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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

ISOLATION creates 'Car Crash TV Mind': Default leaning towards Morbid preoccupation, Despair, Bleakness, Pessimism and general Negativity

The Fast Show. 'Black' sketch. or those of you that didnt see the fast show series, this poor guy 'goes off on one' EVERY week, after the work 'black' comes into the conversation..

Heres another one. They all end up pretty much the same way!

I LOVE this comedy, but I also find it a useful tool for describing the way the alcoholic mind CAN operate WHEN LEFT TO IT'S OWN DEVICES. When I meet AA's who are being TERRIBLY morbid and GRIM, in my mind's eye, they remind me of the character in this sketch. We ALL have this to some degree, it's HOW WE HANDLE THIS TENDENCY THAT COUNTS. If you KNOW about it, and can see it from a mile off, you can nip it in the bud before it 'takes over'. This sketch show character helps me see the tendency more clearly, giving me more awareness, and therefore strengthening my position, in the battle with all these weird parts of the mind!
Some poor sods in AA are really LIVING this character though. There is quite a lot ! of negativity in AA! Thankfully I try to stick with positive people when I am not doing service.

LEFT TO OUR OWN DEVICES... We end up like the list below!
We do this mainly by ISOLATION in some form. Either lack of social contact, or not HUMBLING ONESELF on a REGULAR basis by CONFIDING in one's fellow man for life's INEVITABLE problems of one sort or another. (In a CONSIDERATE fashion of course! The aim is NOT to bore them to death!)
Or you can 'isolate in a crowd', meaning you have contact with people but you are not being HONEST with other human beings who could help you. Problems build up, or just SEEM to become overwhelming and BIG DEAL.
I'm always AMAZED at how even SMALL 'trivial' social contact (if approached from the point of view of service) COMPLETEY alters my mindset if I am becoming negatively preoccupied. Such a SMALL price (of time and effort) for such a BIG return!
You do NOT need to practice these things in an AA context. I have learned how to do ALL of the above, OUTSIDE AA. This means I can practice my programme wherever I go. Which is useful, if I am busy.

Unless we 'artificially' prompt our minds into POSITIVITY, using either meetings, newcomers, service, 'constant thought of others', contact with step 11 people, ON A REGULAR BASIS
Our minds default to..

Doom and gloom

Wagnerian angst
Three act tosca
Morbid preoccupation

Morbid preoccupation

Big GAY Drama Queen. (Get out the big feather Boa and strike a 'tortured' pose!)
BIG Deal

Out of balance. Tipping toward INDULGENCE
Staring into space
Paralyzed by 'overwhelm'. Grind to halt.
Dwelling on 'the problem'

I call this 'Car crash TV mind'.

There is a sort of 'gravitational pull' towards NEGATIVITY, if the mind does not get actively 'trained' towards solution-based problem solving (by using meetings, service, reading or listening to programme stuff outside meetings etc)
Basically we are social animals. We were not designed to be on our own for very long. And certainly not designed to be preoccupied with self or 'conceal ourselves' in a crowd of fellow men.
The only way life 'works' is if my motive is to make a contribution in my activities (including the mundane ones) and seeking out other human beings to be kind to and reach out to help or be helped, (risking rejection in the process.) Trying to help others is actually very vulnerable, because you risk rejection. Well that's what I find. Vulnerability makes me more 'porous' and 'connects' me to other human beings even when I don't disclose a ton of personal details. As long as I am trying to help others along the way, (in ALL my affairs, not just in aa affairs), I am never alone.

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