Speaking Politically Not Spiritually

I haven’t been blogging lately. There’s a few reasons for it, of which I will be writing about soon. But what I’ve written here isn’t one of them. This post, like many of my previous ones, is meant to help myself and others feel better about life when things aren’t going as well as we like. 

Although it’s political. (Some say politics have no place in the helping profession, and my blog has mostly been about helping others.) I needed to write this today. For some reason, after seeing a past article from the Washington Post about Donald Trump, it struck me as something that does fit in with my beliefs and some of the things that I’ve written about in the past.

Recovery for many is about being a good person. Some of my past posts have been about that. And even though this one isn’t about recovery from alcohol and substance use disorders. It is about trying to recover from something that has negatively affected a lot of people in this country and, sadly, will continue to do so.

I’ll let what I wrote below explain. Forgive me if it doesn’t seem spiritual. (Something else my blog is supposed to be about.) But as I said. It’s to help me feel better. I hope it does the same for others.

Why are so many people Trump hires corrupt, incompetent and immoral?

I have a better question.

Why would you continue to support this man?

Seriously! This country is certainly no better off since he took office. As a matter of fact, it’s worse in some ways.

The growing economy would have continued without him and not be in jeopardy of failing now because of his ineptness. All the helpful and needed regulations put in place by Obama would still be there benefiting us. Our relationships with other countries are certainly worse. I believe we would be more united than divided without him in office. Hate wouldn’t be so rampant. And there wouldn’t be a criminal and Russian investigations going on that are slowly showing signs that Trump is everything I always thought him to be. (A lying, vile, narcissistic, ass-wipe.)

I know, I know. Hillary had email problems and a sordid past. But I never said she was a wonderful person. I just believed that she had the knowledge and strength to run a country.

I’m sure some division would have taken place, like when the Republicans fought everything Obama did. But she had the tenacity and leadership to get things done. No golfing and bragging about false accomplishments.

The truth is that it’s sad that it came down to these two individuals as choices to run the country. I’m hoping that whoever runs against Trump in 2020, (providing he’s still in office) appeals to the majority of people, as someone who has integrity, morals and a belief that government should work for all the people.

Hope has been instrumental in helping me get through difficult times in my sobriety. I’m thinking it will also help me now.

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I Can Only Imagine

Imagine if you can a story like this.

The person you married isn’t who you thought they were.

You were warned by friends and family not to marry them, but you did not heed their advice. You believed everything this person said and further believed your life would become better than it was after marrying them.

Then over a two-year period this person, who was married before, has brought up their ex more than a few times, and although they are considered a despicable human being by most people, your spouse has had nothing but nice things to say about them. In the meantime, your spouse has repeatedly put down your friends, many of who are good people. Said horrific things about minorities, and even mocked a handicap person. And, has acted in ways that even you have to admit are quite awful and bizarre, especially for a spouse.

Besides all of this. The person you somehow still love, decides to go see his ex, who he has seen before and always defends. And you look the other way, once again, even though this ex has been accused by your friends and family of affecting them and you in negative ways. You keep the faith, though. After all, this spouse has told you time and again about all the wonderful things they have done for you so far and what they promise to do for you in the future.

Now, however, your spouse is once again going to see his ex. He is still defending them. This time, though, it has become clear that they have harmed your friends and family, and you finally begin thinking something might be wrong here.

You begin to wise up and realize you cannot take it anymore. Not just the apparent love your spouse still has for their ex. But everything else that they have said and done.

You can now see there is something truly wrong with the person you married. You can finally see what friends and family have seen since the beginning. Your spouse is a lying, vile, narcissistic ass-wipe and cannot be trusted.

You want a divorce. But the only problem is that many lawyers and judges seem to like your spouse and have defended him on every occasion he has acted in ways unbefitting a loving, caring spouse.

You feel trapped and afraid. You’re thankful you don’t have children now. But sadly your friends and family do. And you fearfully ask yourself, “what now?”

I know this is only a story. But I’m sure that something like this it has happened at some level in people’s lives and it is quite scary to think about.

You want to hear something even scarier, though?

Imagine if this story was about a president we elected?

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A More Level Playing Field

Until we all fully understand that it’s not just the current and previous administrations who are to blame for the growing economic inequality in America, but big corporations and their greed. We will never unite and prosper as a people. The demise of the Middle Class will continue. And the true culprits, specifically the Billionaire businessmen behind the real politics that go on unseen, will continue to make insanely huge profits.

It’s time to cry out for a more level playing field that allows all the hard-working people of this country to live a better and less worrisome life, instead of living pay check to pay check.

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I’m Not Sick Anymore

Some people don’t like using the word “sick” when describing someone with an addiction. I get it. Just like the words alcoholic and addict, saying someone is sick can add to the shame and stigma associated with addiction, and prevent a person from getting the help they need.

But was I sick? Yes.

Although I didn’t drink every day and I seemed to be doing well in life, I wasn’t. I had fears and insecurities, not of the normal variety, that made me emotionally sick.

As a result, I was overly jealous of people and an extremely jealous husband. I felt like I needed to prove myself at almost every turn—believing deep down that I didn’t stack up to others. And I tried to be something I wasn’t, often acting out in arrogant and egotistical ways, in an attempt to feel better about myself.

I was also spiritually sick.

I should have been a better person than I was. A better friend. A more loving husband. And certainly a more loving and caring father.

Not that I was a bad person. I tried not to do things that I knew I shouldn’t, and I actually did some good things in my drinking days. But I just couldn’t sustain a better way of living. Sooner or later my fears would overwhelm me. My insecurities would become too great. And I would turn to the only thing that I thought could help me with how I was feeling.  Even when riddled with guilt, I could not stop drinking for a long period of time, and I would return to the behaviors that actually made me feel worse about myself.

Eventually I got help and began living a different way, but I was still emotionally and spiritually sick in the beginning. But as I remained sober, my brain healed. And as I kept trying to be a better person than I was before, I was no longer sick.

I had changed the things about myself that needed to be changed. The thoughts and behaviors that didn’t make me a bad person, but along with my drinking, kept me emotionally and spiritually “sick” and prevented me from becoming the person I always wanted to be.

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We Are No Longer Alone

“The street-addict is like the rats in the first cage, isolated, alone, with only one source of solace to turn to.”

The above quote is from this article written a few years ago about a Ted Talk author who, while also trying to sell a book at the time, was professing that the likely cause of addiction has been discovered, and it’s just simply loneliness and an unhappy environment.

I disagree in calling someone a “street-addict, or addict really. But I do agree that loneliness and an unhappy environment can contribute to drug use. It’s true that people can feel isolated and alone from their childhood into their adult life, I know I certainly did, but that doesn’t mean everyone who develops an addiction feels that way.

Many people who develop a substance use disorder have friends. Successful business men and women, school teachers or other professional types, and loving parents come to mind. People who also seem happy in their surroundings or living conditions, but sadly, may not be happy with themselves.

They appear to be all right to others, but fears and insecurities, ones they’ve denied and kept hidden from the outside world continue to reside inside them. They often don’t feel good about themselves despite any successes they have in life, and although they go about acting as if they’re happy, most know different. The same drug that made them feel better about themselves fails them, and this is when they can began feeling isolated and alone.

After I stopped drinking I found friends in Alcoholics Anonymous, but other than having occasional lunches with some of them, I didn’t hang around with anyone long enough to form a true friendship.

I’ve now been sober for over 21 years and I stopped going to meetings several years ago. I’m also a self-professed loner, (although being married and having a best friend in my wife isn’t really being alone) who admittedly does have a few close friends, but I don’t really do much with any of them.

My point is that I drank and hung around with more people than I call a friend today and had some type of connection with them, yet I have no desire to start drinking again.

Personal growth, self-confidence, and self-love are all factors in being happy with who we are, and it doesn’t matter if we have a lot of friends or not.

These things allow us to love and help others, and that along with an environment that we have improved on can be enough to help us remain sober.

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The Spirituality Of Cynicism

I’ve blogged before about me being a bit cynical at times, despite trying to live a more spiritual life. But because I believe that having a sense of humor is part of spirituality. I thought I’d list a few types of people who I’ve been cynical about. All in good humor, of course.

One is the “gym dancer.

They’re kind of funny to watch, as they dance around in front of mirrors with their headphones on listening to music that only they can hear. But if you’re not in the mood for it, they can be slightly annoying. You can’t help watching them do moves that can only be described as “made up on the spot,” and you look at them and wonder where, if ever, they learned to dance. Every gym I’ve been a member of has had one, and I’m sure yours does too.

There’s also the “indecisive food order person.

Somehow, you manage to time it just right that you have the misfortune of winding up behind one of them, and usually starving at the time I might add. You already know what you want—you’ve thinking about it all day. But you can tell right away that this person is going to take a while, so you get out your smart phone to see who liked your latest Facebook post, and try to be patient while they ask questions that are pretty much answered by the descriptions on the brightly lit menus with pictures.

Chances are they’re going to finally make a choice, and you’re going to get excited thinking it’s soon your turn, but inevitably they change their mind at the last-minute. If you’re lucky, the whole frustrating process won’t start over again. But sometimes it does.

Then there’s the “ocean view peripheral vision obstructionist.”

You picked out a great spot on the beach. Close enough to the ocean so no one sits in front of you. And just when you’re sitting there relaxed and enjoying the ocean view this person walks by with their chair and carry bag, filled with everything they’ll need for their beach adventure. For whatever reason, they always sit even nearer to the water than you and just close enough to the left or right that you can’t help but notice that they’re there.

Most of them are probably nice people, but since you’re with someone and they’re not, a reason for why they’re by themselves quickly comes to mind. It seems to take a long time for them to set their bag down, open up their beach chair, and place it on the sand. I’m guessing it’s a ritual of sorts for them to look around the beach before making a hard and fast decision like sitting your shit down where you’ve been standing for the last several minutes.

Although they, at least, usually sit down right away after “pulling the trigger” and finally placing the chair in what I’m sure has to be at just the right angle for sun, fun, and viewing, you can bet your ass that the “opening of the bag” ceremony will soon commence.

As time passes you can’t understand how they got so much stuff in that damn carry bag, including a hardcover book that seems larger than the bag itself. But at some point all you can do is hope their stay is short. Fortunately, sometimes it is.

And finally, for now at least. There’s the “loud talker.

They can also be at the beach, where I find them the most annoying, but I’m sure you’ve heard them in restaurants, lines at stores, and anytime they’re on the cell phone talking with someone. It doesn’t matter what they are talking about, but the “bragging loud talker” is more annoying and brings out the cynical side of me even more. But no matter if they are bragging or not, try being around a loud talker while you’re picking out a special birthday card for a loved one, and see if you too don’t become cynical.

I believe for those of us who are naive and over-caring, we need to be cynical of people at times. I’ve allowed others that I thought were good people to fool me and temporarily hurt me emotionally. But nevertheless, being cynical for no real reason can prevent us from feeling good about ourselves, especially if we’re trying to live a spiritual life.

Perhaps it’s OK to have what I’ll call a spiritual cynicism. We know that we’re not being the best person we can be at the time, but we also know it’s not who we are.

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Building A Wall Of Insanity

Let’s say the neighbor’s kids keep coming into your yard. They like it there and your kids like to play with them, but you don’t like it. You’ve been trying to stop them from coming over for quite sometime, but to no avail. And you swear they’re taking some of your kid’s toys.

In actuality, your children don’t want the toys the neighbor kids play with. But you feel that’s not the point. You’ve lived there longer than these neighbors have, plus you were born in this country and they weren’t.

Your wife is OK with the neighbor’s kids. She believes they aren’t hurting anything. But something inside you detests these rascals. They’re different from your kids. Their parents are different from you.

You realize a lawyer is out of the question—this is something you know you can’t sue over. And then bam! “I know,” you say to yourself. “I’ll have a humongous wall built to keep these undesirable’s out.”

Deep down you know they haven’t done anything to you personally, or anyone really. But the idea of a wall and the fact that you came up with it, fills you with a sense of power, and you become obsessed with your mission. You can’t wait to tweet about it and add it to the thousands of other well deserved rants you’ve felt the absolute need to tweet about over the years.

It’ll be an expensive adventure, and although you know your wife and kids will be upset, you’ve talked to other people in the neighborhood who said they were all for it. (Apparently these kids have been a menace to some of them too.)

“Now how to pay for it,” you wonder.

“I know,” you say to yourself again. “I’ll get the foreign neighbors to pay for it.” “After all, it’s their children causing the problem not mine.”

Sound insane? It is.

Nuff said.

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