When “victim” is a major part of your self-image you are destined to live an unhappy life whether you were a victim or not. Embrace victim-hood and you might as well sign up for “powerless” too, and head off to AA where both conditions are celebrated.
Yes, lots of us, men and women alike, have been on the receiving end of neglect, abuse, violence, assault, and a dozen other events that “shouldn’t” have happened. Things which we neither invited nor could have prevented.
But that doesn’t mean that, as adults, we can continue to “ride” on the sins of others as excuses for ourselves.
The alternative is to decide what we can learn from these awful inflictions, how to avoid setting ourselves up for more of the same, and how to respond self-defensively when anyone intrudes too closely for our comfort.
Or, of course, we can drink, and blame that on the individuals who mistreated us or the events that occurred.
How’s that working for you?
The alternative is to decide that you will live in ways that make you happy, remembering that you are a product of all of your experiences, not just the “bad” things. You can learn enough Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to quit sabotaging yourself with undermining emotions. You can also learn to be assertive, not aggressive, or passive, or passive-aggressive.
In short, you can assume responsibility for your own emotions, behaviors, attitudes, and success.
That’s what we help you learn – you are not a powerless victim of alcoholism, but someone who chose to abuse alcohol because it worked. Until in didn’t.
Now it’s time to replace alcohol abuse with coping strategies and habitual behavior changes that actually correct the conditions you have been medicating.
Empowered – Not Powerless!
A client – who wasn’t going down the 12 Step trail – recently asked me to explain the phrase, “in recovery.”
Basically in means that a person is unwilling to give up having an alcohol focused life even if they haven’t been drinking for years.
It’s also a way to avoid getting a normal life and continuing to enjoy the “security of familiar miseries.”
What “miseries? Hanging out with losers; never having to assume responsibility; avoiding real intimacy; and so on.
It’s also an implied threat – “I’m in recovery and if you disturb me in any way it’ll be your fault when I go back to drinking!”
Nothing like exchanging passive-aggressive drinking for passive-aggressive blackmail.
Consider this self-protective definition and self-image when compared to people who have survived real diseases over which they were in fact powerless.
Cancer for example. Cancer free after 5 years? You’re recovered! Not “in recovery.”
Alcohol abusers are too. Mostly before a year has gone by. That’s what the majority of us do. We recover.
Do you want to recover too? It’s a lot easier, and much more rewarding, than being “in recovery.”
It’s also what real adults do.