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What to Do When I Struggle with Being Reactive

Following up on yesterday’s blog, Be a Turtle, Take Baby Steps, I listed some of the ideas others had posted in reference to the question: “What do I do when I struggle with being reactive.”


  • Practice makes better, not perfect.


  • We all get triggered by certain people/situations at times. I find that the serenity prayer always helps.


  • Each time something occurs and the inside of me starts boiling/pressure in my chest, heart beating fast, right at that moment I have choices: walk away or cool down.

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Be a Turtle, Take Baby Steps

I saw this question posted on a social media page:

Does anybody believe that it is actually possible to change certain aspects of one’s character (through meditation and therapy) especially after a certain age?


I have found that although I have achieved sobriety, I still often revert to old negative thought patterns or counterproductive personality traits. Despite therapy and meditation, they seem to be hard to shake off for good.


It can be doubly frustrating, when it’s something I thought I had worked through, yet, the old me still reacts to things in the same way. At times, it almost feels as though some things are set in stone, like it’s just your default character.


Despite my best efforts, I still find myself clashing with certain people, or being overly critical and complaining about things, for example.


Changing habits is one thing, but I’d love to hear some inspirational stories about actual deep level character transformation.




Here’s my Response:

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The Beast is Human

I was sitting on an airplane today while commuting home listening to a podcast and deeply focused on my cross-stitch project I was working on. A lady across the aisle leaned over and said something. I couldn’t hear her. I paused my podcast.


“I’m sorry? Say again?”


“That’s beautiful!”


“Oh, thank you.”


I must admit; I do like the attention.


Lately though, when I want to work on my project, I stop and ask, “Phoenix, why do you want to do this right now?” If the answer I give myself is for attention, for someone to ogle over my work, I’ve learned not to pull it out. Making myself conscious about why I do things is very hard.


On an airplane, while listening to a podcast, book on tape, or watching a movie, it’s a completely different story. Eventually, I disappear into my own world and don’t notice anyone around me, even the flight attendant trying to get my attention to see what I’d like to drink. On those days, I get slightly annoyed when someone interrupts me.


It’s funny. When I want the attention, nobody says anything. But when I want to be alone in my own world, I meet people that want to talk. Must be Murphy’s Law.

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