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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How to be Abnormal

The awkwardness of being an addict is hard to describe.  For ages, alcoholics and addicts have all reported the same sense of alienation and isolation from others.  Human relationships are often grand hazards which can only be traversed through outrageous acts that only seem to reinforce the 'otherness' the addict senses.

So, how do we live as ones who are abnormal?  Other people do not feel this way... obviously.  So, how do we cope with our own feelings?

The first thing one must do is cultivate a sense of manners.  We may be uncomfortable with who we are and what we are doing, but 9 times out of 10 the people around us have no idea until we start trying to cope with our feelings.

Rather than just thinking about ourselves, we should try to think of others.  We need not impose our awkwardness on them.  We will also find that thinking of others and responding appropriately to them will often lift that sense of separation.  People will respond positively to our behavior and accept us.

Years back, I discovered an interesting book that helped me learn something about this:

The book is outrageously funny, written by a very effeminate gay man who struggled to cope with his own social unacceptability.  His wisdom is well worth heeding.  He discovered that by cultivating good manners and being gracious to others, even those who were repulsed by his condition could warm to him... or at least be civil.

By the way, I think most teenagers ought to have this on their mandatory reading list.

Most addicts have difficulties overcoming the wreckage of their poor impulse control and even bad upbringing.  This book can help one understand the real challenges to being polite and tolerant of others as a way of winning such treatment in return.

It may also help those of us who have a hard time accepting ourselves as we are.  There are things we cannot change, and so we must decide whether we are going to accept what we cannot change, or spend the rest of our lives in a perpetual state of angst over our powerlessness.

It is a decision.  Do you doubt me?

Watch this video, and then tell me that it is not possible.  There are lots of other people like him who become disfigured and 'objectionable,' and yet retain a positive attitude towards life and other people.

We may not always have control over what we feel, but we do have control over what we do with those feelings.  Do we nurse them and make them grow, or do we overcome them?  We may be repulsed by this man's face, but after hearing him talk, we can decide that there is far more to him than his scars.  If we can overcome our feelings about his injuries, we can also decide to overcome our own feelings of horror over our personal problems.

Thus, our abnormalities can be set aside, and we can join the human race as a equal rather than an inferior.  

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