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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:41 am
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Addiction makes monsters of us all. I’m no exception. Though I’m what I would describe as a “white collar” junkie—I only ever abused prescription drugs, none of the street stuff—the behaviors I built around maintaining that lifestyle were no different in their particulars than someone who went on a six year heroin bender. If you’re going to give it all up, there’s a lot of forgiveness that has to go along with that.

Since my time in outpatient rehab, I’ve grown skeptical of the Steps so many of us work, day to day, primarily because I think AA and NA suffer from the common but equally fatal flaw of inverse drug dependence. You’re not using your DOC, and you’re not exactly a dry drunk, but your actions and activities are governed by the negative space surrounding the old habit. Anyway, that’s a digression. One of those steps involves seeking forgiveness and atoning for past wrongs. This is something I’m more familiar with than I care to be. I’m so familiar, in fact, that I’ll often sneak around smaller more inconsequential misdeeds and desires because I understand the landscape and geography of forgiveness better than I do the uncharted abyss that is, for me at least, permission. I’m not used to having my desires be “ok.” As much as my spouse assures me it’s okay to ask for what I want—with the expectation that yes, no and maybe all have to be acceptable answers—I struggle with it. The words say one thing, but what I read from deneanir says entirely another, and it is my fear of asking for permission that leads to my begging for forgiveness.

If you look at some of the other threads in here, “Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back,” for instance, you’ll get the bigger, albeit one sided picture of where I’m coming from. I’ve asked my wife for a lot of forgiveness this year, and it is all to her credit and none to yours truly that she seems to have granted it, or at least a stay of execution pending further evidence from state. Or at least, that was my impression.

Forgiveness, coming from my wife anyway, feels like a Rubix Cube. It’s a puzzling thing that she whiles away at until frustration or boredom cause her to set it down. Then when something else frustrates or bores her, she might pick it back up again. Perhaps it’s because I’m a guy, but when I sit down to solve a problem, I either solve it or determine it can’t be solved, but I do it in one go. The upshot is, that projecting my own mindset of forgiveness on my wife, I assume forgiveness where perhaps it has not yet been granted. Or, perhaps it has, but a bad day has pulled me back in front of a jury for a little double jeopardy action. Forgiveness is certainly not forgetting, though the two circles have been known to overlap. Personally, I find grudges very heavy and so do not try to burden myself with them. But assuming the same from my wife has opened me up to some serious anger, frustration and heartache. If she’s rested, I’m usually assured a civil if not entirely fair trial, but when she’s tired, the scorn ray gets switched from stun to kill. Sometimes I think she’s too disgusted with me to forgive me entirely.

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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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