is over-rated. It just means “fitting in” with that bell curve that comprises most people, and societal expectations would also have us believe that happiness exists in the *normal* area. Do you agree with this? Yes, in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs we all want Social Acceptance so we look for others like us. The more we deviate from “normalcy” the harder it is to find others “like us” so thank God for the internet being a free and open media for the most part!

I am also a big believer in Abraham Maslow so that when people do not have their most basic needs or wants met, they cannnot ascend to their next need or want.

As my example has often been… If I cannot get oxygen, I am not going to worry about whether I am hungry or not. Well, like the HSP living in a non-accepting or non-understanding world, if we do not get our necessary acceptance in some fashion, how will our self-esteem ever get to the point of being okay enough in order to reach our self-actualization and finally, get on with helping others who come after us? This was *my* process!

So it’s my duty to tell you that you may never find the acceptance you need as a *different* person from the *earth people* or *normal people.* I think it was once I accepted this in my heart, that I was able to do God’s work and go out on my own to seek others like me who would accept me. I know it sounds like I skipped a Maslow step but not really. :) I had a few people in my life who *did* accept me enough and to the extent that it was a sufficient start for my self-esteem to reverse from it’s “pride in reverse” status.

And just because you may not find the acceptance you want from certain “normal” people does not mean you have to be subjected to abuses by others. If you are like me and suffered at the whims of people either making fun of you or overtly going out of their way to seemingly make you feel less than, belittled or odd, then I suggest you spend some time at the Codependent recovery section in that you learn that just because you are different, does not give anyone license to berate or belittle you!

Or if you already know about Codependent Recovery but need help with knowing how to respond to some of the words people use, or caustic manners of their speech, I would advise looking at the Words can Harm category or see the Words can Harm. Words can Heal series.

You have the God given and God spirited right to be as unique and as different as you need to be. God has blessed people – some more than others – with an exceptionally large light and if we try to quench that light for the sake of other peoples’ perceptions and hurtful words, well, for me, I realized I was going against myself, my intuitive voice, God, and the “who I am”. It’s wrong to do this on a basic level, but for me, it was life-threatening as I turned to alcohol and other harmful substances in which to keep me numb.

I hope that if you are currently hurting yourself trying to *fit* and keep your light at a “low brightness” that you reconsider and realize the resources at your disposal in which to help you be the best that you were meant to be.

Solution: So the solution for the “abnormal” [HSP, multisensory, or any other different sort of person who deviates from that dreaded “normalcy” of the bell curve] is simply accepting that not all normal people will *fill your bucket.* Then, go out and find the ones who will. We do this as intelligent beings because we know that we have work to do and should waste no more time in trying to get “normies” to understand us. They just won’t.

It’s better for them if they *accept* us because it shows they have an evolved spirit, but for us to get true acceptance to the point we’re no longer insecure about the who we are, I believe it’s imperative for us to have constant contact with others like us. Others, like us, will be behind us growing on the path we have just walked and our experience can help them, just as there will be others further along on our same path we can turn to to ask for help. And that’s how it works!

2012 Connection?We can find others by nurturing our friendships with those our intuitive voices tell us to gravitate toward, we can read authors who are “like us,” we can write of our own experiences [make a blog or a website or even longhand a letter or in your journal] so that we can communicate with our subconscious or other Highly Sensitives and feel what our subconscious is trying to tell us or get feedback from our HSP friends we meet on the internet.

2012 Connection?

Remember! Nothing happens by accident. The fact it is 2008 and the internet is freely available and that the Highly Sensitive / Multisensory / Indigo is evolving at this time and are being called to search out others is no accident. It is my belief our intuitive voice [our “God inside”] is precisely being activated now, for some reason.

I do not mean to go into vastly off and New-Age territory, as I know that’s a large pill for some [of us] to swallow, but in understanding what 2012 is *really* about and doing your own research, you can find the fascinating historical basis for the 2012 theories and also some of the more  specious hypotheses for what is allegedly going to happen on December 21 2012. Here is a Wikipedia link on 2012 and here are my 2012 tags I have compiled on Stumble. I would of course advise you to do your own research.

Here’s a brief synopsis from what I know: The ancient Mayans predicted 2012 as the end of time. Now what happens when this happens has not been solidifed. Does anything haappen? Were the Mayans wrong? Is there a conscious shift in humanity? I don’t know. But I do know that I have read theories that say the Indigo – a new type of spiritual being – has been put here in order to help the transition. [Transition of what? Souls? Evolve peoples’ minds or perceptions? To help *other* Indigos gain their footing in preparation for a future “not so insensitive world?”] I don’t know. I’m just speculating with what I have learned. Now, if you have anything to share on this, a comment is welcomed. :)


I want you to know that just because you may feel alone with your *gifts* you are not. Just because some people may not believe you or accept you due to your gifts, it does not mean you are less than. To the contrary.

Unlike us, many people in this world still think this material world is where it’s at. They are wrapped up in working or aquiring things, judging people, gossip, and all that other fluffy to negative stuff that make most multisensories quite ill. So when they judge or don’t accept you, think about the source of that judgement or non-acceptance.

Like speaks to like. The people who I really need to accept me, will. The people I don’t need to accept me, probably won’t. I have never had a problem knowing another person like me within the inside of 30 seconds. There is a reason you are repelled by some people – listen to your intuitive voice! There is equally a reason you are attracted to some people. Trying to contort yourself to get accepted by people who cannot possibly help to further your path is akin to running in the hamster wheel. And I think looking at it this way, can do good in re-positioning where your priorities need to be.

It’s my wish that we all learn the value of self-acceptance. It has been my experience that when we do accept ourselves completely, the opinions of people affect us less and less. Total freedom is being free from the opinions of other people and this is my goal. When I am achieving my goal, I can continue doing the good work that the God of my understanding / intuitive voice / highest self / spiritual self would have me do while not wasting my time on worldy endeavors.

Until next time.

Namaste my friends!