Addictions Anonymous 30: The Way to Be, Part Two
This article belongs to Addictions Anonymous column.
(Continued from Chapter 29.)
I remind the reader who may be studying these choices that I have not announced my own preference in terms of which of the choices, A or B, I think is most appropriate to a mature and normal way of thinking. You may guess what they are, but the important part is to see where you fall on each choice and whether or not you think you might want to work on one or more. It is for the reader to decide which of the beliefs will help to ease or avoid problems depression and addiction.
Area III: Social Style
As recovering alcoholics sometimes say, We don't have relationships, we take hostages. Compared to average people, addicted clients appear to show a different set of social expectations, social goals, social needs, and social beliefs. The next 15 items, numbers 27 through 41, contrast what may be considered to be mature as opposed to immature social values.
27. A. I warm up to others easily.
B. I am a very shy person.
28. A. I know how to get what I need from others without too much trouble.
B. I never seem to get what I need without going to extremes.
29. A. Many laws are unfair and should be ignored when possible.
B. Overall, I respect our legal system.
30. A. I enjoy helping others.
B. People seem to make too many demands on me.
31. A. I feel a strong commitment to make major changes in my life.
B. I will go on petty much as I have and make small changes if necessary.
32. A. I need to learn more about myself.
B. I know myself pretty well.
33. A. The idea of living alone frightens me.
B. I could live alone without too much difficulty.
34. A. I really prefer to be among people like myself.
B. I usually feel comfortable among different types of people.
35. A. I try to keep an open mind to suggestions.
B. I find that my way usually works best for me.
36. A. I am not comfortable if I try to hide the truth.
B. I am content to tell people only what they need to hear.
37. A. Help others and you help yourself.
B. Take care of yourself first before you try to help others.
38. A. Democracy works, it just takes time and effort.
B. People don't know what they need; strong leadership is essential.
39. A. In some situations it is necessary to let go and hope for the best.
B. I hate to lose control of any situation.
40. A. I am a team player for whatever job needs doing.
B. I prefer to work alone on any job.
41. A. It does not pay to admit errors or confess a weakness.
B. I am a person who can't hide a mistake or wait to correct it.
Area IV: Ego Development
The immaturity of the addiction-prone individual refers to having attitudes, values, and beliefs somewhat characteristic of children. This developmental handicap is best observed in the area self or ego structure. The word ego, as used in everyday speech, often refers to an undesirable characteristic, that of egotism. Ego strength, on the other hand, as used in psychology, refers to internal strength and has been called the glue that holds personality together. The final 24 items, numbers 42 through 65, attempt to evaluate weak vs. strong ego strength. Included are such areas as accurate feelings of power and personal control, self-esteem, sense of personal responsibility, feelings of being special, etc.
42. A. I seem to direct and plan my life myself.
B. My life seems to be directed by people and events beyond my control.
43. A. I am often disorganized, impulsive and suggestible.
B. I am pretty good at making plans and sticking to them.
44. A. Things would be much better if others had not let me down.
B. I am responsible for where I am in life right now.
45. A. I have problems with people who think they know it all.
B. I will listen to anyone who knows more about something than I.
46. A. Sometimes I feel so hopeless I don't care about anything anymore.
B. I have problems, but things will work out well eventually.
47. A. There are many things that science will never explain.
B. Science usually gets to the truth about most things eventually.
48. A. I need immediate results.
B. Patience is one of my strong points.
49. A. I seldom think before acting.
B. I am not easily thrown off course.
50. A. I am not easily persuaded by salesmen.
B. I am too eager to please others.
51. A. I often feel a little embarrassed when someone praises me.
B. I seem to crave compliments and recognition.
52. A. Things that frustrate me today could lead to big rewards tomorrow.
B. I see no point in denying myself life's little pleasures.
53. A. I trust almost no one and have little faith.
B. There are certain people and ideas in which I have great faith.
54. A. I am pretty much the same person I have always been.
B. My personality always seems to be changing with experience.
55. A. I tolerate pain pretty well.
B. Doctors never seem to appreciate my complaints.
56. A. I've had my share of misery and want my turn at a good life.
B. Overall, life has been pretty good to me.
57. A. I would rather hear the truth about myself even if it hurts.
B. I tend to get very angry over insults and rejections.
58. A. I try very hard to get things to fit into patterns I can understand.
B. Changing the way I look at things often helps me get along in life.
59. A. Doctors seem to be too stingy in the use of pain medications.
B. Pain often carries an important message about how the body is working.
60. A. I would really like to be just an average and normal kind of person.
B. I do not want to settle for being just an average and normal person.
61. A. I have accomplished little and recognition would be a mistake.
B. I am comfortable with my achievements and the recognition they bring.
62. A. Sometimes alcohol and other drugs help one to feel more in control.
B. My control of life would decrease if I used alcohol or drugs.
63. A. I generally feel at home in my body and comfortable within myself.
B. At times I have felt distant from myself, like watching from outside.
64. A. My behavior sometimes takes on an automatic or machine-like quality.
B. I have always felt very much in control of my actions.
65. A. Parts my life are hard to remember and seem very far away and strange.
B. I see my life as a single and continuous flow of events.
Well, hopefully a chance to examine your beliefs and attitudes can get you started in the habits of self-inventory and productive changes. At least, you have some material for interesting group discussions.