Free at last, free at last!

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chefchip
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Free at last, free at last!

Post by chefchip » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:26 am

(With apologies to Martin Luther King...... 8))

About 30 minutes ago, I hit the last confirmation button to delete my Facebook account. I am posting this fact here because it is completely and entirely the fault of AA and The Steps that I have done this.

You see.... I have a rather persistent and troubling character defect. I can not leave well enough alone. I read stupid things that are in no way important or relevant and I can't resist responding. Responding, of course, is a mild term. It would be better to say that I can't resist posting my completely honest but devestating rebuttal of the stupid things that are being said, thereby destroying any chance that the other person will be able to respond in any way other than defensively. I point out the lunacy and utter illogic of the offender's stance.

I tried wording my FB posts in much the same way as I share my ESH, but that didn't work. I just ended up sounding weird and self-righteous in a non-recovery setting. I tried reading stuff and just ignoring it, but that only destroyed my serenity. I tried unfollowing/unfriending people, but I found I was doing that every day. I tried disabling all notifications from FB, so that I wouldn't be tempted to check in and see what was being said. I checked in compulsively anyway.

You see, in the end, Facebook is not the problem. The problem is me and my relationship with Facebook. I actually did an inventory of sorts and realized that Facebook and I are not good life partners. We have differing goals in life and we see the world in different ways. My relationship with Facebook is not a good thing, no matter what I want to think, or what others try to convince me of. So, I decided that Facebook and I needed to go our separate ways.

It is quite intriguing how good it felt to hit that final confirmation button. And it is troubling just how pervasive my compulsive tendencies seem to be. When do I get to be fixed? :roll:
The only constant in life is change.

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leejosepho
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Re: Free at last, free at last!

Post by leejosepho » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:21 am

The same kind of dilemma can exist even here "inside A.A.", but at least we have a way to survive it, eh?!
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

Layne
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Re: Free at last, free at last!

Post by Layne » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:46 am

chefchip wrote: it is troubling just how pervasive my compulsive tendencies seem to be. When do I get to be fixed? :roll:
Something in my intuition is holding me back from answering your question. Can't quite put my finger on it...Wait...Maybe this it
chefchip wrote: You see.... I have a rather persistent and troubling character defect. I can not leave well enough alone. I read stupid things that are in no way important or relevant and I can't resist responding. Responding, of course, is a mild term. It would be better to say that I can't resist posting my completely honest but devestating rebuttal of the stupid things that are being said, thereby destroying any chance that the other person will be able to respond in any way other than defensively. I point out the lunacy and utter illogic of the offender's stance.
Yeah, I think that might be it. :D :lol: :P .
¸.·´¯`·.¸¸><((((º> ¸.·´¯`·.¸¸><((((º>¸.·´¯`·.¸¸><((((º>¸.·´¯`·.¸¸><((((º>¸.·´¯`·.¸¸><((((º>¸.·´¯`·.¸¸><((((º>¸.·´¯`·.¸¸><((((º>

Layne
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Re: Free at last, free at last!

Post by Layne » Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:07 am

I have seen the same behavior pattern that you described thousands of times before. Typically it presents itself for discussion in the mornings, in the bathroom mirror. I am probably not the best "go to guy" for your answer because as is obvious..
chefchip wrote: You see.... I have a rather persistent and troubling character defect. I can not leave well enough alone.
I resemble that remark, so with that I am out (but I have my doubts about that). :~)

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Re: Free at last, free at last!

Post by Layne » Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:12 am

Layne wrote:so with that I am out (but I have my doubts about that). :~)
I know myself well.
chefchip wrote: You see, in the end, Facebook is not the problem.

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leejosepho
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Re: Free at last, free at last!

Post by leejosepho » Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:29 am

For myself, here is a great part of what makes even the jabs and cheap shots worthwhile and quite bearable...
Tracy h wrote:I sure learned a lot reading all this...
...I appreciate the intensity of the discussion.

http://www.e-aa.org/forum/viewtopic.php ... 30#p125423
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Niagara
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Re: Free at last, free at last!

Post by Niagara » Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:04 am

Sadly, facebook has a reinstate account button too. I know. I've hit it more than once. it's like a big red button, that says 'do not touch' on it...I just can't help myself. It' s like a nervous tic, or something.

God help me if I ever come across a real life big red button that says 'do not touch' on it. I'll probably cause a nuclear meltdown. :twisted:

Someone asked me in my earlier days in AA, if I would rather be right or be happy.....the answer is blatantly obvious. Both, of course ;)
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt

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leejosepho
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Re: Free at last, free at last!

Post by leejosepho » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:06 pm

Niagara wrote:Sadly, facebook has a reinstate account button too. I know. I've hit it more than once...

God help me if I ever come across a real life big red button that says 'do not touch' on it. I'll probably cause a nuclear meltdown. :twisted:
Same here on both counts. "Curiosity killed the cat" would be quite an understatement next to my "Just gotta know what will actually happen!"
Niagara wrote:Someone asked me in my earlier days in AA, if I would rather be right or be happy.....
I was never asked to chose, but it did not take long to realize being right was rather easy and yet both troublesome and never enough.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Spirit Flower
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Re: Free at last, free at last!

Post by Spirit Flower » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:23 pm

I am not on FB and never was.
...a score card reading zero...

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leejosepho
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Re: Free at last, free at last!

Post by leejosepho » Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:39 pm

Spirit Flower wrote:I am not on FB and never was.
Here is one description from someone I know:
...think of it as an online party at which you and 750 of your closest “friends” mill about a large and varied landscape, sharing random thoughts, ideas, opinions, pictures, videos, sayings or, simply, “I did this today” statements.

...a little bit storytelling, a little bit gossip, a lot passive-aggressive drama for the not-so-emotionally-intelligent, and, most times, just a fun, easy and visual way to stay connected with people — but at a safe distance.

I both immensely enjoy and greatly detest [it]. I am sure my DNA includes an affinity for “mass media and its ability to connect people,” so I’m just not able to shut [it] down, or even sure I should.
I had set up an account for helping to find some people where amends were due as well as a few others, and that worked. But overall, I almost never go there now because of the sensory overload I experience there.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Re: Free at last, free at last!

Post by avaneesh912 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:43 pm

When do I get to be fixed?
When we become the observer of our thoughts, we could pause and not be reactive. Sometimes, we do have to put some people on the naughtly list and ignore them, sometimes totally get out of the board, sometimes just be the observer of other posts and not react it. All is possible but it takes practice.

I was sharing with few of my close friends the other day. Given a topic, there will be others who have a different opinion, so, it will be a never ending task. I am told Buddha would remain silent when asked if God exist or not. He knew, people will argue with whatever he says.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: Free at last, free at last!

Post by chefchip » Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:18 am

Thanks, all. Interesting feedback and thoughts shared from experience.
I am told Buddha would remain silent when asked if God exist or not. He knew, people will argue with whatever he says.
Reading this resulted in an epiphany, of sorts. Lately, my meditation practice has been very different. Sort of like my first few months of learning to meditate, when I could not quiet my brain, when I could not just breathe and observe my thoughts as they came up. I have felt like I was regressing. :(

For now, this thought -- remain silent -- seems to be my challenge. Truly, I do not know how to do this. Or, rather, I DO know how, but I am unable to do so consistently. In a way, it is no different from my early days of sobriety. I knew, intellectually, what needed to be done. But I needed to take drastic measures, and to distance myself from places & people that I was not yet strong enough to endure (like bars). My current struggles are issues in my life, period -- Facebook is but a symptom. And, no, I'm not comparing my current struggle to an addiction. But I am saying that what I need to do to overcome it is similar to what I had to do to "quit drinking."

I had to "leave" e-AA once for a similar reason. And I only came back once I was sure that I could follow the rules and respect the boundaries that were necessary for me to be able to participate effectively. I used to have a compulsion to post to every topic here. I used to feel an overwhelming need to jump to the defense of the program, or to correct what I perceived as "bad AA-thought," to set "wayward" people straight. In the past few weeks, I have found that compulsion to have vanished. I post if the topic reminds me of something that is "in my wheelhouse." Otherwise, I'm content to sit back and "listen."

Funny thing is that nothing with which I currently struggle in "real life" is new. These character defects have always been on my list -- things like arrogance, haughtiness, self-aggrandization, a need to be part of EVERY discussion, an inability to let things go, an unfounded assurance that I can change people/organizations over which I have no control. I don't know why this is all coming up now. But the fact remains that I'm starting to see that I need to do more than say a few quick prayers for this cup to pass from me. That isn't working any more, and I doubt it ever really worked before.

See? This isn't really about Facebook, is it? :wink: Thanks, again, for the feedback and positive reinforceent.
Chip
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Re: Free at last, free at last!

Post by avaneesh912 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:30 am

For now, this thought -- remain silent -- seems to be my challenge.
This awareness is awakening. I didn't come up with this. Eckhart Tolle says that. As we awaken, its like a pendulum, we go between consciousness and un-consciousness. By un-consciousness, he means, we remain identified with our mind/thought (like how am I going to respond to a post here or on facebook). Initially we remain more un-conscious and as awareness creeps in we shift more towards conscousness.

We could still state our opinion/experience and not be reactive. There are lot of videos on Youtube for meditation. Pick birds chirping, key in 15 minute meditation music, you will find tons of it. If you can do for 15 start with 5. Create space between 2 chirps or two pino note, dongs. Slowly increase it to 15. Or spread it throughout the day. Muslims pray 5 times a day, we can use some of those ideas in our lifes too.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: Free at last, free at last!

Post by Layne » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:58 am

chefchip wrote: When do I get to be fixed? :roll:
This would indicate that you are broken. Have you considered that the possibility that you are not broken, but merely the you that you are supposed to be. The question arises from the right fighter side of your personality.
chefchip wrote: I used to have a compulsion to post to every topic here. I used to feel an overwhelming need to jump to the defense of the program, or to correct what I perceived as "bad AA-thought," to set "wayward" people straight.
The right fighter is now focused on fixing you and setting your waywardness straight.The very nature of that side of your personality naturally wants to run the show. Your personality is not a character defect and cannot be removed. Just be
chefchip wrote: content to sit back and "listen."
You are the you, you are supposed to be. Work with what you got.

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Re: Free at last, free at last!

Post by leejosepho » Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:24 am

chefchip wrote:In a way, it is no different from my early days of sobriety...needed to take drastic measures, and to distance myself from places & people that I was not yet strong enough to endure...

I had to "leave" e-AA once for a similar reason.
I am trying to think back and recall the "why" of when I stopped posting about three years ago, and that does ultimately amount to the "spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us." (12&12, Step Ten)
I only came back once I was sure that I could follow the rules and respect the boundaries that were necessary for me to be able to participate effectively.
I have no trouble with any of the "rules", policies or standard practices here, and I can respect the fact that your mention or thoughts of "boundaries that were necessary for me to be able to participate effectively" and my own are likely not identical.
I used to have a compulsion to post to every topic here...

In the past few weeks, I have found that compulsion to have vanished.
Good deal!
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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