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Karmic Scales

Discussion in 'General' started by RunTheMachine, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. RunTheMachine

    RunTheMachine Well-Known Member

    I got pissy yesterday, and pulled this down ("this", being my original and initial post.). I've decided this morning to put it back up. If it's helpful to someone, anyone, then it's worth being here.. especially since what follows makes no sense in its absence.

    Peace, ODR. Happy Sunday.



    I've always been the kind of guy (person, that is) who 'gives' a lot. Now, whether I 'give' more than I 'get', would of course be a matter of perception. And it would probably also depend on who you were asking. I'm sure my ex wives would not be so quick to say "Yeah... GII? He gives way more than he gets." (or, more than he takes!!.. which again, is about perception). BUT, I'd be willing to bet that 90% of the people who observed my relationships with my exes, would probably concur with me.

    But in all honesty, I'm just a giver. That's how I'm wired, and I don't think that will ever change.. regardless of my active participation (or lack of) in my addictions. I've actually tried to 'change', and even purposely seek to give less, and be less 'nice'! Seriously. I think people can truly give too much, and consequently leave too little for themselves, or for other people in one's life who may need that which is given to the... less deserving??

    Anyway, I've never been able to modify my natural behavior, or 'reign in' my generosity (be it material, or just the giving of my SELF). Old dogs, new tricks, yadda, yadda... I'm just me. And less than a year from "The Big 5-0", chances are I will simply continue to BE me (barring years of extensive and expensive therapy, and a great conscious effort to go against my own grain).

    The reason I bring this up here, is that I've recently wondered how much of this 'giving' comes from my addictions, and more specifically, the guilt I carry because of my life in addiction! I almost always empty my checking account (which usually isn't saying much. LoL) when it's one of my kids' birthdays, or at Christmas. I mean, don't get me wrong... I'm all about getting the coolest and very BEST gift they get from anyone, and if I could get those things for cheaper, I would!! But I won't think twice about leaving myself short, or even without, when it comes to an opportunity to give.

    My Mom got sober the summer I turned 17. She went to a 30 day rehab, and I all but trashed her place while she was in the hospital ~ Parties, drinkin' and dopin', all manner of friends (and mere acquaintances) staying over for days at a time.. just general chaos & mayhem. When she got home, she said that was it. The 'party' was over, and there would be no more drinking, or dope-smokin', or ANY of that nonsense in her home anymore. And people.. she stuck to her guns (SO proud of my Mom!).

    In her self-preservation, and knowing that she'd never be able to 'control' me (and, shamefully, knowing that I would never respect her life changes, and behave accordingly), I came home home one day, about 2 weeks after she got out of rehab, to an Army recruiter sitting at our dining room table. She'd already signed the waiver (because I was only 17), and said "You're going.". At that was that. It's important that I note here, that I had already been on the run off & on for probably 3 & a half of my teen years. I started running from my Dad's home, and wound up 'invading' my Mom's. My point being, I could have simply said "F&%k that.", and bailed again. The 'Happy Ending' is that I did not just run again. I committed, and I went. And I served my whole 3 years (though... they couldn't wait to be rid of me when my time was up. LoLoL).

    BUT.. when my Mom was drinking, she was very generous. All of us kids knew that our best chance to get a few bucks ("or all the change in the bottom of my purse".. a fun game she used to play, when she was in that mood =), or permission from her to do something, was when she had a nice buzz on. EsPECially if she was at the local, small-town bar with her 'friends'.

    So... I just wondered ~ Is it just me? As I have been given to 'feed' most of my addictions for the majority of my life (especially my alcohol), am I 'generous' as a sub-conscious effort to assuage my guilt of being a drunk and a junkie? And is it to calm my OWN heart, and quell my feelings of guilt to myself, or am I inadvertently seeking forgiveness from my kids, and those around me who have been effected (affected??) by my addictions?? Is this 'side-effect' a common 'known' to addiction experts (and addicts, themselves), and I'm sadly just arriving way late to the party???

    Surely, I'm not alone in this question. I've sat at my share of tables, and I've certainly noticed that some drunks and junkies... are among the smartest, and most dynamic people out there. As we all know, addiction knows no barriers, acknowledges no boundaries... and certainly makes no exceptions. An equal opportunity 'disease', addiction fails to recognize race, gender, religion, sexual-orientation, political affiliations, color, profession, geographic location, or social class... and it definitely doesn't give a chit if you're super 'nice'... or overly generous.

    Chicken or the egg??

    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  2. JamesF

    JamesF Well-Known Member

    The idea that addicts/alcoholics are consumed by guilt is not entirely true. What we usually feel most is regret and shame (i.e. I wish I hadn't done that stupid stuff). Not exactly the same thing. We mostly don't like facing the consequences of our less than brilliant actions; damaged relationships, lost jobs, blown money, etc.

    A lot of times we spend too much money for a simple reason, we're wasted. When people get high they don't make great decisions. Addicts are notoriously irresponsible with money. Spending money you don't have is more foolish than generous. We also spend money trying to "people please." Why...low self-esteem. We're trying to buy people's affection or approval. That's mostly selfishness.

    A lot of the time we look at ourselves as basically good folks who drink and use a little too much. The truth is our character defects are what drive our drinking and drugging in the first place. We're selfish, emotionally immature and manipulative in many of our dealings with others. The good news is...we don't have to stay that way. That's the difference between "real" recovery and just being clean.

    You know what they say, "the truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off." In addiction, the only things you stand a chance of changing are those things you face head-on.
  3. JamesF

    JamesF Well-Known Member

    I think I get you just fine. I just didn't realize what you were fishing for. Maybe next time, instead of asking for feedback, you should just say you want people to tell you what you want to hear. I'm sorry, but that just seemed like the reason for your post.

    I was talking about addicts in general, including myself. If you're not an addict, my mistake. Or maybe you're an addict with nothing but heroic character traits. If so, my hat is off to you.
  4. darkrosaleen

    darkrosaleen Well-Known Member

    I'm no hero, but I can definately relate to what you're saying. The accumulation of money doesn't interest me at all. As long as I have a little coming in, I have always been a giver. Not only money either. When I did my steps, I realized that I was a hopeless people pleaser, always ingratiating myself to others. However I have never regretted being generous to anyone, still am to this day, with no expectations of anything. I don't see anything wrong with it. I feel worse if I just walk on by.
  5. RunTheMachine

    RunTheMachine Well-Known Member

    Wow ( a different kind of "wow". LoLoL)

    THANK you, darkro. =) I really appreciate you saying that you have no regrets, and that you'd feel worse just walking by. I'm the same way, and always have been.

    It's funny, too, when you say you expect nothing in return... that's ALSO me, and I think people sometimes look sideways at me, because they think I DO expect something back! With kind of a ".. uh, okay. What's in it for YOU??" attitude. LoL.

    But, I think James is right on when he says it's ultimately selfish... because I really do do it for me. I definitely 'get something' from the giving, and so I guess I really do it for myself, ya know??

  6. Living Free

    Living Free Well-Known Member

    G - dont know what your first post was about ....im ascertaining that you were saying something about how you give to others to a fault possibly? and if this was a trait shared by addicts? Co-dependency is a big "condition" among addicts and their significant others/family members/friends close to them. Our "good deeds" are not necessarily born out of malicious and manipulating intent. Many times its done out of trying to make some stability and keep people happy and around because our lives had/have been unstable and no one permanent in them (a lot of the times due to our own selfishness). Dont know if this helps but I do have a thread in Friends/Family about Co-dependency.....and could be something that you share with your spouse as Im sure her enablement of your addiction is within the realm of co-dependent behavior. Hoping youre ok at the lake and that you are really looking further than today with where the pills and alcohol will/have taken you.
  7. RunTheMachine

    RunTheMachine Well-Known Member


    I did permanently pull my nasty posts, and I'm still leaving out the one with the long-winded story (although, again, interesting reading... I think.).

    And in the future, I'll leave the sniping to PMs. You just never know what post, what thought, what word may 'hit home' for someone, or cause them to consider something that maybe they hadn't.. and help them find something within themselves that could turn the tide in their recovery. Bringing arguments and chittiness to a thread that is open for public consumption, is surely of no benefit to anyone (and could actually cause a newcomer to think "Huh? WTF?? I feel bad enough already... I certainly don't need to be involved in hostile or combative environment!!").

    Love and respect,


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