Abstinence from Neglecting any Mess Dec 7, 2009 19:06:46 GMT -5 creativechaos, hiding, and 1 more like this Quote Select PostDeselect PostLink to PostBack to Top Post by CourageouslyLion SeeksSerenity on Dec 7, 2009 19:06:46 GMT -5 Abstinence from Neglecting any MessPart 1 of 5Dear Friends,This is a five-part post.My original post ... plus 4 replies to myself.It was too much to say in all one post.But ... ultimately, it is all one thought.It's really long, so you may want to read it in sections. Sorry about that. But ... it's my thought process.In some ways, I'm just writing my process, for me. I don't require any reply.If you want to reply, wait until you've reached the end ... as ... it really is all one thought. Hint: You'll know you've reached the end when you see me ask ..."What do you think?"I asked myself "What is abstinence from squaloring?"To get the answer, I looked at a passage from an old book, and then adapted it, as follows:The following is an adaptation of 12-Step ideas, but I'm NOT trying to "convert" anyone to the 12 Steps.I respect the fact that the 12-Step system is not everyone's cup of tea.I also know that the "addiction model" does not fit every squalorer. So therefore, I've changed the wording, by substituting: MANY squalorers instead of EVERY alcoholic.and by referring to squalorers as "habitual squalorers"instead of as "compulsive squalorers".Here's why I'm writing this:I'm just using the following writing as a METAPHOR for what I'm feeling/experiencing.I've never used alcohol. But I have bad habits. So I sometimes read the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous and adapt it for my own "issues".I read a passage in an A.A. book ... and it prompted me to THINK.I will give the passage here ...I give my conclusions in the post that follows after the passage.The following is an ADAPTED quote fromthe Big Book of Alcoholics AnonymousNOTE: this is from the non-copyright First EditionI have substituted: "messiness"instead of "drinking" "many habitual squalorers"instead of "every alcoholic" "the first neglected mess/spill/pile/junk"instead of "the first drink" "neglecting even one mess and/or clinging to even one useless item"instead of "taking even one glass of beer" "to neglect messes or to cling to items"instead of "to drink" "pounded on the corner of the cluttered table"instead of "pounded on the bar" "I'll deal with the mess ... in a few days"instead of "I'll stop with the sixth drink"I also substituted: "higher power" instead of "God"and "for goodness sake" instead of "for God's sake". "she/he" instead of "he" "our brother and sister human beings" instead of "our fellows"Note: "higher power" or "power greater than oneself" is that which inspires you to become a better person, and is personally defined by each person. This can be a spiritual source ... or the wisdom of others in recovery. Whatever it means to you.If you object to the word "spiritual", you may substitute "inspirational".THERE IS A SOLUTIONFrom:The Big Book of Alcoholics AnonymousThe Chapter entitled "There is a Solution"Pages 24-25NOTE: Adapted from the non-copyright First EditionBig Book text (adapted for squalorers) follows:At a certain point in the messiness career of many habitual squalorers, they pass into a state where the most powerful desire to stop being messy is of absolutely no avail. This tragic situation has already arrived in practically every case long before it is suspected.The fact is that many habitual squalorers, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in messiness. Our so-called will power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first neglected mess/pile/spill/junk.The almost certain consequences that follow neglecting even one mess and/or clinging to even one useless item ... do not crowd into the mind to deter us. If these thoughts occur, they are hazy and readily supplanted with the old threadbare idea that this time we shall handle ourselves like other people.There is a complete failure of the kind of defense that keeps a person from putting her/his hand on a hot stove. The squalorer may say to herself/himself in the most casual way, "It won't burn me this time, so here's how!"Or perhaps she/he doesn't think at all.How often have some of us begun to neglect messes or cling to items ... in this nonchalant way, and after the third or fourth time, pounded on the corner of the cluttered table and said to ourselves, "For goodness sake, how did I ever lapse again?"Only to have that thought supplanted by "Well, I'll deal with the mess ... in a few days." Or "What's the use anyhow?"When this sort of thinking is fully established in an individual with squalorous tendencies, she/he might eventually place herself/himself beyond human aid. The situation might progress to the point that, unless she/he is removed from her home, she may die buried in a pile of stuff or frozen in an unheated home ... or lose her/his sanity. These stark and ugly facts have been experienced by many hidden yet severe squalorers throughout history. But for the grace of Higher Power, there would have been thousands more hidden tragedies.So many want to change but cannot.There is a solution.Almost none of us liked the self-searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation. But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it. When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet.We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.The great fact is just this, and nothing less: That we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward life, toward our brother and sister human beings, and toward the universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Higher Power has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. Higher Power has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves.If you are as seriously messy as we were, we believe there is no middle-of-the-road solution. We were in a position where life was becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region from which there is no return through human aid, we had but two alternatives: One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept spiritual help. This we did because we honestly wanted to, and were willing to make the effort.End quoteOther than the minor word substitutions that I outlined earlier (substituting squalorer for alcoholic, etc) ... the above text is exactly the way it was written in 1939 for A.A.(non-copyright First Edition)Exception:I had to completely rewrite one paragraph, as follows:Original from Big Book of AA:When this sort of thinking is fully established in an individual with alcoholic tendencies, he has probably placed himself beyond human aid, and unless locked up, may die or go permanently insane. These stark and ugly facts have been confirmed by legions of alcoholics throughout history. But for the grace of God, there would have been thousands more convincing demonstrations. So many want to stop but cannot.my edited version for squalorers:When this sort of thinking is fully established in an individual with squalorous tendencies, she/he might eventually place herself/himself beyond human aid. The situation might progress to the point that, unless she/he is removed from her home, she/he may die buried in a pile of stuff or frozen in an unheated home ... or lose her/his sanity. These stark and ugly facts have been experienced by many hidden yet severe squalorers throughout history. But for the grace of a Higher Power, there would have been thousands more hidden tragedies. So many want to change but cannot.