Greetings from Joylight!
Chapter 1 – When You Have It and When You Don’t
The first statement in this chapter states that very few of us realize how much we choose the misery in our lives. Even if we do, we go ahead with it because we lack the strength to make better choices. And when we give up, it is because we no longer have the strength to continue the struggle.
The usual definition of an addict is someone whose life is destroyed by heroin, alcohol, gambling, and often the lives of those around him are ruined too. However Dr Glasser believes that there are
which are sharp contrasts from negative addictions, that strengthen us and make our lives more satisfying. They help us live with more confidence, more creativity, and more happiness, and usually to much better health.
As examples of what happens when we lack the strength to find the happiness we want, suicides, abortion and mercy killing happens.
The enjoyment of loving and being loved are not optional, they are the facts of life.
Everyone finds them through:
Source – .freshmorningquotes
(1) love – that is, through loving and being loved, and
(2) by doing something one believes is worthwhile.
Most of us spend our lives in a series of compromise between doing what we believe in and doing what will please those who are important to us. Happiness depends a great deal on gaining enough strength to live with a minimum of these compromises.
To find the happiness we all desire we have to figure out:
(1) what to do,
(2) how to do it, and
(3) where to get the strength to get it done where most of the challenges lie.
When we cannot admit to ourselves that we lack the strength, we tend to rationalize, to weep and wail about not know what or how to do it.
That’s when we are stuck and
we settle for less.
Weak people wallow in misery
(1) hoping that someone will feel sorry for them and solve their problems and
(2) because they believe that it hurts less this way.
Since the obvious purpose of pain, misery and suffering is to tell you that something is wrong,
fix it, change it, reform, improve, get help;
if you don’t have the strength to do it, you are stuck with the pain.
Strong people wait a lot; they have discovered that
time does heal many wounds.
It is here that most of us exist, strong enough to get along fairly well but not strong enough to live without a lot of unnecessary suffering.
1st choice of the weak – Giving Up
It is like living with a toothache with no money to see a dentist. They give up because at this miserable point in their life, happiness is not even on their minds.
All they want is relief from the constant misery of not having and of believing that they probably will never have what they need. They give up because it hurts more to keep trying when the effort always fails.
Their last concern is getting more, their first concern is hurting less. They may not be totally miserable but they are miserable enough and they want to hurt less.
While you may not give up completely, they are many times when, lacking strength, you settle for less or choose a symptom, e.g. headache. Just knowing that you choose much of your misery yourself will help you get to the idea that it may be worth trying to make a better choice.
Dr Glasser posits that
while it is the responsibility of strong people all over to work hard to make the world better,
until they do,
it remains the task of ALL of us, weak and strong,
to do the best we can for ourselves.
2nd choice of the weak – The Symptom Categories
When the first choice in dealing with life’s problems – to give up – is no longer satisfactory; the pain has returned and in a further attempt to reduce suffering one often choose the common second choices
– to become depressed.
Regardless of what may have caused the depression, whoever’s fault it may be, what is real to the person is what he feels, and he hurts.
Dr Glasser believes that one won’t give up his depression because he believes, even though he isn’t aware of this belief, that if he drops his depression, he will hurt more than if he keeps it.
Depression allows one to rationalize the problem so that he doe not need to face his inadequacy because in his eyes, he isn’t inadequate, he is “sick”.
Depression is less painful than facing his inadequacy his giving up.
With the first choice, giving up, he relinquished responsibility, but with the second choice, depression he is shielded from his inadequacy and is in the position to turn to others.
He may even reject help because he worries that if he does accept help he may eventually have to help himself.
His depression is now the protector of his inadequacy.
His own feelings, as painful as they may be, have become his friend. He clings to depressions because now the depression substitutes the love and worth he is convinced the can no longer get in the real world.
(1) It rationalizes his quitting position and makes him more acceptable to himself.
(2) It puts him in a position to ask for help, to try to get someone to do for him what he hasn’t been able to do for himself.
THE SECOND CHOICES OF THE WEAK
The 4 Major Symptom Categories Examples of Common Symptoms
1. To act out (seen most often in children)
Tantrums, delinquency, crime, sociopathic and psychopathic behavior
2. To become involved with your own emotions
Depressed, fearful, phobic, tense, anxious, sad, dejected, bitchy, griping, haughty, snide, angry, hysterical, suspicious
3. To become crazy
Psychotic, paranoid, hallucinating, delusional, conversion reaction
Headaches, neckaches, backaches, sinus trouble, migrane, hypertension, heart disease, asthma, many alleriges, duodenal ulcers, iletis, colitis, chronic diarrhea, urinary urgency, arthritis
We would have to have superhuman strength never to choose a symptom when we are temporarily frustrated or rejected, but the stronger we are the less we suffer from the choice.
1. Acting out
To be helped, first he must be stopped. Only then has he a chance to slow down and think seriously about how poor his choice to act out is, how it locks him away from love and worth.
Our advisors may stop our acting out, but if they don’t help us to learn how to find love and worth we are likely to choose another symptom category.
2. To become involved with your emotions
It is difficult for most psychiatrists that accept that depression is a choice.
Depression, as well as acting out, happens to most of us for brief periods when we lack love and worth.
Emotions are chosen, especially fear or depression, because they are safer than acting out.
When we learn to become fearful and anxious, upset, dejected, it is our feelings that become, to us, our true friends. They protect us from our inadequacy and replace our human friends and family.
It is out of our weakness that we choose to be depressed because we have discovered that not making this choice is even more painful.
3. To become crazy
Becoming crazy is actually a fairly sensible choice for the weak because no one expects a crazy person to fulfill his needs in the real world for the obvious reason that he is no longer in it.
Within his own mind, within his own imagination, out of his own thought processes, he may be able to reduce the pain of his failure and to find a little relief.
Most people with psychosis, however, withdraw only partially. To the degree they won’t or can’t accept total insanity they continue to suffer the pain of inadequacy, so they are really caught in the middle, actually a very common place for them to be.
There is no rule that says we must choose only on symptom; many people choose several but usually one predominates.
The final symptom category is the choice to have a physical symptom or go further and become physically ill in an attempt to reduce the pain of the first choice, giving up.
It is well known that when the person gains more strength the headaches go.
Almost all of us have headaches, usually when we are under stress and lack sufficient strength, but most of us pull ourselves together, relax, and the headaches disappear.
Psychosomatic illnesses such as headaches are a good choice because they obviously allow the sufferer to ask for help.
Unfortunately the help he asks for is the relief of the pain of the headaches, which not nearly all the help he needs.
For a weak person, love and worth are not that easy to find, but with good counseling at least he may have a chance. Patients with psychosomatic complaints are being treated medically for their symptoms, usually with drugs.
The more this occurs the less likely they are to face their inadequacies and the more their heads hurt when they drug wears off.
Many people are willing to pay a huge price in sickness and disability to avoid facing the reality of their inability to find happiness.
Painful as it was, the illness (e.g. ulcer) was his friend. Although the “friend” may even endanger his life, it will reduce his pain.
Sometimes the opposite is true. A very serious disease can make a symptom choice unnecessary, or perhaps supersede it if the disease threatens the very basic need to stay alive.
A short, acute, real, externally caused disease can sometimes temporarily “cure” a person deeply involved in choosing one of the symptom categories. Then the need to stay alive can temporarily supersede the need for love and worth.
The symptom eventually allows the person to ask for help for a problem that seems to other have happened to him, rather than something he has chosen.
People continually look for reinforcement from others to confirm that they are not at fault, that they did not choose their symptoms, they happened to them.
3rd choice of the weak – Negative Addiction
– from the initial decision to give up trying to find love or worth, the second choice to take on one or more symptoms, and the final choice of becoming addicted –
is a pain-reducing step.
The reason addiction is powerful and difficult to break is that it alone of all the choices consistently both
(1) relieves the pain of failure, and
(2) provides an intensely pleasurable experiences.
An addiction provides the addict with “glory” where in the past he had only pain, overpowers every other urge within him and he devotes his life to the addicting drug or behavior.
To that end he is willing to give up principles, ideals, family, friends, or spouse; nothing in his life is allowed to stand against the drug or other addiction. He believes by one set of values, which is that whatever promotes his addiction is right, everything else is wrong.
The obvious problem of addiction is that the addict through his addiction, is able to live with little love or worth, without having to suffer the pain of failing to get it. The pleasure of addiction depends on a regular supply (love and worth do too) of whatever you are addicted to.
If deprived of your addiction you must return not only to the pain and misery of your previous second-choice symptoms but to the addition pain, mental and physical, that comes with withdrawal.
It is this pain coupled with the pleasure of the drug that locks an addict into his habit.
The more love and worth the addict is able to get through family, friends, support structures and help organization, the more successful he will be in his recovery.
It may seem incongruous to say that an addict is weak. No one seems more hardworking or persistent. Once addicted and driven by the pleasure of his addiction, he is extremely strong.
But this strength is all tied to addiction, when it comes to finding love and worth they seem to have no strength at all.
What he has is short term strength to overcome any haul to find his addicting drug (the drug itself may provide some of this strength), but to find love and worth is a long-term chancy search, a strength he neither has nor wants.
Finally, and most importantly,
to find happiness we need others, but an addict needs only himself.
Thanks for reading.
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ON your Joylight! 🙂
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