Marijuana Users are Different

Different From Everyone Else - Weed Smokers

These usage patterns are similar to what's seen among tobacco users. "What’s going on here is that over the last 20 years marijuana went from being used like alcohol to being used more like tobacco, in the sense of lots of people using it every day," Caulkins said in an email. Adults with less than a high school education accounted for 19 percent of all marijuana use in 2012 and 2013 (compared to 13 percent of the total adult population), according to the survey. This is similar to their 20 percent share of all cigarette use, but considerably higher than their 8 percent share of all alcohol use.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/08/14/what-makes-marijuana-users-different-from-everyone-else/

Click the link above for the full article.weed_users

You’re Either Moving Towards a Drink or Away From a Drink

The Silent Treatment

Unlike most people, toxic people have an all important egotistical agenda. That means they perceive themselves as superior, perfect, beyond criticism. Woe betide anyone who challenges their behavior. They will live to regret it.

“While helping around my parents house, when my partner would take a break or disagree on the best way to do something, my father would resort to name-calling.”

It is often argued that the toxic ego has its foundations in low self-esteem. The lack of confidence triggers in the toxic person a need to control their whole environment in order to protect their fragile self. Toxic people use rage as a weapon to destroy the person who is identified as a threat.

I have also experienced the silent treatment many times as a result of offending the toxic person. Although less loud, extreme silent treatment is still an act of rage.

Excerpt from: http://swanwaters.com

Attractive couple having an argument on couch at home in the living room

Attractive couple having an argument on couch at home in the living room

Half Truths and Outright Lies

A Misadventure to Ruined Relationships

Half Truths and outright Lies
A Misadventure to  ruined relationships

A deliberate obfuscation of the facts that spiraled into a macabre and bizarre facsimile of a relationship filled with jejune tatters of communication. ~tHe sTrEeT pRoPhEt~

Being in a relationship with somebody who lies is tough. It’s not that you don’t love them or care about them, it’s just that you can’t connect.
Without trust, there’s no relationship.

Henry Cloud and John Townsend say people lie for one of two reasons.

The first is out of shame or fear. Somebody may believe they won’t be accepted if they tell the truth about who they are, so they lie. You can see how religious communities that use shame and fear to motivate might increase a person’s temptation to lie.

People who lie for this reason can get better and learn to tell the truth. Until they do, however, it’s impossible to connect with them, all the same.

The second kind of liar is less fortunate.

Some people lie simply because they are selfish. These liars are pathological. They will lie even when it would be easier to tell the truth. Cloud and Townsend warn that we need to stay away from these people. Personally, I think people like this are pretty rare, but I agree, we simply can’t depend on them emotionally or practically.

Still I wonder if people who lie understand what they’re doing.

I think some people want grace and certainly they can get grace, but when we lie, we make the people we are lying to feel badly about the relationships and about themselves. We like people who make us feel respected, cared about and honored. Lying to somebody communicates the opposite.

When my friends lied, I felt disrespected and unimportant. They didn’t seem to care about me or trust me enough to tell the truth. This made me feel bad about myself, as though I were not important or trustworthy enough to be told the truth.
When I found out the extent of one of the lies, I felt like a fool. Technically, my one friend didn’t really lie. She just told me “part” of the truth. It was as though she were testing out whether she was safe to be vulnerable. (She told many other lies, but this was just one of them). But it backfired. When I found out things were worse than she’d made them seem, I felt tricked and deceived. Again, without meaning to, she’d made me feel bad about myself because I felt like somebody who could be conned.
I thought less of my friends. I knew they were willing to “cheat” in relationships. When we lie, we are stealing social commodity without having earned it. People can lie their way into power, and in one instance with a friend, she lied her way into moral superiority. Still, none of the authority or moral superiority (such a thing exists, and while it’s misused, it’s not a bad thing not unlike intellectual superiority or athletic superiority. It just is. An appropriate use of those two examples of superiority might be to lead a team or teach a class.)
I felt sad and lonely. When we think we are getting to know somebody, we are giving them parts of our hearts. But when they lie, we know they’ve actually held back their hearts while we’ve been giving them ours. This made me feel lonely and dumb.
I felt like I couldn’t trust them. The only thing more important than love in a relationship is trust. Trust is the soil love grows in. If there’s not trust, there’s no relationship. When my friends lied, our trust died. As much as I wanted to forgive them, and feel like I did and have, interacting with them was no longer the same. I doubted much of what they said. Sadly, I think both of them began to tell more and more of the truth. But it didn’t matter. Once trust is broken, it’s extremely hard to rebuild.
If they didn’t confess (or lied in their confession) I felt like they didn’t care enough about me to come clean and make things right. They were still thinking of themselves.

Lying is manipulation, so if a person is a manipulator and gets caught lying, they are most likely going to keep manipulating. They may tell more lies to cover their lies, or manipulate by playing the victim. They may try to find things other people have done that they see as worse and try to make people focus on that. What they will have a hard time doing is facing the truth (which would be the easiest way out of their dilemma. It’s just that they don’t know how to do it. (They’re survivors, scrappers and have learned to cheat to stay alive socially.)

Overcoming Fear

False Evidence Appearing Real

“It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Most addicts react to fear before it happens because we make an unreal assumption of what might happen if we expose our self to or take a certain step.

Credit: http://reallifeglobal.com

Credit: http://reallifeglobal.com

We have an adversary in our brains which keeps us obediently on the straight and narrow because it knows who you are, and it wrongly concludes that where you are is secure, safe and it believes it can protect us from this illusionary fear which we see in front of us.

There really is no fear.

We create the fear due to our inability to confront the fear.
We can get through it if we had the courage.
Yet most addicts retreat from the false evidence they perceive (glimpse) before them.
Unfortunately there is no possible way we can ascertain that this false evidence is actually appearing real if we are in an illusion which is more real to us than the actual truth in what we perceive (discern).

So if Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real, that means we create it, and it usually comes from the unknown.

In order to overcome fear we must first :

Acknowledge it.
(Become fully aware of what is stopping us from moving forward.)
Identify what's behind it (the fear)
Talk yourself through the 'what if's'
be objective, (the fear is only there to test you)

The feeling that you have when you break through Fear, is sheer joy.

How To Break the Pattern of Love Addiction

Ann Smith - Guest Article

Love_Sick

First things first. Take this brief quiz to see if you are likely a love addict.

1. Did you once think that if only someone loved you in that "special way" you would be happy for the rest of your life?

2. Were you/Are you pre-occupied with the notions of love as expressed in music, movies and fiction?

3. Have you ever tried to talk yourself into loving someone you weren't particularly fond of because you needed the love NOW?

4. Have you felt the need to prop up or do a total makeover on your partner early on in your relationship rather than admit that he/she wasn't right for you and end it?

5. Have you stayed in a bad relationship or repeatedly returned to an ex-partner because you couldn't stand to be alone?

6. When you are in a committed relationship do you wonder if you chose the RIGHT one or fantasize about a lover from your past, thinking you should have kept him or her and then you would be happier?

7. Have you used the words "soul mate" in reference to how love should be?

8. Since age 18 what is the longest period of time you were totally unattached and not fretting about some love interest?

9. Are you able to take the time necessary to heal and do a thorough post mortem on a failed relationship before running out to find a new "friend" which quickly becomes a rebound lover?

10. Do you expect your lover to make you feel loved and lovable?

I won't ask you to score or rate yourself. You know who you are!

If you suspect you are a love addict - don't feel too badly about it. I was a member of the love addicts club for a good portion of my life as well. I too was in love with love.

I have built my career on this issue, working with ordinary people who are lost when it comes to finding and sustaining a healthy relationship, stuck in a cycle of pain and disappointment in others and themselves.

They believe that either they just can't find the right one or that the early infatuation waned and they are no longer "in love." Some jump from one relationship to another in search of that wonderful feeling they once had. Others stay, despite feeling dissatisfied, harboring secret thoughts of leaving, cultivating emotional affairs, or cheating from time to time, having no clue about the real problem.

To be clear, addiction can be defined in a general way as a compulsive (repeated action without choice) and chronic (ongoing over time) pattern of using a substance or behavior for soothing, comforting and/or arousal as a means of medicating uncomfortable feelings. Addicts typically continue use of their "drug of choice" despite negative consequences.

Sex addiction is a compulsive pattern of pursuing sexual arousal independent of emotional attachments. Love addiction is a little harder to define simply because by nature we are all addicted to love - meaning we want it, seek it and have a hard time not thinking about it. We need attachment to survive and we instinctively seek connection, especially romantic connection. There is nothing dysfunctional about wanting love.

Love addiction, however, is a compulsive, chronic craving and/or pursuit of romantic love in an effort to get our sense of security and worth from another person. During infatuation we believe we have that security only to be disappointed and empty again once the intensity fades. The negative consequences can be severe and yet the love addict continues to hang on to the belief that true love with fix everything.

In my experience, the most difficult love addicts to help are those who actually develop committed relationships with two or more people at the same time. What a dilemma, they say! Who should I pick? They really believe that the only problem they have is deciding who would be the best choice.

The causes of love addiction are fairly easy to identify: inadequate or inconsistent nurturing, low self esteem, absence of positive role models for committed relationships and indoctrination with cultural images of perfect romantic love and happily ever after endings.

Unfortunately, knowing why you do it isn't much help. Having the information or insight cannot change the unconscious drive to attach at all costs. After the end of a bad relationship my clients have said things like:

"Wrong guy! I'll never do that again. I'm going to find someone who is nothing like this one."

"I am not interested in dating. I just want to have someone to spend time with now and then."

"I'm going to go slowly next time around."

Here are few truths about Love Addiction and what is most likely to happen if you have not processed and grown from your painful experiences.

1. If you are looking for the opposite of the last one, just remember that the opposite of Sick is Sick. When we rebound, we go to the other extreme and end up in the same place.

2. Your new "friend" will be your next lover and it will turn out the same way the last one did.

3. Just saying you will go slowly doesn't work when hormones kick in and infatuation starts making the decisions. Infatuated love is blind.

Truth is: Wherever you go, there you are.

The problem is your pattern, not who you are with.

Here are some initial steps for breaking the love addiction pattern:

1. STOP what you are doing and stand back to observe your own behavior. Take an inventory of your dysfunctional pattern in your current and past relationships. Write it down. Be honest without blaming anyone else for your choices. Unless you are in a committed relationship, do not engage in any potentially romantic interactions for at least 6 months. That includes no texting, emailing, online dating sites, hook ups, introductions by well intentioned friends and family.

2. As you do your inventory look for the common themes in your relationships. Does there appear to be a similarity between your childhood experiences and your choices as an adult? If so, it is no accident!

3. If you are not in a relationship right now, consider getting professional help with your self evaluation before you begin your search again. If you are in a relationship, unless you are being abused, don't make any decisions or demands until you look at yourself honestly.

4. Ask yourself how life would be if you took responsibility for your own happiness, successes and failures and loved yourself the way you want to be loved.

5. Make a plan and follow through on a daily basis. You will be lonely, sad and frustrated at times but in the end you will have the most valuable gift of all. You will know and love yourself. Only then can you choose well and have the real, albeit imperfect relationship you deserve.

6. As an act of love that will last a life time, accept yourself and the one you love AS IS. It may not come with a big red bow but it is one thing you can be sure everyone wants.

For more help with breaking through the pattern of love addiction, visit my website at www.breakthroughatcaron.org. (link is external)