We don’t just quit feeling fear or pain in recovery but rather we find ways to let it out that work. Pretending I don’t feel hurt or fear because of AA status quo that says “If you are afraid your not working a good program” is bullshit. WE DON’T STOP FEELING. What we do is learn what to do with the feelings that bother us when they crop up. The same man will drink again and dry drunks have no idea how to get real about their hearts voice. Use the feelings poster attached to identify feelings in early recovery. Every feeling happens because of a valid reason.
I do get emotionally triggered. I am not a brick wall. Tuff girl act is not synonymous with recovery. I am not on the streets smoking crack and trying to survive. I don’t have to put on an act of bad-ass anymore. I didn’t come to AA to continue wearing a mask of deception. I am a human woman. I have feelings that make me feel vulnerable. I know what to do with negative feelings when they happen because I was taught to share, write, use expression by exercise, beat the bag, beat the bed. This stuff works to get anger and hurt out. Also honest non attacking conversation about “what happened and how it made me feel” is therapeutic to my soul. If I just blame others for my whip-lash feelings my heart won’t heal. Recovery starts with prayer first and on going.
Fear crops up, shame, guilt resurfaces at times, and anger is a human emotion and part of me as is pain, hurt, insecurity, inferiority, fear of what people think and the rest.
Fight or flight tends to run rampant in addicts. Defense Mode isn’t intended for entertainment. Defense and attack should not be used to gain fake self worth. Defense isn’t something I should take lightly to use at the drop of a hat. Sarcasm is defense mode and dishonest.
Recovery 101 “CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES” I ask myself…Am I in ‘CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER’? Or has my ego been triggered by the hoards of baggage I may be carrying around.
Every fourth step should include MY FEAR, SHAME, and GUILT. Step five should include the stuff that makes me squirm to keep it secret. Every Step Nine should say “I was wrong and am sorry”. When I clear the wreckage and make amends (including pay-back amends when applicable) it clears my head to see more clearly and not be so apt to hit defense or fight or flight mode for things that are NOT ‘CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER’.
Feelings are real. If most of us had not been taught to shut down healthy emotions early on our natural emotional processes would not have backed up in us. We would not have gotten sick. Getting to core reasons for emotional triggers and learning I am emotionally constipated is part of getting well. If I am too busy defending I will never get to the part of recovery where I accept myself and am doing a legitimate step 6-7. COPYING THE OTHER GUYS WORK/paper ON THIS DOESN’T WORK. It’s our own heart we need to expose to the light of God and of Man.
If your sponsor isn’t empathic and can’t relate to your fifth step he is the wrong sponsor. Fake step work makes for fake recovery. We no longer have to hide who we are if we get the right AA fellows around us who are real also.