I have long admired the organizational underpinnings of Alcoholic Anonymous. This is so as my twenty-five years of doing private practice psychotherapy centered on treating relationship and personality addictions. While these are addictions of the non-ingested variety, as opposed to the ingested (i.e. drugs and alcohol), full recovery from these addictions follows along most of the same lines. A particular focus in treating both is on the individual giving up ego-driven control.
The workings of the alternatives are complex to understand. In my three books, collected under the title "Anastasia’s Random House Trilogy," I have done a fairly decent job, especially in the first of the three, Surviving Addictions, to explicate the dynamics of the non-ingested chemical addictions in the relatively easy to understand language of Transactional Analysis, my home base theory for my professional psychological work.
One of the areas lacking somewhat in that book, or at least insofar as I have been able to present it, as a result of my losing eyesight, is the topic of the collusion between the aggressive addict and the passive addict.
Herein lies the essence of codependency. And herein lies a major piece of the phenomenon that is Donald Trump in office; the collusion of the aggressive (power addicted) addict (i.e. Trump) and his adoring public (i.e. the passive addict); the ones that are sheep; adoring is the keyword here, implying the reactive, non-thinking element.
Ask any long-term Al Anon member and they will, likely, understand the notion of collusion with the addict in a heartbeat. It is the center of personal derangement.
On the other hand, those who are highly reactive and "fighting" either for or against Trump, without due civility (i.e. the media, depending on attitude, certainly often those addicted to the media/internet), may not be functioning as much in a problem solving vein as they might like to think.
Without doubt, we are in a major crisis these days with Donald Trump in office as head of state. Yet the path to probable solutions may need more practical thinking through than many on the either side of the extremes regarding Trump are recognizing. And, far less reactivity about our problems. If you had an acting out alcoholic or drug addict in your midst, do you think many of the things being done to handle the problem would suffice? Would endless late night comedy or personal bashing do the trick? Or, would totally ignoring trouble spots that others see as so blatant.
Noting the words of Charles Krauthammer, referencing “Trump Derangement Syndrome” in his article, “The President Can’t Govern By Id,”Krauthammer comes right up on the dilemma running rampant throughout our country. He offers --
“What distinguishes Trump Derangement Syndrome is not just general hysteria about the subject, but additionally the inability to distinguish between legitimate policy differences on the one hand and signs of psychic pathology on the other.”Ask yourself, can you distinguish between these two that Krauthammer points out? If not, you may not be allowing yourself to support Trump where he most needs you, or, at the other extreme "enabling," simply by accepting conduct on his part that functions "beyond the pale" or emotional health and stability. The latter can be as destructive as pushing back against him, aggressively or passively.
To understand one simple trouble going on with Trump; his inability to get his policies operative, needs to be viewed, I strongly hold, by paying heed to a philosophy that has built the, almost incomprehensible success of Alcoholics Anonymous, a success founded on “principles before personalities. Trump supporters see this strength in him. Don't push them away, if you are on the opposing side with anger and reactivity.
Rather lean in and learn from others who may think differently than you. This is the path to genuine problem solving which we are in dire need of now!
Be part of the team where warranted! Not necessarily on the Trump Team, but especially be a team with your family, friends, neighbors and local community and strive to find the healthy places for yourself, as your baseline.
A president is not supposed to be akin to the Messiah. That means, use your own personal power to join with others in taking practical, united stands, without reactivity, to better our society in ways that matter most to you.
This is how you can make a difference, almost every day! I have been practicing this lean in strategy since the election and have found amazing results, as I learn from people who voted for Trump while I did not. (I was not a Hillary supporter but did not know who else to choose so voted for her.)
I spoke on this topic, somewhat on my most recent show on The Anastasia The Storyteller Radio Show. Soon, again, I will be discussing more on this theme. Take heed!
The American public, to weather the storm, we are now living in needs more than any one thing I can see, to adopt this AA tenet. The goal, as in the Twelve Steps, is “recovery” of the United States of America, at its best, is demanding that “we the people” stop colluding with Trump. But also stop fighting him, just because you may not like him or his acting out ways.
It is important to note here that passivity, reactivity and anger are all corresponding roles of responding to the aggressive/power addicted addict. Each is based on some form of “discounting” the solvability of problems. Reach beyond this for yourself. To something higher.
So be sure, that whatever you choose to do minimizes passivity, anger and reactivity with as much practicality as possible. In other words, do your best to stay calm, under the stress. Of course easier said than done in these times!
The three blog sites for which I write are designed to be linked with one another. Here is how to use them in this way.
- Anastasia The Storyteller – offers personal back stories behind New Horizons programs
- Exploring Your Dark Side: The Adventure of A Lifetime – provides principles and select applications of the theoretical underpinnings of all New Horizons programs and projects
- New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project – Projects and programs of New Horizons.
Also, listen to the discussions on my two radio shows for inspiring and informative conversations on society and politics from a variety of angles, both personal and professional.
Anastasia The Storyteller; and
The Possible Society In Motion Radio Show
- Please read/listen carefully what is posted here and on my other blog sites from here forth, if moving beyond the craziness of our current political crisis is your intent.
- Remember, pointing your finger at Donald Trump will only get you so far in handling these crazy times.
- You need, also, to get yourself out of the chaos, out of the reactivity and find ways in which to hold to your own center of values and ethics and think practically.
- From a New Horizons perspective, we hold that “life is with people. That means "lean in" to others who are different, ethnically, from yourself or merely think differently than you.
- This means active grassroots involvement as much as you can manage, not just talk. And, also not fighting just to fight.
- All paths lead to one place, at their highest point; personal and collective transformation. Nobody wins unless everybody wins.