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