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Cul-de-Sac

(This post comes from John Joseph.)

Sometimes my recovery seems to be going in nothing but circles, as if I’m driving around and around in a cul-de-sac. I’m not sure why, but I know I don’t like it. I would prefer that my healing progress be in a linear fashion, moving from one glorious breakthrough to the next. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to happen that way for me.

When I realize that I’m circling around a certain bad feeling or an addictive behavior (maybe for the umpteenth time) again, one of the hardest things for me to do is to slow down, put on the brakes, pull over to the side of the road, and just think about what I’m doing. My impulses get the best of me far too often and I start speeding around that tiny cul-de-sac of the mixed up, muddled up neediness in my brain and get so dizzy I spin out of control.

Just today, for example, jealousy rose up in me as I listened to some good things that have happened for some of my co-workers. I found myself becoming sullen and almost dissociative in the room. I’m sure some brain chemicals were getting all charged up that feed my well-developed self-pity. I could feel myself sinking into the floor until I did a “heart check” and made a decision to be happy for them instead of unhappy for me.

Even though I caught myself quickly enough, it still took me a good hour or two before I could get my emotional vehicle to a complete stop. I’m still a little dizzy, but relieved that, at least for the rest of today, I don’t have to keep spinning around the cul-de-sac.

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