THERE WILL BE SUFFERING,,,,,, OR NOT! – Addiction in the Family


in the heart Addiction

There will be suffering, Or not!

Well, sort of, maybe. It’s up to you!

When it comes to hurt and traumatic events there will be suffering for as long as one holds onto those past wounds and injustices.  We don’t let go and forgive for the offender.  We let go and forgive for ourselves, so that we can move on and heal from the traumas of our past.

If you want the people who hurt you to live on in your heart then the best way to do that is to hold a grudge or resentment.

You see it’s really quite simple and often overlooked; but “hate” lives in the heart too!  In order to hate someone we have to care about their actions, their mistakes and their behaviors; caring about what a person does or did rests in our heart.

When we live in the spirit of forgiveness we live in such a way that we “for” (as in forward) “give” (as in gift) people with absolution be-fore an offensive act occurs.  That is living IN the spirit of forgiveness.

So what do we do about past hurts and atrocities?  We let them go; we stop holding on!  We drop the rope that connects us to them.  We cut the heart strings to the wound!  Thus making the person who committed the act irrelevant; the way they should be.  By holding on we make them relevant, the last thing most of us want.

Why don’t or won’t  people let go and forgive?  Because many people operate on the failed notion that by letting go of the hurt we somehow let that person off the hook for what they did.  Unfortunately that holding on is just a failed rationalization for keeping a resentment alive.  If we do actually “make them pay” somehow then we allow that person to further affect our lives.  If we commit a crime against them then we will live out the consequences of our reaction to their act. Two wrongs still don’t make a right no matter how old we are.  Act, don’t react.  When we react we give them the power to control us and further ruin our lives.  The last thing we want!

Letting go and forgiving their act doesn’t let them off the hook.  That’s between them, the Universe, Karma and God.

Being a selfish “ass” (insert your word for them here) is suffering enough.  Hurt sick people, hurt people; that’s all they know.  Letting hurt pay itself forward is a negative act.

We get to decide if we are going to be loving people or resentful hurtful people.  We can either fill our hearts with hurt and pain or with love and grace.  Remember, grace is undeserved gift and you have the power to give grace too!

My experience tells me this: My heart is much more comfortable being completely filled with love then it is with even just a little bit of bitterness and resentment.

Despite what they may have done I get to decide what’s in,,


Emmanuel S. John

***(Like almost everything posted on this blog/page the data is an Intellectual Property of this author (Emmanuel S. John and should be sighted accordingly if reproduced.)




Get Off Your ….. Duff!!! – Addiction in the Family



Too often people who are trying to quit drinking and using spend most of time trying to stop living as an addict or alcoholic and too little time constructing the new life or filling the void left behind by the changes in their daily living structure/schedules.

Just sitting around twiddling their thumbs is a recipe for disaster.  People must get active.  12 step fellowships are a great way to build a new life.  Filling time with service work not only fills time but it also brings with it the emotional rewards of living a life to good purpose instead of a life of self-centeredness and shame.

Jumping into step work is great but eventually that new preoccupation will fade in the conscious of the formerly addicted.  What happens when their sponsor runs out of tasks and they are sitting at home alone on a Friday or Saturday night unsure of how to amuse themselves. What if they are uncomfortable around their spouse or children who they feel they barely know?

One of the benefits of working the steps is that “sweet relationships” can also be repaired so that the recovering individual can reconstruct a life worth living.  The only way to get to know them is to spend time with them.  Page 164 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous says “We must create the fellowship we crave.”  Nowhere does it say that that fellowship creation needs to be exclusively AA or NA members.  Let’s be clear; I’m not saying it isn’t.  What I am saying is that sometimes people need more than their local recovery communities can offer.  Small towns and rural areas do not provide the crutch of larger city AA and NA.  Some towns have 2 meetings a week: Face to face daily meetings are not always an option.

What can you do?  Well, try doing some of the things that others in your area might be involved in.  Church is more than God!  It’s fellowship.  Volunteering is not restricted to AA and NA service.  Helping an elderly neighbor can be even more rewarding and help to literally “mend fences.” It’s a great way to make a living amends.  Developing an online recovery community if helpful too.  Treat it like a meeting.  Go online the same time every day and you’ll meet others who do too.   Get treatment from a professional; let them help you create that new life.  Make time to meet with some friends who you might have distanced yourself from because of your using.  Do an internet search on “Natural Highs” and get some!  If your own “House” is not in order, clean it up.  Fix things that you’ve let go.  Ask a friend to help.  If you sat in the same place in your house and used all the time then rearrange the furniture.  If you do you will literally be rearranging your life.  Finally, READ!  Stop being a mental loafer and open your mind to new ideas.  Read the recovery literature then try some of the books available on this page.  If you are “Powerless” and if “information is power” then,,,,, see where I’m going with this?  Remember the pot head’s dilemma:  What you do when you stop using?  Everything else!

Emmanuel S. John

Click the book links to the left to learn more about addiction.


***(Like almost everything posted on this blog/page the data is an Intellectual Property of this author (Emmanuel S. John and should be sighted accordingly if reproduced.)

STEP 3 TOOLS – Addiction in the Family

God's Will Addiction


While many people argue about HOW to the steps, very few people have actually done any empirical research on the topic as it relates to those persons with successful recovery.  The following data is summarized information about the research I conducted while at the University of Maryland in 2005 (while living in the Mid-Atlantic area of the United States.)  This area is rich in AA history and the was/is home to many of the founders of the Oxford Groups and AA; as well as their sponsees.

My approach was simple.  I wanted to survey people with successful recovery; 5 years or more.  I made sure that I included as diverse a sample as possible which included groups who did a step a month and even a step a year!   Regardless of the “beliefs” of the various groups their responses were amazing similar and many actually worked the steps quite differently then how they are now suggesting or directing their sponsees to work them.  (Several respondents actually informed this researcher that this process had open their eyes to these unplanned changes in direction.)

***(Like almost everything posted on this blog/page the following data is an Intellectual Property of this author (Emmanuel S. John and should be sighted accordingly if reproduced.)

Data Analysis and Survey Results

12 Step Tasks and Step Durations

The Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book” (subtitled as the basic text of AA) repeatedly suggests that while steps should be “thoroughly” worked it also suggests that the steps are to be incorporated into daily living (“practice these principles in all of our affairs” step 12.)  In accordance, most respondents reported that they have and will continue to work all the steps for the rest of their lives:  None of the respondents suggested their step work was ever “finished.”

 Participant Data

Average age of respondents was 55 years of age

Average time in recovery 208 months or 17 years and 4 months

Average number of sponsees 5

Average number of sponsors this episode 2.6

85 % do attend weekly step meetings

79% do not believe in time limits on steps

Step Tasks

I think that one of the most valuable findings attained during the research is the list of tasks which can be used for yourself or with your own sponsees who are working the individual steps.

(I will share more steps in the coming posts.  If you are working on the steps now be sure to discuss these tasks with your sponsor or spiritual guide.  If you have other tasks not included please feel free to add them in the comments sections.)

A special note:  Most real AA historians agree that Bill W. arranged the steps in a specific order.  That order being that the 1st step identifies the problem; powerless and un-manageability and the second step identifies the solution, that a higher power could restore sanity and manageability.  If you work 3 (deciding to turn your will over) through 11 (continuing that process) you get 12; a spiritual awakening which you can then transmit to others.

The following are the tasks identified by the study’s participants as being HOW they actually WORKED step 3.

STEP # 3                                %       

Read B/B +                                50%

12 and 12                                  35.7

Step meetings                         28.6

Outlined HP                             28.6

Shared with sponsor           28.6

Prayed                                          21.4

Read 3rd step prayer            21.4

Tried to Trust HP

24 hour book

Chapter 5

Little red book

Pro and Cons to make decision or not

Attended meetings only

Talked with other members

Service Work

75% of respondents reported starting this step within their first six months of recovery

50% reported spending 1 month or less on this step

(HOPE THIS INFO HELPED.  More step data coming in future posts.)


ADDICTION: Am I Powerless?

Emmanuel S. John

*****A special note.  While this was not outlined in the research the following is an accurate accounting.  If you have relapsed and returned to the program then the amount of time between your introduction to AA or the steps (or any other 12 step program) and the time you completed your most recent 1st step is the actual amount of time it took you to work it.  In essence,  If you drank for your first 3 years in the program then it took you 3 years to work it.



HANDLE IT!!!!! NOW!!!!!! – Addiction in the Family

handle it Addiction

Growing up is HARD!!!!

Life is full of adversity. Each day presents new obstacles that we have to overcome in order to free up our tomorrows for more pleasant experiences.  Until we transcend these struggles they will continue to reappear in front of us; usually as roadblocks.  Kind of like that bill you haven’t paid!

Unfortunately people who use addictively often resort to their chemical of choice or other addictive behaviors instead of challenging themselves and transforming their lives for the better.

Learning how to overcome life’s adversities prepares us for the more difficult problems to come as we mature.  Learning these skills is maturation.  Not learning them is one of the reasons why recovering people often feel like immature children when they do clean up.  Not learning these valuable skills as life presents them often results in our feeling and being inept and incapable.

You wouldn’t expect to run a marathon without first conquering the shorter distances first.  Life is just like that!

Without a doubt overcoming adversity makes us stronger.  After you do over come your adversities you will feel more prepared.  You will have to face your adversity!  If not now then later!  When you deal with it later you will also have to deal with the adversities that arrive at that time too.  Do the math.  Today’s adversity now by itself or today’s and tomorrow’s adversity together later.

 This tendency towards “putting things off” is one of the reasons why quitting addiction is so hard and why you have to have a recovery program.  It’s vital for success.  You will need the experience of people who have learned how to deal with layers of issues all the while trying not to use.  You will need a Power greater than you have been able to supply thus far.  Whether it’s the power of the group or the Power of a Higher Power you will need it and it will be there if you seek it.  It’s your move! It will never be any easier then it is right now! The layers will only increase.  Free up your tomorrows for more pleasant experiences by taking out today’s trash; by transcending today’s challenges. Handle it like an adult!

Learn more!

Addiction: Am I Powerless

by Emmanuel S, John

Available on this page!