Everything I Need To Know In Life - I Learned From A Addict. - Penny Lane Blog at Allrecipes.com - 185280

Penny Lane

Everything I need to know in life - I learned from a Addict. 
Jul. 12, 2010 4:33 pm 
Updated: Aug. 5, 2010 2:38 pm
This is a true story – the names have been changed – other than that – this is “our” story in tolerance and acceptance.
The lessons I learned from her – through her and because of her are an invaluable part of who I am today.

A Recipe for a Good Life.
Christy is a recovering addict, emotionally disturbed and low IQ (Meth will do that to you), came with a diagnosis of bipolar with psychotic features, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder and "persistent cognitive disorganization". With this set of problems comes a level of self-centerness that you'd have to see to believe - not selfishness, self-centeredness. She quite often simply could not look outside herself and her own personal drama.

As you can imagine, life with Christy was a real trip. She couldn't cope with NA or AA at all at first, and then was able only to go with her security blanket, me. I did 90 meetings in 90 days and weekly thereafter. When it came to me I just said, "Hi, I'm family" and was accepted. She couldn't cope with therapy alone, so I sat in the corner there as well.

Interesting things happen when you observe the extremes. Living with Christy was living with everything exaggerated. Her fears, her likes, her habits - everything. She had no filter. If she thought it – it was out of her mouth.

Through this experience I learned or re-learned a whole lot of things. The 12 step crowd makes an art of self-examination and correction. I use things that I learned from a room full of addicts every day. I also say "re-learned" because my mother taught me these things a whole long time ago. We just forget them because we get caught up in our own egos and the roller coaster of life.

1 - Nobody can fight with someone who won't fight back. Therefore, if you don't want to fight - don't.

2 - Tantrums are a bid for attention. If you don't want the tantrum, don't reward it with attention.

3 - You can't control other people - what they think and say, or how they act. You can only control how you respond.
No response is an option.

4 - Having the last word, if it's not a good word, is just being the last jerk.

5 - You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. It is entirely possible to be assertive, even demanding, while still being a courteous adult. You can even express a whole boat load of frustration with dignity. If you want your message heard, keep attention on the message and not on your delivery.

6 - Extreme anger has more to do with the person feeling anger than the issue to which it is attached. This one I didn't learn from my Mother - I learned it from the recovery crowd, Christy's therapist, her psychiatrist, etc. If something makes you jumping up and down mad, something that is just not that important in the scheme of your life, it's time to look at your life.

Anger hurts - physically. The person most hurt by anger is the angry person. High blood pressure, lowered immune response... It's pretty well documented.

When we post over-the-top anger we volunteer to ramp up those ill effects for ourselves. It's not a stretch that the flamer intends to inflict that on the target, which is childish at best. Worst of all, at least some of this anger spills over onto other readers, who just set out to read what sounded like an interesting thread. Even when you discipline yourself to click away, move on, etc - there's still that little zing, 'cause none of us is actually Buddha.

7 - Making amends will free your soul. An apology, when appropriate, is the gentle art of forgiving yourself for a misstep, redefining yourself as the person you wish to be, and inviting others to view you as your best self.

8 - An apology with a "but" attached is not so much an apology.

9 - Measure twice, cut once. Hmmm - on this forum I would rephrase as "Read three times, draft twice, post once". We've all done it, myself included - read something and smashed off a reply without taking the time to understand the question, check whether we're reading things in that are not there, etc.

10 - Other people's points of view are valid. Just because you don't agree doesn't make them automatically wrong. Just because their post has some anger, doesn't mean the premise is invalid.

11 - Two wrongs still don't make a right. Responding to a post you think is rude with one that's also rude is just extra rudeness.

The good news - amends are always an option! Really. A sincere apology is phenomenally freeing. Entire nations have had wars, called a truce, helped each other rebuild and become friends.

In this forum, we have the ability to post an apology. If you started a thread, you have the ability to remove the entire thread. If have a blog - you want to salvage part of it, copy and paste works nicely. You can use humor to dowse flames. You can have yourself seen as a real person by posting your name ("Hi, I'm Penny and I'm a AR aholic). You can refrain from posting at all. You can choose to stop reading further posts in a thread. You can answer questions in a post without engaging in battle.

The vast majority of participants on this forum are respectful of others the majority of the time. There have been many fine examples of people stepping into the middle of a virtual bar fight and diffusing, redirecting, etc. Kudos to you. I have seen people ask for prayers and receive them. I have seen people go the extra mile to help other members of our great big “kitchen”.

For those who continue to choose to engage in battle I say this - If Christy could learn to get along in this world, so can you.

Seen as this is a cooking site ....if you really need a recipe to smooth the soul - go make some bread.

Jul. 12, 2010 4:39 pm
And bake bread I will- you taught me a lot. You are one of the biggest benefits I gained when I found the recipe exchange! Hugs to you- beautifully said!
Jul. 12, 2010 4:40 pm
I love it and you are so right. Thank you for posting baking nana! You are one of the many I come on here due to. Thank you.
Jul. 12, 2010 4:42 pm
Well said. Mag
Jul. 12, 2010 4:45 pm
LOVE IT! Beautifully written and so terribly true. We do often for get these lessons we learned, especially over the internet where the written word is all there is. without inflection in your voice your message can be horribly miss understood and unfortunately it happens more often than not as of late.
Jul. 12, 2010 4:45 pm
Thank you Kathleen. You are a blessing to me and to AR. :)
Jul. 12, 2010 4:47 pm
It breaks my heart to hear the sniping between the people of "Our Kitchen" This is a great place. Hugs to you all and happy baking.
Jul. 12, 2010 4:47 pm
Bravo Baking Nana!! Nicely written...may it seep in where it needs to. I am baking rolls tonight. Your bread looks delish!
Jul. 12, 2010 4:49 pm
Thanks Noemi - bake away and remember you can't control others responses...you only have control of your own. :-) Take the High Road.
Jul. 12, 2010 4:56 pm
I totaly agree and think your blog is a great reminder. I hope you don't mind but I just printed it off. There are a few people in my life that I would like to share it with.
B L 
Jul. 12, 2010 5:01 pm
Baking Nana, thanks for a great blog. I have spent some time in AA/Al-anon due to a family member's addiction and I could not agree more. There are lots of life lessons going on around those places. Not to mention tolerance. I learned that almost anyone could benefit from a good Al-anon meeting, whether they have an addict in their life or not, there is a lot of wisdom to be found. Blessings to you :)
Jul. 12, 2010 5:03 pm
Iceemam - copy and paste away - these are lessons to be shared.
Jul. 12, 2010 5:04 pm
B L - AA and Alanon are great programs with wonderful lessons for life for everyone. Pass it along. Acceptance is the hardest lesson of all.
Jul. 12, 2010 5:07 pm
Timely, yes! Now, if we can just heed the advice! Said to myself, "If the shoe fits, wear it!"
Jul. 12, 2010 5:14 pm
It's rather sad this "reminder" needs to be posted, but it was posted well. I am one who has been attacked more than my fair share, and the few times I responded, it was generally when my very character was personally attacked or when I thought someone innocent was taking a brunt because of another poster's pathetic hatred of me. I don't regret any of the few times I did reply, and I don't regret the dozens(and dozens ;) of times I DIDN'T reply. I will say, though, that it is much easier to write about things like this when you aren't on the receiving end. :) Also, the "She's always been so nice to me, I guess I missed the drama" statement gets a lil old, too... just because you didn't see it doesn't mean it didn't happen. It's fine to treat people the way they treat you, but to scold others for having an issue with being treated badly or hurtful that you don't know about or didn't see, is a bit unfair. Good to see ya Baking Nana. :)
Jul. 12, 2010 5:21 pm
Keni: One thing I have learned is that if I know I am right or correct, there is no need to defend myself or my stance on a subject. Clarity. I am a soccer referee - yell all you want, throw a tantrum it won't effect me if "I know I am right". As for defending others - I will with the same guidelines - but to be honest, most adults are capable of defending their own beliefs....I don't need to do it for them.
Jul. 12, 2010 5:22 pm
Very well said. The DH is a very good bread baker, but hasn't in a very long time. Perhaps I can convince him that he needs to "soothe his soul."
Jul. 12, 2010 5:23 pm
*** I want to say - that I am a huge advocate of defending children and I would go to battle for a child...but online, an adult - no, I don't think so. There are bigger fish to fry. :-)
Jul. 12, 2010 5:24 pm
Thanks Sueb - I think we have all worn "that shoe". :)
Jul. 12, 2010 5:28 pm
Like I said, I don't regret the few times I did speak up and, under those same circumstances, I likely would, again, but most of the times I didn't...and, at some points it was on a daily basis. I just let it all go and went about my business. That, I would, and will, also do, again. :) And, I defend children for a living, so that's a given...no need to clarify that. :)
Jul. 12, 2010 5:39 pm
I sure wish this blog just had a Thanks button. I understand Keni - thank you.
Jul. 12, 2010 5:50 pm
it has these ♥ ♥ ♥
Jul. 12, 2010 5:51 pm
Thanks, Baking Nana.
Jul. 12, 2010 6:02 pm
Hugs Baking Nana!!! I've been thirsting for the voice of reason. Thank you!!! ♥
Jul. 12, 2010 6:11 pm
Thanks for posting Baking Nana! You've been a great friend and encouragement for me here.
Jul. 12, 2010 6:11 pm
On the exchange I mean :)
Jul. 12, 2010 6:12 pm
wow...i got 'goose bumps'...i so understand what u r saying...it was a great blog to read and understand...i know someone in a recovery program and it really hits home sometime...anyhow...thanks so very much for the blog...i am going to try and cut and paste it to save...i would like to share it with some of my non-ar friends and family...again many thanks...
Jul. 12, 2010 6:13 pm
Love the post. Thank you for sharing it! :)
Jul. 12, 2010 6:26 pm
Thank you!
Jul. 12, 2010 6:28 pm
Very well done! Very well indeed!
Jul. 12, 2010 6:31 pm
Baking Nana, I love your post and you are so right on. I also have family members who I attended Alanon for and can speak from experience that it is a very good organization. I still have friends who are in AA who have benefited greatly from it. Thanks again for your wise words!!......Ginny
Jul. 12, 2010 6:31 pm
Thanks you all. LS and Nicole - I have missed you both so much. Smitty - please, copy and paste away Mominator and Jenwee99 - glad you stopped in to say hi and thank you both. :) I have missed you guys!
Jul. 12, 2010 6:32 pm
gini - AA = a good recipe for life, addict or not. There is a lot to be learned.
Jul. 12, 2010 7:49 pm
Wonderful blog! These are all rules we need to live by. Thanks for the reminder.
Jul. 12, 2010 7:52 pm
Everyone should have to read through the above 'rules for getting along in life' before being able to hit 'post' on a public forum. Thanks for the refreshing reminder.
Jul. 12, 2010 8:26 pm
Pam and CC - thank you...you two's both posts and pictures on the RE are some of the pleasures in life!
Jul. 12, 2010 8:33 pm
Great blog, I appear to not be on much but I'm here pretty much everyday. I used to participate more but found that the drama gets to be too much. When I stand back and watch it I can see how ridiculous most of it is. When I have gotten involved I can understand how people feel attacked, and I know I've said some not so polite things in anger myself. It's always said over and over again, just stay out of it, if a "troll" leaves a nasty comment we all need to just ignore it. Yes, even if they are attacking someone...it's the response that starts the fight (we always tell our children that it takes TWO people to fight) If you don't engage there is no fight.
Jul. 12, 2010 8:40 pm
BN, thank you for being the voice of reason and one of the most loved members here. Here's hoping that all is well in your home right now.
Jul. 12, 2010 8:43 pm
Goose - you are one of the first people I remember from AR /RE....glad you are still around! Nothing on here really effects my life - not directly - not unless I let it. I take the good and leave the rest.
Jul. 12, 2010 9:13 pm
Avon: thank you. I still remember the coffee pot discussion - this is a great big "kitchen". hugs to you.
Jul. 12, 2010 9:23 pm
Oh my gosh, BN.....I can't believe I forgot to tell you that for Mother's Day I got the same pot you did! DeLonghi's 12C. Auto everything except the dishes.......I love it!
Jul. 12, 2010 9:31 pm
Ah, a breath of fresh air just wafted into our great big kitchen, and it smells of baking bread! What better! Thanks B'Nana!
Jul. 12, 2010 9:36 pm
You are welcome Good EatNZ - would like some tea too? With milk of course.
Jul. 12, 2010 9:43 pm
...and a shot of something stronger! LOL!
Jul. 12, 2010 10:22 pm
Good for you Avon....I love mine too! It was a great buy!
Jul. 12, 2010 10:28 pm
Nice job!
Jul. 12, 2010 10:34 pm
Thank you biker....I have actually been pondering this one for a while. We have had a lot of major upsets in our family lately - it puts it all in perspective.
Jul. 12, 2010 10:54 pm
Glad you are back and even more glad that your GD is on the mend. If I had to pick ONE valuable lesson I learned from AlAnon is was "How important is it?" And usually, when you think about it, the answer is not very.
Jul. 12, 2010 11:06 pm
Amen to that BSM - most things in life are minor it is good to put it all in perpective.
Jul. 13, 2010 5:11 am
BN: Thank you for posting this! So very well said. How true - most of us learned all of this way back when we were little from our parents, but many of us must have forgotten. How sad. Your #3 is so very important and I really never learned that one until I was a married adult and my husband did some very "embarrassing" things. I thought I could never face some of our friends again, then a very dear friend of mine reminded me those were his actions, not mine. That probably saved my marriage. What he did was not illegal, just not "right". He eventually made it right and we've moved on. I enjoy AR and RE and try very hard not to get wrapped up in the drama. Everyone is entitled to their opinins, whether I agree with them or not. Thank you for a great blog!
Jul. 13, 2010 5:19 am
Thanks for your post, BN! Well stated.
Jul. 13, 2010 6:39 am
Thanks Baking Nana-wish I had read this before I got upset yesterday. You are right on so many levels and I should have hit the floor and done some yoga rather than shoot my mouth yesterday. If my mini rant caused anyone to leave, well then I guess I am guilty of running someone off. I will keep your blog in mind for the future-going to do my yoga right now-thanks again:)
Jul. 13, 2010 7:00 am
redneck gramma - thanks for posting. I have been thinking & working on this blog for a long time. It was your post that spurred me to action. So see, some good did come out of it. :>
Jul. 13, 2010 7:20 am
Love it!
Jul. 13, 2010 7:32 am
God Bless....
Jul. 13, 2010 7:35 am
Well done.
Jul. 13, 2010 7:44 am
Well I appreciate everything you wrote, how sad that it has to be posted to remind others basic common courtesy. Great stuff, Baking Nana (and bless you for being a ref; I hung up my coaching cleats a couple of years ago and haven't looked back!)!
Jul. 13, 2010 7:44 am
*While*....not *well*
Jul. 13, 2010 8:18 am
Hi baking nana. I have never posted on any of the blogs that I read and have only posted on the re a couple of time. With that being said this blog is very good advice for anyone. In AA or NA or not. I learned all of these lessons the hard way. I am in a out patient rehab with nine months clean on the 24th. Only have two meetings left and then I am done. Going there taught me a lot of these lessons, just sad that it took me so long to get there. But atleast I have them now. Once again great rules to live by for anyone and God bless.
Jul. 13, 2010 8:35 am
Great blog, Baking Nana. You hit the nail right on the head. Also, yes, AA and NA are filled with people learning a new way of life. Congrats to kellie81!!!
Jul. 13, 2010 8:40 am
Very nice blog. I totally agree with you. Perception is everything and just because something is right for you doesn't mean that it's right for everyone else. And just because something is right for everyone else does not mean it's right for you. I have learned to become more and more tolerant and learned that it's okay that not everyone believes/feels the same way I do. How boring life would be if everything had the same thoughts and feelings.
Jul. 13, 2010 8:59 am
Kellie81 - Congratulations to you on 9 months clean! One thing I have learned is that we are never really "done" just like life sobriety is an on going process. There was a time when I thought that the day would come when I would be complete - at 54 I now know that we are always a work in progress.
Jul. 13, 2010 9:00 am
Crikkitt - so true - life would be terribly boring if we were all the same.
Jul. 13, 2010 9:02 am
I never comment on blogs, but this was so beautifully said that I am going to steal the steps and post them on Facebook. We need them.
Jul. 13, 2010 9:07 am
Crazyskates - copy and paste away!
Jul. 13, 2010 9:09 am
Yes I was very suprised to learn that it is much harder to not drink now then at the very beginning. You think you are "fixed" and can handle it. I have learned when I have those day's to just do something with my kids (now that school is out) or some me time and thing about why I feel the need to drink and what about the situation I feel I can't handle sober. I have realised I love life and feel much better with out drinking.
Jul. 13, 2010 9:14 am
Good for you kellie! I am so happy for you. Isn't it nice to feel the joy inside that makes you want to smile? High Five to you!
Jul. 13, 2010 9:18 am
Thank you Baking Nana. Yes it is very nice to feel the joy inside and realise I made that happen all by myself.
Jul. 13, 2010 9:21 am
Sorry and also thank you Lace
Jul. 13, 2010 9:26 am
Good for you, kellie81!! You are an inspiration.
Jul. 13, 2010 11:28 am
Excellent blog, Baking Nana! I do agree it's a shame it was necessary, but I hope everyone takes away something positive from reading it. Even if the readers weren't a part of the recent drama, these are wonderful lessons that can be applied in all aspects of life. Thanks for writing this! And congratulations to kellie81! Keep up the good work!!
Jul. 13, 2010 11:32 am
Thanks Keri - It is a good recipe for life - sometimes we all need a reminder when things start going nuts. LOL :>
Jul. 13, 2010 11:49 am
clap,clap,clap.....That's all I wanted to post, but I realized it might sound sarcastic rather than sincere and didn't want to chance it. And, no fair that you don't look like my grandma.
Jul. 13, 2010 12:25 pm
Thanks for the comment and the compliment Linda.
Jul. 13, 2010 10:30 pm
Thank you Baking Nana, wonderful blog.hearts&;
Jul. 13, 2010 10:31 pm
the heart never works for me lol but I hope you understood ;D
Jul. 13, 2010 10:35 pm
KSAZA - I can't manage to do those hearts on a regular basis either. Thanks!
Jul. 15, 2010 9:30 am
great story , it makes alot of sence , thank u
Jul. 15, 2010 11:19 am
Thanks Pat - I thank you for stopping by.
Jul. 15, 2010 9:12 pm
Thanks for this. I wish I was able to read it before I posted my last blog lol. Thank you though for opening up my eyes. Will miss you guys!! But you can catch me at www.ourcouponhome.com screen name is still the same as here. Take care loves!!
Jul. 15, 2010 9:32 pm
Amber - stop in and see us - those that are left...sigh. Best of luck to you.
Jul. 15, 2010 10:25 pm
Baking Nana- I agree- too many good people are leaving. This blog is a good reminder for all of us about how we should treat each other. Thank you for posting it.
Jul. 15, 2010 10:50 pm
Wise words Nana. Mine are not new but I always try and count to 10 before I say anything in anger, it really diffuses you sometimes. And I always say "A 100 years from now we'll all be dead, does it REALLY matter"?
Jul. 16, 2010 4:25 am
Thanks for the posting Nana..well put. You know I had some recent drama on my blog...I was taken back at the biting comments and sad that this wonderful "Kitchen" community had to go there. I have been the recipient of so many blessings and prayers through my blog..especially when my Dad was dying..these are the people that really define this community. I will continue to blog, I now know I have a a delete comment button which can help put out some potential fires if need be. Thanks for your uplifting remarks.
Jul. 16, 2010 7:05 am
Dave - You are so right, Does it really matter? CoCoJo - this is a great big wonderful Kitchen - just like real family their are a few with a biting tongue...that is life. The delete button is great - no such tool available in real life!
Jul. 16, 2010 10:32 am
Wonderful blog! I frequent the exchange on a daily basis and have kept my nose clean so far. There are times I do want to defend or retort but I try and remember that life is too short....am I really going to feel any better after I've said what I need to say? More often than not the answer is no so I move on. I'd rather make friends then lose them. I am definitely printing out this blog and keeping it as a reminder. Thank you Baking Nana!!
Jul. 16, 2010 10:47 am
You are welcome K-Dub.
Jul. 16, 2010 3:02 pm
Great great great blog. Thank you so much.
Jul. 16, 2010 3:41 pm
Thanks Skoo.
Jul. 25, 2010 6:01 pm
Just read this. Great life lessons BN. Thanks.
Jul. 28, 2010 10:21 pm
DesertOlive - thanks so much for stopping by and thanks for your kind comment.
Aug. 2, 2010 7:34 am
Wow, excellent article you have written
Aug. 3, 2010 1:04 pm
Ditto on the well said. Sometimes life hands you things that you didn't know you were prepared for. I woke up in a hospital bed last June to find that I had been three for three weeks. Take one day at a time and be satisfied to do the best you can for that day. Ditto on the Hugs too. I pray that you are given strength and friends who help you through each day!
Aug. 5, 2010 2:38 pm
Kcautela & Kim - Thanks so much for stopping by and for leaving your kind comments. Kim - An experience like you had must make you appreciate each day a little more. That old saying "Life is too short....." So very true. :-)
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Baking Nana

Living In
Corona, California, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2009

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Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Quick & Easy

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About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive! Visit me at BakingNana.com If you would like to contact me directly please use the 'Contact Me' on my site. http://bakingnana.com/contact-me/
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
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