Does anyone else have this odd obsession?

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LauraWeare
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Does anyone else have this odd obsession?

Post by LauraWeare » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:48 am

At 28 years sober, I picked up a new obsession. Not something “normal,” like shopping, or sugar ... but a conspiracy theory which most Americans believe is totally wacko. I thought I had finished peeling the onion and had dealt with my low self-esteem and my fear of rejection. But this experience has showed me some new layers!

I presented it to my sponsor as an addiction problem. She told me to just drop it. Easier said than done! I imagined that she was judging and pitying me as if I were a crazy person. I tried to “enlighten” her about the truth of my theory. That of course was a disaster. Finally I just stopped talking to her, and I didn’t tell any of my other recovering friends about this for fear of getting the same reaction. For over two years, I have kept the secret and struggled with this alone.

After a lot of prayer, I have finally realized that the problem is NOT what people think of my political opinions. The real problem is how much I still rely on outside validation for my self-worth. I am seeing another 5th Step in my future. But I have to work up the courage to risk telling another person what I have been doing.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Re: Does anyone else have this odd obsession?

Post by Robert R » Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:24 am

Hi Laura, There is much in the world that is disagreeable to me. However all things pale into insignificance compared to the importance of my sobriety and the maintenance of a peaceful head.
I suggest turning to page 417 and read from "Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. . . ."
We are not omnipotent and can only fix ourselves or help those who reach out to us.
There are enough 'Don Quixote" characters in the world without me who are quite capable of tilting at windmills real or imagined. My primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
My faith will survive mans worst manifestations if I focus on my primary purpose.

Best wishes,
Robert
Don't know exactly where I am going but I'm on my way and it's already much better than where I've been.

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Tosh
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Re: Does anyone else have this odd obsession?

Post by Tosh » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:10 am

LauraWeare wrote:At 28 years sober, I picked up a new obsession. Not something “normal,” like shopping, or sugar ... but a conspiracy theory which most Americans believe is totally wacko.
In 'sobriety' I've had a few of these myself. Running, meditation, spiritual studies, history, photography - to name a few - where for a period of time I become obsessed by them. None of them has threatened to drag me into the gutter like my drinking did.

And not surprisingly when Bill W calls alcoholics 'all or nothing people', I'm quick to identify.

But I guess most people (not just alcoholics) have addictions, even watching the 'idiot box' (TV) for eight hours a day.

My suggestion would be to keep on trudging with Steps 10, 11, and 12 (assuming you've done the first nine) and just be patient.

And get yourself some spandex and running shoes and get pounding the pavements. :lol:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Brock
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Re: Does anyone else have this odd obsession?

Post by Brock » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:15 am

I am seeing another 5th Step in my future. But I have to work up the courage to risk telling another person what I have been doing.
I suspect that you may sooner find the answer in the 6th & 7th, steps which we often pay little attention to, I will quote a small section from the book “Drop The Rock,” written specifically to cover those two steps.

Quote deleted due to possible copyright infringement.

I can identify with what Tosh has said about all or nothing people however, very true.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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ann2
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Re: Does anyone else have this odd obsession?

Post by ann2 » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:56 am

I congratulate you for identifying it. Having perspective is freeing.

I had a conspiracy theory about my parents in early sobriety, that they were out to get me. The moment of sanity came when I was able to say to myself, "I may be wrong."

Ever since then I've used that phrase quite a lot.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

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PaigeB
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Re: Does anyone else have this odd obsession?

Post by PaigeB » Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:51 pm

HEY! I am reading Drop the Rock! Reading it with a sponsee. Just talking about whatever comes up.

Sigh. I went off on a prepper thing for a while. I am not that disturbed about it, until I think if I tell someone they will laugh - or worse they will tell others THEN during the fallout they will all come here! And I won't have enough. I have boxes and boxes of fire kits and first aid to throw out - if they persist I am going to have to shoot them! HHAHAHA - I laugh now - but there was a time that this really got to me. You can all laugh behind the computer screen but that won't hurt me cause I'll never know.

Unless I get it in MY head that you are laughing - THAT is where the problem always is. In MY MIND... my perceptions of the world. Today I believe that Love is Reality. Not illusions of fear and hate.

So I ask - no need to answer out loud - what secrets are you still keeping that these "conspiracy" secrets are a good front for? You see, if I can say there are secrets out there then I don't have to look at the secrets IN HERE! I have found that my secrets keep me sick. No matter what those "secrets" are. Tell a bunch of people and maybe you will see how crazy the conspiracy theories are. Or you may find a good deal on a bunker!

One of my secrets (lmao) is that I still have character defects even though I am doing everything I am supposed to be doing! Hence the book Drop the Rock. Maybe my HP still has a reason for my passive aggressiveness and my talking too much when I am nervous? Either way - all I have to work on is today. I want to make it a good one!

Reach out to another drunk - you are uniquely qualified to help!!
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

LauraWeare
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Re: Does anyone else have this odd obsession?

Post by LauraWeare » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:46 pm

Thanks everybody.

Paige: You got it!! That was the point of my original post. It's about my worry that people are mentally measuring me for a straitjacket, and how angry I get about that -- even if they don't actually say anything out loud! I have a lifelong feeling of being so weird and so unique. A feeling which is common to many of us drunks. But of course, I have to be more unique than any of you. Sound familiar?

Ann: From the very beginning of my conspiracy theory, I was torturing myself with "Am I right? Am I wrong? Am I crazy?" Frankly, I still think I am PROBABLY right, and so do the other nice, sane people I have met through this pursuit. The difference is, other people's opinions don't bother my friends the way they bother me.

Robert: Yes, the situation I am concerned about is in God's hands and I cannot do anything to fix it. For over two years, I have prayed for acceptance and emotional detachment, but it has been a hard struggle, attended by a great deal of sadness. Strangely, once I finally accepted that other people do not have to agree with my opinions, I believe I began to advance toward a deeper acceptance of the whole situation.

Brock: I've spent the last two years filling journals with very honest self-examination about this topic. Basically, I have written a Fourth Step, and it is much more profound than my two previous ones. Hence, the Fifth Step in my future. I know that secrets keep us sick, and I've been carrying this one long enough.

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PaigeB
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Re: Does anyone else have this odd obsession?

Post by PaigeB » Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:10 am

Terminally unique! That's me! But what a relief to find out that in reality I was not alone at all! I was just blinded. Now I found my peeps!

Good luck on the 5th, 6th and 7th. I am currently reading Drop the Rock with a sponsee... it's about 6 & 7. I'll let cha know how it goes!

Keep Coming Back!
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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ezdzit247
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Re: Does anyone else have this odd obsession?

Post by ezdzit247 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:15 pm

LauraWeare wrote:.....After a lot of prayer, I have finally realized that the problem is NOT what people think of my political opinions. The real problem is how much I still rely on outside validation for my self-worth. I am seeing another 5th Step in my future. But I have to work up the courage to risk telling another person what I have been doing.

Any advice would be appreciated.
I read William Glasser's book on "Positive Addiction" during my first year of sobriety and got really comfortable with the idea that I am an alcoholic and probably always have been and will always be a compulsive addictive personality but that I can identify, take responsibility for and make decisions about whether to keep or let go of which addictions have positive effects on my mind, body, and soul and which addictions have negative effects. IMO becoming addicted to seeking the truth....about absolutely anything.... and being willing to pursue that truth wherever it may lead you--regardless of what other people may think or say--is a very positive addiction. I agree with what you've identified as the "real problem". Sounds like you had an epiphany! Good for you!

Keep coming back.....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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avaneesh912
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Re: Does anyone else have this odd obsession?

Post by avaneesh912 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:58 am

Any advice would be appreciated.
Books like Power of Now, helps us understand how the mind operates. Best of all, helps us, step out of those drama that the ever incredible momentum driven mind creates. All it needs is more energy to keep it going. You need to start treating it like a kid throwing tantrum. It subsides after sometime. If you keeping writing inventory, you will be writing volumes. If it is interesting, you may become a good author.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

LauraWeare
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Re: Does anyone else have this odd obsession?

Post by LauraWeare » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:24 am

"IMO becoming addicted to seeking the truth....about absolutely anything.... and being willing to pursue that truth wherever it may lead you--regardless of what other people may think or say--is a very positive addiction."

Thanks everyone, especially for the above. "Positive addiction" sounds like a controversial concept! But I think I get the point. I have been trying to sort out the positive (real world) effects of this from the negative (alcoholic mind) effects. And I did indeed have en epiphany, not too surprisingly while I was sitting in a meeting.

I actually had to explain "terminally unique" to someone the other day. I'm glad to see this phrase used, as it has a very key concept in my recovery, that is to say, recognizing and overcoming it has been a key concept.

Power of Now and Drop the Rock both sound like books I need to look at. I always love to see a quotation from Eckhart Tolle, the guy is so completely Program.

I have not yet figured out how to pick up quotations as other people here are doing, or respond to people individually. Is there a tech help instruction page?

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Brock
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Re: Does anyone else have this odd obsession?

Post by Brock » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:47 am

Is there a tech help instruction page?
Not that I know but let me try to help. To send a PM (private message) to anyone click on their name, what comes up is an option to send a message & usually also e-mail, you can see other things there like the persons past posts.

When you click the quote button at the top of a post the whole thing appears, you can quote the whole post or much better highlight and delete the parts you don't want to quote.

A little more technical is to copy and paste to a blank page from the post itself anything you want to quote, then when writing each time you want to quote something click 'quote' on the top bar separate the brackets that appear and paste the quote in-between.

Sorry reading that over I make it look kind of complicated, anyhow best of luck.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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PaigeB
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Re: Does anyone else have this odd obsession?

Post by PaigeB » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:46 am

I don't know why this came to mind... In a book I am reading I saw a parable about seeking the truth - or is it about accepting what is in front of me? Anyway, it sorta goes like this...

A warrior is shot with a poison arrow and falls to the ground. His comrades call for a doctor and when the doctor comes the fallen man insists he have a few answers before he receives treatment. He questions the doctor about the makers of the arrow, the type of poison, the warrior who shot him and that man's trainer as well as the breed of horse he rode. The doctor cannot possibly answer these questions (even if he had the answers) before the man succumbs to his wounds or the poison and he asks the man, "Does it really matter? Without treatment this moment you will die!"

I think that sometimes we may never know and have to ask ourselves, "How important is it really?" I usually have to pick my battles very carefully... as it says on page 90 of the 12 and 12, I am not good at separating the good anger from the self-righteous anger and I tend to slip into morbid reflection which is discussed on page 86 of the Big Book. Sometimes I gotta leave it all alone and go find another alcoholic to work with - I need a break from all my mental gymnastics!
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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ezdzit247
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Re: Does anyone else have this odd obsession?

Post by ezdzit247 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:31 pm

LauraWeare wrote:"IMO becoming addicted to seeking the truth....about absolutely anything.... and being willing to pursue that truth wherever it may lead you--regardless of what other people may think or say--is a very positive addiction."

Thanks everyone, especially for the above. "Positive addiction" sounds like a controversial concept! But I think I get the point. I have been trying to sort out the positive (real world) effects of this from the negative (alcoholic mind) effects. And I did indeed have en epiphany, not too surprisingly while I was sitting in a meeting....
Glasser's book "Positive Addiction" was/is a very rationale, common sense approach to the problem of chemical addiction, as well as addictive personality types in general, and is still a best seller after 40 years. For me, Glasser kind of builds on the idea that the "universe hates a vacuum" as anyone who has ever cleaned a kitchen, a closet or a garage understands completely.... :lol: Applied to alcoholism, it means when I put the plug in the jug and get sober, the act of doing that creates a vacuum in my daily life. If I hadn't taken responsibility for filling that vacuum with positive things that healed my body and helped my mind grow and learn, like going to meetings, reading the BB, prayer, meditation, helping others, my old negative addiction to drinking would have moved back in and taken over again. Make sense?
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Tosh
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Re: Does anyone else have this odd obsession?

Post by Tosh » Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:32 pm

ezdzit247 wrote:If I hadn't taken responsibility for filling that vacuum with positive things that healed my body and helped my mind grow and learn, like going to meetings, reading the BB, prayer, meditation, helping others, my old negative addiction to drinking would have moved back in and taken over again. Make sense?
It makes sense to me. When I stopped drinking I remember time going slowly - very slowly - and it felt like I didn't even know who I was anymore. A big hole just opened up in my life and I didn't know what to do with myself.

I know guys who've filled that 'hole' with chasing women (one in particular who was on long-term sick from work had nine women from the internet on the go); another got into debt from gambling.

I channelled my obsessive nature into recovery; doing the things you've suggested. And as time has went on, my anxiety has reduced - I've less nervous energy pushing me to do stuff - and I feel calmer.

Saying that, my current obsession is yoga after I found myself struggling to put my socks on in the morning. :lol:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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