WHY IT WORKS
Sharing feelings is not morbid reflection nor is venting, gossip.
|Sharing feelings is not morbid reflection nor is venting, gossip. In AA we find ourselves trying so hard to appear spiritual that we may overstep the line of sane thinking into stifling insanity if we are not careful.Squinting and judgmental eyes pear down at us as we squirm and struggle to appear OK when we are really shaking inside, dripping cold sweat, and can’t keep our legs from vibrating during meetings. Why? From holding in traumatic feelings that desperately need to be expressed.
NO we say! We cannot share how we really feel then everyone will know who we are and that we are a dismal failure! No we say! We must keep an upper lip about our gnawing feelings…fake it till you make it they tell us! Well lets just see now why is it that our country especially the Caucasian race are on so many anti-depressants and sedatives? Why is it that white males are at the top of the serial killer list. Why is it that our country has so many addicts? Why is it that some men come back from the war with PTSD and others that experience the same trauma don’t?
I surmise that stuffing feelings is at the core of our dysfunction. I believe that when we don’t get traumatic feelings out that we carry them around inside of us until they make us sick. One thing certain in AA “IT IS BETTER TO SAVE OUR ASS THAN TO SAVE OUR FACE.” For woman especially we must have one person we can tell anything to. We must have one person that we can vent our core feelings to about certain situations and feeling and not think that we are committing the crime of gossip or morbid reflection.
Gossip is gossip when our MOTIVES are to belittle others to make ourselves feel better. Gossip is gossip when we share with people that will pass the rumors on and we know it. Morbid reflection is when we go back to the past and obsess on wishing we could change it. Morbid reflection is when we go back and relentlessly beat ourselves up over and over for what we did. Talking about how a past situation made us feel on the other hand can release us from it’s power over us. WE ARE AS SICK AS OUR SECRETS!
We share with someone who will not judge us, someone who cares and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Our confidant should have humility meaning they are aware of their own character flaws and start their day from that platform of truth. If we have feelings of resentment because we have been wronged, betrayed, or hurt then it is important to vent our anger first and then forgive later with God’s help.
Remember the drink and drug is but a symptom. If we are to heal from the childhood trauma of abuse or neglect we need to express our anger even if it’s at an empty chair that we are pretending is the person. Things that happen to us as children effect us as children. Yes now we are grown but that effect does not change just because we are adults. Take out a picture of yourself from the age of your abuse. Then you will look at your inner child with the compassion and understanding that you deserve. We so many times beat ourselves up for having feelings that are fragile and hurt we forget we are still partly children inside.
Addicts make the HUGE MISTAKE of thinking that somehow if we go to our abuser and tell them how we feel we will get relief however that usually ends up backfiring. We instead can write a letter to the person not holding back anything and be especially aware of and write how it made us feel when it happened. We can read our letter to our trusted confidant not to our assailant. This is how we will get relief. This process is extremely different from morbid reflection because our hearts are being honored and respected. We are allowing our true hearts to be expressed. We are respecting ourselves. Or we can say I don’t want to face the past and keep pushing down until it interferes with our ability to Love and trust others. One last question…why do we think that it is that addicts in recovery have such a hard time with relationships? Hmmmm
THE GIFT OF DESPERATION
|Back when I was drinking and drugging I went through the pains of withdrawal so many times. I went through so many sleepless nights of misery I cannot count. I went through so many fights, betrayals, fears, and neglects and abuses to me and by me both.Now I am older, eight years ago I ran out of gas you could say, I was just done with that life.
I sat in one of my first AA meetings scared to death and shaking filled up with so many issues that I had never faced about me. I honestly had no idea who I was. I had developed emotional survival skills that were killing me now it was time to learn who I am and a new set of healthy coping skills.I held the gift of desperation in my heart and the open-mindedness of humble and sacred Hope sparkling like a diamond among a dense darkness.
That Hope had to be carefully nurtured or it would be buried alive by darkness and fear of the future.
The people in AA said things like, “This minute are you ok do you have what you need?” And I did. They told me “It’s completely natural to be afraid its ok”. They said “If I weren’t afraid something [was] wrong”. They said “Go to two or even more meetings a day if you need to”. They told me to “Express your fears because we are as sick as our secrets”…so I journaled.
Slowly my self-confidence rose by working step 12 chairing meetings regularly. I was a sponge that absorbed every recovery tool I could.
I still must nurture that Hope unto the end. I choose today to endure to the end no matter how scary life looks. I get up I put one foot in front of the other and I go on unto the end of my days. So I live on and keep that darkness at bay through faith, Love & Hope. Fear would have me take my end into my own hands but be reassured things always, always, get better if we endure and hold on to Hope and Faith.
Meditation: There is one thing true that will end a man before his time that is the fear of the future and a lack of trust in a Higher Power that does Love Him. Surely if I choose Love how much more will a God of my own understanding of Love save me from the throngs of death and suffering in this natural life and lead me unto a better eternity.
I will not debate with wrath although my own false pride would have me do just that. Wrath knows no logic, rage knows no compassion nor can it be reasoned with….natural anger can be managed with the tools and a little self-honesty. The accuser of the brethren that old crusty angel of lies (the disease) will come alive in me if I allow it. The tongue a small organ yet strong enough to wield the power of life and death, Love and hate in its grasp. A man can conquer ten cities but who can tame the tongue?”
I wrote this a few years ago as a status in another secret group. I find personally that doing step 11 at length instills in me the self-restraint necessary to stand quietly through the manipulation of my mother or other emotional triggers. She throws out the fishing line and hook to bait me into telling her how to live her life or what choices to make and then she never does what I suggest anyway.
I end up with a feeling of struggle and strain in my heart and frustration…inevitably I get an emotional hang-over. Verbal struggles don’t always come in the form of sarcasm, insults, name-calling and lies. . Sometimes my struggles are fears within my own mind or me trying to be the director.
SOLUTION: Step Eleven and self-restraint of keyboard & tongue. It is not my place to tell other adults how they should act or to make their choices for them. If they are not breaking a law or harming someone literally physically then it’s none of my business to control other peoples interactions with one another.
EACH PERSON HAS THE RIGHT TO REACH THEIR OWN LEVEL OF INCOMPETENCE! Each person must learn their own lessons…we are all at different places in our recovery…on different levels even however, we are all of equal value as human souls with hearts that need to Love and be Loved.