Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Thanks for Sharing"

(Holy crap I miss youuuuu! Hope you're well! Get your flu shot!)

So the Golden Globes fairly rocked the other night, huh? Actually ended up watching the whole thing with the hubs. While he made fun of people. And I swooned over gowns and hair and Matthew McConaughey winning for Dallas Buyers Club because (imho) he so deserved it.

But here's one flick that was not on anyone's Golden Globes list this year: Thanks For Sharing.

The movie garnered an unimpressive 49% on Rotten Tomatoes (man, can critics be tough), but it was one of the flicks I watched getting over the flu. That Gwyneth Paltrow stars in a movie is usually enough for me to watch it (I got this love/hate/love thing for Gwynnie that's absolutely irresistible), but the flick was actually about a 12-Step program, so it ended up higher on my 'Gotta Watch' list than most people's.

However, Thanks isn't about alcohol addiction or A.A. It's about a 12-step program for sex addicts.

Have to admit, that got my attention. ;)

Rounding out the cast were Mark Ruffalo, Tim RobbinsPink and a few others, all playing diagnosed sex addicts. I actually really liked the flick. I loved the voyeurism of seeing into the meetings. I've never been to an A.A. meeting (obvi) but I'm definitely curious about how and why they work so well for many people. So it felt as if I was getting some insight into what makes 12-Step meetings such an important part of recovery.

You know ... it really made me think. About this. About you. About addiction in general. Tim Robbins's character "Mike" actually says that the 'beverage program' (A.A.) was easy compared to giving up sex addiction. He likened it to 'trying to quit crack with the pipe still attached to you.' Pipe, get it? Cute. ;)

I also recognized myself in the movie. Mike's son is a drug addict (because addiction is the genetic gift that keeps on giving, right?), but he's gotten clean on his own. Despite his father's insistence that 'white knuckling' it isn't the way to kick an addiction, the son says he doesn't need to 'tell his problems' to other people to stay sober.

I guess I've thought that way many times myself. It made me ask myself, was I 'white-knuckling' it the way Mike's son was? It actually made me feel afraid of what might happen next. But then I realized ... no, I'm not white-knuckling. Because I haven't given up drinking completely. But I'm sure white-knuckling on your own would be hard if you had to abstain completely. Which is where the folks from A.A. come in.

For one thing, you really get the sense you're not alone in a 'program,' right? I guess I feel less 'alone' since I started blogging. And I honestly miss the hell out of it when I'm not doing it. But I kind of envied the friendships that were portrayed between all these addicts, how they helped each other, supported each other, understood each other. Grew to love each other. That must be a nice part of being in A.A. Knowing you're never alone. Your sponsor is just a phone call away. A whole group of people who 'get' you are only a few days (or hours) away. It gave me a real sense of why meetings work so well. They enhance your humanity - and your connection to it.

As Ms. Functional doing my own thing here - proud of it, believing in it, wanting to share it - I still think I get a little condescending about people who prefer 12-step programs. I shouldn't be. I never thought I'd say this, but I could really see how regular meetings would help people escape from so much of the misery of addiction. The isolation and the shame just to mention two biggies. So if you go to a meeting ... you won't get any judgment from me. ;) Explore all the different treatments there are out there. You'll find what works for you.

In the meantime, here's another great list of 12 Steps I want to share with you. They're from Dr. Wayne Dyer. I've mentioned him a few times before. One of the pioneers of the self-help movement, I used to read my mom's copies of his books back in the 70s. I guess that's where my own interest in self-help began. And how I learned that I had a flare for it (i.e. 'helping myself.')

Anyway, these twelve steps aren't about addiction at all. They're about de-cluttering your life. Not just your closets (though there is mention of donating things you don't use anymore). It's about de-cluttering your spirit. Twelve simple things you can do to help free yourself from what weighs you down and keeps you from living your happiest life.

Because in the end ... I'm all about the happy. Here they are, from Wayne's Weekly Wisdom.

And in case you're curious, here's the trailer for Thanks For Sharing. How clever making Gwyneth in black lingerie the freeze frame. Somebody's using their head. btw - you can't see it here, but she has a weird belly button.

Sooooo glad to know she's not absolutely perfect. ;)