You experience unpleasant physiological, psychological, and/or emotional symptoms. You experience trauma at the thought or reality of separating from your addiction. You become angry, justify your right to have or use it, and act out to preserve your right to do what you want. If you had to flee the country and could bring only one medium-sized suitcase and had thirty minutes to pack, what would you bring? You will not have to pack for your children, as they each get their own suitcase. You will not have to stuff your pet into the suitcase; you can bring your pets along. No, you cannot stuff cash into the case; where you are going, your cash and credit cards are no good. You will arrive penniless with the exception of the things in this suitcase. This is not to identify survival equipment; imagine you will have all the basics you need. This is to identify your most valuable possessions--the things most precious to you, such as treasured letters, photographs, heirlooms, sentimental objects, etc. Make a strategy for paying the bills; maybe pay each bill as soon as it comes in, or maybe every Saturday. They wouldn't pile up and become a chore. Put a sticky note on the wall and record each penalty I paid and the total penalties for the year so far, to increase my motivation. Daffy has most of his bills paid by auBarryatic withdrawal, which is another strategy - if you trust it. Keep a notepad by my bed, and every night mark down whether I had made all my Appointments, kept up with the Bills and followed through on the Pop-ups. So on a good day, I would mark down: `A, B, P' (today, appointments were made, bills were paid, pop-ups honored) With some pertinent wisdom of the sages under your belt, let's look into building a plan of action whereby you can apply it to your guiding virtues. What are you doing now that you could do differently based on your new insights? Have you exhibited any of the behavioral responses just listed? If so, which ones, and in what ways? What are your behavioral responses when your demand is not satisfied?

List as many as you can think of. What Would the Sages Tell You to Do Differently? Fortunately, you now have some new insights that you can use to redirect your behavioral responses toward your guiding virtues. So here's some pertinent advice from our sages. Focus on your own actions, not on what others are doing or thinking. Only the former is yours to control! Stop ruminating about not controlling the actions of others, or blaming yourself for this "failure." Enjoy social contact with others--this is in your power. Chances are, your anxiety will not all go away at once. But do this exercise each time you encounter this problem situation and make a note of any decrease in the amount of anxiety you may feel. Then take a moment to thank God for the progress you are making and give yourself credit for cooperating with his grace just a little better. Each time you use the Emotional Elevator exercise, you create new channels for grace to flow through you, bringing with it the peace beyond all understanding. Loss of power . feel powerless to alter your situation. You have relinquished your power to something or someone outside yourself. The situation has become bigger than you are, and you are unable to effect a change. You are a slave to your addictions. Binary thinking. You are the victim of binary thinking. You view situations as black or white, either/or, right or wrong, good or bad, on or off, wonderful or terrible. is perceived as a Zero sum game in which the pendulum swings between two polar opposites with no happy medium or mid-point.

What is your code of ethics? Notice that we have two sets of ethics: One set we practice when calm and happy; and another when we feel afraid or someone has offended us. The work is to have one set of ethics. Take five minutes to write these down as bullet points and try to limit this list to ten ethics or less. Do not oversimplify by writing down one-word answers. For example, if you were to write honesty as one of your ethics, then follow it up with a few specifics as to what you mean by that. Err on the side of too much versus too little. I encourage you to not write down what you were taught as a child, but what you believe now, based on your life experience. I don't know which of these strategies would actually work for me. If they didn't, I'd try other strategies. We're all different; I don't know which of them might work for Barry. He apparently doesn't think in terms of strategies. Maybe he still thinks of himself as a goof-off and that's just the way life is. Or maybe he thinks of the whole thing as one big problem, which should be solved by one big computer program, and he hasn't broken it down into separate smaller problems. Or maybe he just doesn't think the problems bother him enough to be worth the effort to do anything about them. The idea that it's not worth the effort could come from some of the demoralization and defeatism we get from our ADD experiences. And Barry says he's an easy going guy; probably things don't bother him as much as they would me, but I would hate having to pay a penalty on the electric bill. Maybe Barry just keeps applying the strategy of trying harder, which doesn't work very well. But Barry is a bright creative problem-solver. Maybe if he approached each of these problems, one at a time, to figure out a strategy that would work for him, it would turn out to be worth the effort.

Maybe his life could be better. Instead of attempting to intimidate others--to bully or threaten them, appeal to pity, or try to force your ways on them--treat them as people, not objects to be controlled. Allow them to exercise their own rational self-determination on matters concerning themselves. Each of us has our own rational capacities, which are ours to control. Get others' consent before trying to tell them what to do. Threatening, intimidating, bullying, manipulating by trying to evoke pity, and other means of imposing your will on others is a poor strategy for getting what you want. Be practical: would you want to cooperate with others if they treated you like that? Be flexible and open to others' ideas. Seesaws are popular items on children's playgrounds. Sometimes, children like to bounce up and down on the seesaw, but other times, they try to balance the seesaw, sliding forward or backward on the plank to distribute each other's weight so both riders' feet stay off the ground. when children achieve this feat, a careful observer might notice that the plank still wobbles up and down as the children wiggle, making tiny adjustments to their posture and position to maintain this perfect balance. stages of involvement . need greater quantities of the addictive substance or process to satisfy the growing need within you. You have built up a natural immunity and in order for your addiction to have an impact, you need to keep increasing your amounts. are various stages that include: 1) initial use, 2) increased use, 3) transition from use to abuse, 4) cessation, 5) control of abuse, 6) transference to another addiction, and, in 75% of the cases, relapse to stage three of addiction. We all have addictions of varying degrees. To some extent, we could all be called addicts. The reason is that we live in an addicted society. Think for a minute. Who do you know who isn't addicted to something?

It might not be life threatening, but do you know anyone who isn't addicted to sugar, caffeine, chocolate, cigarettes, worrying, or exercise? If you knew that you would be deceased fifteen minutes from now, what would you regret not having done or said in your life? Do not write down actions that you regret; be clear, the question is about what you regret not having done or said. For example, "I wish I had told him that I love him ..." What do you need to do to improve your communication skills so you have less conflict and more understanding in your relationships? Every single one of us has some communication handicaps. Perhaps you speak indirectly. Perhaps you expect others to know what your needs are without your asking for them. What are your weak links in your communication, and what do you need to do to improve your communication skills so you have less conflict and more understanding in your relationships? Long after all of this was written, Barry told me he'd that realized he does have another strategy, but he says it's not a very good one. He deliberately lets things with a deadline sit until the last minute. He says his internal clock tells him when the last possible minute is and then he waits a little longer. Then he can start because the deadline, the sense of pressure and the challenge turn on his focus center. He may stay up all night, but he gets it done and usually does a good job, because he's smart and his focus center is turned on. That is a strategy and it works for him. It's not one I would choose for myself. Maintaining our emotional balance requires similar coordination of the left and right hemispheres of our brains. One side of our emotional seesaw is always going up or down a little bit. This "wobbling" is healthy and allows us to make tiny adjustments in our internal attitudes and outward demeanor so that we can maintain the perfect balance between emotional experience and rational reflection. Maintaining this delicate balance allows us healthy levels of insight into why we are feeling what we are feeling so we can develop comprehensive responses to our situation -- responses that address both the external event (the thing that's happening to us) and the internal experience (needs, memories, thoughts) that are being triggered by the external event. We each have our own pattern problems, and our own ways of coping with them.