Tail Wags Dog

June 13, 2009

Ya know, it’s a given. I’m an alcoholic; albeit a recovering one…. (and I do continue to recover.) It’s very much an individually paced process and I like to think I get a little more fully recovered each day. One part of that process is gaining a measure of self-awareness, identifying defects of character and working toward correcting or eliminating them. It’s a battle, I tell you. And it’s a never-ending journey – focus on ideals and work toward them without the expectation of ever attaining the goal. Slow constant progression; that’s the deal.

I get myself into trouble every so often thinking it is beneficial to share my opinions or to offer advice even when those opinions and advice haven’t been solicited. However well intentioned it can sometimes be unwelcome. Most times reaction is good but there are times when I wonder whether I’ve thrown someone for a complete loop. What can I say? I’m a slave to being a ‘helper’; I care about people. That is what has wagged me tonight – trying to understand a situation and jumping in, tongue in full gear.

Just so we’re clear, if you ever feel you’re running short of opinions just give me a nudge and they will be spilling out all over the place. You needn’t even ask; they are yours for the taking.

Still working on that particular defect.



  1. I think it depends on how people offer unsolicited advice. For example, you offered me some unsolicited counsel before and I was grateful because I was upset and it was nice to know you cared, you know?

    I guess it depends on the tone in which it is given (and I guess it being the internet there can be problems that pop up with this silly flat medium šŸ™‚ Some people give advice and you feel all your spikes standing up on end, you know? I don’t imagine it would be like that with you.

    But yeah, alright, if you tell me something in the future I don’t want to hear, I’ll make sure I tell you to shove a sock in it šŸ™‚

  2. Norm, A question: Are there some character defects that you can’t correct or eliminate, only be aware of and attempt to avoid? I’m interested in your response.

  3. @ Sue – Oh yes, I definitely know about ‘tone’ and the limitation imposed by the simple written word. No voice or intonation to give the message ‘shading’ or much needed clarity.
    Our exchange from last night was a feel-good one in that from what you said it was a help in shifting your mood.
    My post was in regard to me offering my 2-cents worth to another on-line friend whose friendship I value and who has gone through terrible times these last few years. I thought I might be over-stepping some boundries; thankfully when I read her reply today she had taken my comments as intended.
    By all means feel free to tell me to shut-the-hell-up-and-get-out-of-the-pulpit when need be. I just hope that doesn’t have to be anytime soon. šŸ™‚

  4. @ Stevo – Thanks for stopping by; good to ‘see’ you & with a good question, too.

    In relation to me and my experience in recovery to date: I’ve enjoyed a good deal of success in the reduction or elimination of my most glaringly obvious ones. I’m much better today than when I first arrived and began to apply this program to the process of recovery and then to everyday life. It tends to be a ‘two steps forward, one back’, learning / re-learning / un-learning process where you come to recognize what is working for you and sticking with it, while rejecting and refusing to indulge in the things that don’t. The tougher ones are those whose presentation is subtler or that you aren’t 100% willing to be relieved of. Personally, I think through rigorous application over time I can eventually overcome them all but time will tell, won’t it? As I mentioned via this post I still work on impulsivity and ego reduction.

    Bigger picture?? Through my attendance of 1,000’s of meetings and my work here in the treatment centre I’ve met and come to know some people who have so damaged themselves that I don’t expect they will ever be fully restored. Or restored to a point where they can apply themselves adequately that they would enjoy the full extent of recovery. Their success in terms of things like elimination of defects would be limited by their ability to undertand the concepts inherent in that sort of ‘step work’. There are also cases where despite earnest effort some people will be unable to achieve their goals, for whatever reason. They do tend to improve but not necessarily to the extent they wish.

    Do you have any familiarity with the 12 Steps?? It’s a guideline for living that I wish was presented in schools (with the removal of the word ‘alcohol’, which is only mentioned in the first step).

    Again, thanks for the question. I hope my response answers it directly. If not – email me and we can have another go at it.

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