By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
Ending the connections with your problems.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could solve our life problems by just tossing them out? Just toss that addiction, the depression, and the clutter out in the trash can and now life will be grand. Lose that excess weight – once and for all. Why doesn’t it work that way?
Our problems are not just a single thing ready for disposal. Often they are an integrated part of our life. Life problems are connected by lots of wires to other aspects of our life. We have a host of wires connecting our problems with the rest of our lives. These wires are elastic like bungee cords, toss the problem and it keeps bouncing back.
We see this in relationships that crash and burn. We see it in addiction and we see it in lots of self-help failures.
A couple can’t get along, they divorce, but there are children, the children act like wires pulling the parents back together. Calling the ex to complain about “look what your son did” or to argue about money and the needs of the children keep the dysfunctional relationship alive. I have seen couples ten years post-divorce and already with new partners who still manage to call each other once a week to continue the old marital argument.
“Rightism” that need to prove you are right long after it has stopped mattering is a common defect of character.
Just because you end a relationship does not mean the connections are severed. You divorce your partner but not your kids. I warn teens when I counsel them that you can break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend but babies mommas and babies daddies are forever. The key here is to maintain the relationship with the ex as your child’s parent while cutting all the old relationship wires. The wires of anger, bitterness, and resentment keep us connected to the pain of the past.
Any 12 step meeting is sure to have a couple of people, sometimes more, who are not drinking, but they are not happy about being sober. You can spot these people in a flash. Ten years not drinking and they are still angry and resentful, unwilling to do any work on self-change. They keep the wires that connect them to their addiction connected and eventually most of them are pulled back to the problem.
Three things we all should know can keep us connected to our problems, people, places, and things.
Most of us have people in our lives that help maintain our problems. Plan to lose weight? Do you drop by that friend’s house, you know the one I mean, the one that is a good cook and always has a fresh-baked cake ready to help you eat instead of exercise.
Do all your friends have your same problem and are they stuck in the problem and not the solution? Addicts in recovery find most of their “friends” are really just using associates. Going to see old friends often means doing old behaviors. Hard to cut wires of bad relationships? They have a strong pull to take you back to old behaviors.
Places are also strong wires that bind us to our past. The old saying goes – “Hang out in a barbershop and you get a haircut. Do you think it is safe to visit a bar?
When a mental illness takes hold, people may find that they can’t return to the place they used to work or even the career they used to hold. Not that the place or job makes them mentally ill but the tendency to slip back into old patterns, to work too much, neglect self-care, all these things set you up for another round of illness.
Do you have some wires connecting you to your problems that need to be sniped?
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!
My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.
Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.
Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.
As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.
Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.
Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.
Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.
What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?
Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller
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