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Attitudes, your inner attitudes, produce bad feelings like fear, anger and anxiety.
‘Nonsense!’ you think. ‘I am angry because my parents behave so unreasonably. And I’m jealous because my wife is up to something. As for my anxiety, who wouldn’t be anxious about getting a job in a society where jobs are so hard for someone like me to find?’
Like most people, addicts and non-addicts, you probably feel that people, places and things cause your bad feelings. But this really isn’t so. It is your attitude to people, places and things which causes your bad feelings.
Faulty attitudes cause your unhappiness-Now let’s take an example. Let’s say there are two recovering addicts, both in Narcotics Anonymous trying to get well, both still living at home with their respective parents.
Both sets of parents decide that it’s time they had the house to themselves. They ask their addicts if they will find somewhere else to live and move out of the family home.
One addict takes this as a personal affront. His attitude is that it’s not fair. Therefore he sulks and he storms and he is full of self-pity and resentment. Very soon, he goes back to using drugs.
The other addict’s attitude is entirely different. He sees this as a good chance towards growing up in recovery. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he feels pleased and rather excited by the idea of getting his own place, and sets about doing so with the help of his parents.
Exactly the same thing happened to each addict – they were both asked to leave home. But the attitude of one was that this was an unfair demand, while the attitude of the other was that this was a chance for growth. And because their attitudes were different, their emotional reactions were different too. One felt self-pity and anger, the other felt pleasure and excitement. One went back to using drugs; the other stayed clean.
The sequence of events goes like this. Something happens – you evaluate it according to your inner attitudes – you experience an emotional reaction.

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