When I watch the news or read ads on my Facebook, twitter, ebay, or any other media input, even when I have conversations with other people…I ask myself ; What do they want? What are they really saying and why? For the last ten years since the onslaught of social media developers have been working hard for powerful people. They have been finding and perfecting new ways to PROFILE YOU and we the people. What they are doing with this mind power is open to the highest bidder. Money is power and the powerful want more power. Just be aware. Choose your battles, don’t let battles choose you. The powerful are now armed with the ability to single out huge groups of people to react in the way they want. These wealthy billionaires can control not only Facebook America but also Facebook Europe, Facebook Russia, Facebook, Twitter, of the entire world. Sure people will not easily cross moral boundaries but, now it’s evident where which boundaries lie and where they don’t. Think about what even a small percentage of mind control on global levels can do. See mind control techniques here.
Tom B video on Emotional Sobriety and Recovery from Alcoholism
Published on May 28, 2013
Awesome share by one of the best AA speakers, Tom B. This is perhaps the BEST talk on the topic of “emotional sobriety” I have ever heard! MUST LISTEN! 🙂 From the book Alcoholics Anonymous: “In spite of the great increase in the size and span of this Fellowship, at its core it remains simple and personal. Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength, and hope.”
Here’s the link to the really good and helpful video. Tom B AA Video
I let all my secrets out of the bag with my first sponsor who is now passed away. She was a counselor at Bridge House who by no coincidence helped me and several other women learn how to heal from grave emotional disorder and addictions.
We are all still sober today that was in 2006. I remember one of the counselors was talking to me. I was sharing my horrific past with him and all the tie I told him of my tragedies I had a twisted smile on my face which was helping me to NOT FEEL the emotion attached to the stories. It was my safety net I would not feel my past! He looked at me and said “Lori what you are telling me is traumatic and yet you are smiling”. At that moment all of my feelings connected back to my body. I was no longer cold as stone separated from my real life. When I finally allowed my feelings to re-attach themselves to me I was able to start processing my past. Things that I should have cried and wailed over but didn’t were making me sick. Prior to that I had gone to a woman’s meeting where all the woman cried and felt their pain. I was stone cold, I walked out of that women s group and told my soon to be sponsor/counselor that ‘I had no business in that women s group
BECAUSE I HAD NO EMOTIONAL PAIN” and at the time I really believed it, that was how deep in emotional denial I was. But my feelings buried and festering were coming out sideways in hate, resentment, and self-loathing. I was buried alive in guilt and shame. I used to turn red with shame regularly. I was so deep in shame that I had a cancerous tumor grow in my leg till finally it was surgically removed in 2000. My counselor told me that people that take out their pain on others by yelling at them and attacking verbally and wrathful people have heart attacks and people that repress their emotions and bury their pain get cancer.. That was me. Since then I have learned how to let it all out. I spent years processing by crying, screaming in my car (not at people like I mentioned) When I wailed and moaned guttural sounds little by little the grave emotions left my body. We were taught to do that in therapy. the first time I heard one of the girls do the guttural sounds it made me very uncomfortable. I felt shocked that it was somehow wrong and she was absolutely insane. But she had been in group longer than me and showed me how to save my life emotionally. Moaning hurts no one. It’s a natural process when we get sober that the past resurfaces in us from deep in our bowels. We ask ourselves “what’s wrong with me why do I feel like I lost my best friend yet nothing bad has happened?” I was told that I need to cry about the intense events in the past that I never allowed myself to feel.
Doing a through fourth step accompanied with daily prayer and step eleven meditation goes hand in hand with therapy and therapeutic exercises. I didn’t make this stuff up it was given to me as solutions to anxiety attack, panic attacks, fear and shame
Why Do I Beat Myself Up So Much
Why do we alcoholics either tend to be in complete denial about our short comings or we pick up the cat of nine tails and swat our own backs till we bleed. Lets face it most addicts suffer from self-loathing while they are in their addiction. And I know for a fact that old habits die hard as a matter of fact they never really die. We just build healthy bridges over the sick roads of addiction called our brains neural-pathways. I believe that’s why so many of us relapse, we take one wrong turn and we are back on the road toward self annihilation
Okay that’s totally negative yes but unfortunately it’s true in many cases. So I have personally set some ideas to memory. First rule, I always have a choice. Nobody takes my free will away from me short of me being kidnapped, beaten and forced to drink which is doubtful to happen. Next I make a rule that when I start getting into the beat-Lori-up psychological game I get up, put on my shoes and take a walk. Or I clean the house, or I write an article but I definitely “move a muscle and change a thought”. Next I must remember that perfectionism is a character flaw of mine and I have no right to play God by saying I should be perfect. My creator made me with human flaws. I strive to do good but I must remember and accept that I need to give myself a break cause I am human.
But why do we have the tendency to spank and scream at ourselves psychologically? In my own case I surmise from years of deep meditation and spiritually boosted self-awareness that my subconscious believes that if I spank myself when I mess up or don’t do things exactly the way I meant to then the beating will make me do better. The beating will somehow fix me and correct my human-ness. Remember our hearts and egos do not have to be logical or make sense to our intellect. We should not allow our intellect to invalidate our hearts thoughts and what it needs to express by calling it illogical. Our deep seeded ideals of beating ourselves up as a solution to being human most likely stems from getting spanked and put down by my parents and older sister during the formidable years.
Lets face it all childhood punishment really did for me and the women I have talked to about it is breed emotionally sick little children. And hey yes the adults knew no better but that does not change the fact that I need an outlet for my emotions and I needed to learn new healthy ways to express my feelings. Repressing emotions is no longer a viable option. Writing is a top priority for me and the next best thing to sharing with other women or in a meeting. Many of the men in AA seem to think that if we women write one sentence in a fourth step about our deep and savage feelings it will somehow fix us…right. And I am only talking about emotional neglect, where abuse is involved there is even more urgency to learn to emotionally process. It’s either that or go back or or put a bullet in our mouth which many sober addicts turn to unfortunately. When I say “savage feelings” I know many of you know exactly what I am talking about.
When I am in step eleven meditation I give myself positive affirmations which also help me remember I am good.
The Women’s Way Through The 12 Steps is a great way to work the steps it also has a workbook.
Thank you for reading along.
STEP FOUR, STEP 12, AND SELF-WORTH. AGREE TO DISAGREE BY GAINING SELF-WORTH, GAIN SELF WORTH BY WORKING THE STEPS
Having a different opinion than my fellows is ok. Expressing varied views and opinions is good. Debate is good and necessary for the progress of A.A. AND OUR NATION. We have elections in every aspect of A,A, except regular meetings. We learn to agree to disagree because it is the mature and emotionally sober thing to do. Even in a facebook A.A. group varying outlooks and opinions are part of healthy social expression. DISRESPECT AND PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE INSULTS ARE A WHOLE OTHER MATTER. Time to learn which is which if we don’t already know. And if we don’t know how to disagree with a fellow without running away no doubt it’s because of a valid reason stemming from our past. We shouldn’t be hard on ourselves or others if we or they are in the process of growing up emotionally.
AGREE TO DISAGREE by working the 12 steps.
Without “agree to disagree” there would be no Alcoholics Anonymous or any of the other 12 step programs. Without agree to disagree anything that involves political decision making and voting would be chaos. Firstly humans always will and always have had varied opinions and viewpoints on topics. When we have business meetings in A.A. whether it be in our home group, inter-group or at area assembly there are important matters at hand and decisions to be made. Sometimes the outcome of these votes will effect A.A. as a whole. These votes are not about “me” as an individual. The votes and varied opinions though they may differ than my own choices or viewpoints do not mean that I am bad, wrong, ugly or any other negative adjective for having different viewpoints than my peers. Sounds a little crazy when you say it outload but this issue is why fights break out over minor disagreements people perceive that if someone has another opinion than theirs that they are belittled somehow. The thing is if a man has low self-worth then he takes many things personally as an insult about himself. Low self-esteem always has its feelers out looking to protect itself against perceived insults. Low self-esteem is always in “defense” mode. It hones in on comments or actions that have nothing at all to do with itself and perceives them as if they are putting him down and expressly meant to insult him. Let’s face it low self-worth thinks that the world revolves around its belly button.
What are the solutions to low self-worth? Notice in the fourth step grid on page 65 http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt5.pdf in the “effects my” column of the fourth step. After every resentment “pride” and “self-esteem” are at the core of every resentment. It’s not that the resentment gave me low self-worth it’s that low self-worth is the prime breeding ground for resentments because it puts us on the defensive. So typically if I have low self-worth then the chances of me being able to engage in a peaceful disagreement such as a business meeting vote and debate or an election of some sort are slim. With addiction we continually go against our ingrained conscience and each blow against our conscience is a blow against our self-worth.
And if we were raised in a home where every disagreement or varying viewpoint ended in a violent fight it’s no wonder we are squeamish around any hint of varying opinion.
So what then do we leave all the important elections, crucial debates and decision making to those who understand peaceful debate and didn’t grow up in a violent home where agree to disagree was never exhibited? HELL NO! We learn, we grow we find out how to achieve the self-worth needed to NOT take every comment personally! Image how nice it would feel to not get emotionally triggered every time we try to socialize? So, we do a painful and honest fourth step. We do a candid fifth step and share with someone who shows respect and empathy not some “beat you down” sponsor who hasn’t gained any self-worth themselves.
We do 12 step service work until we are blue in the face! We take meetings into jails and institutions even if we feel like our anxiety is going to kill us! We stifle our expression of pen and tongue unless we are speaking with respect. We journal until we are blue in the face because getting out our fearful feelings WILL RELIEVE OUR ANXIETY. We get a same sexed sponsor and gain a support group who will show us respect, and if they don’t respect us then we respectfully tell them, …no we “ask” them not to do it again because we consider their action toward us disrespectful. We remember that we can’t make anybody do or think anything, if they don’t show us respect we WALK AWAY and find friends that will show us respect by choice. We will find that once we start to work the steps and engage in steps 10 through 12 on a regular basis we won’t have to command and defend because people will automatically show us respect. Even fulfilling our part of probation is an emotional growth experience. Doing a couple years’ probation in early sobriety will most likely benefit us in many ways. Once we have worked the steps and put the things on our fourth step that we were most ashamed of, those things we did that we NEVER WANTED ANYBODY TO EVER FIND OUT these are the things that need to be on that list the most. If we can’t be honest with our steps we won’t gain the self-esteem needed to agree to disagree.
We do these thing even though they are new and scare the hell out of us emotionally. We do not hesitate to make a “fear list” even though we may have a year or two sober because there is no shame in being afraid. The people that hide their fears are the one’s that suffer the most emotionally. Being afraid is part of the human condition and if we are newly sober SOMETHING IS WRONG IF WE ARE NOT AFRAID. So after we write down all our fears pertaining to loss of our loved one’s loss of our social status and loss of our security we have a talk with our higher power and ask for some “faith” and to learn how to better trust that Higher Power. If we have a resentment that won’t let up we pray for that person to receive all the blessings that we wish for. And we do the work that 75% of the people in A.A. are too far into denial to see that they need to do as well. And every time we catch ourselves looking for the differences instead of the similarities in a meeting we pray for help with that because relating to others in A.A. is one of the ways we get well. Just some solutions.
NO RELATIONSHIPS BEFORE A YEAR SOBER..SO THEY SAY IN AA. the suggestion has much merit but there are exceptions to the rule.
We can quickly destroy all our loving relationships due to natural knee-jerk reactions that fend off fear and the feelings that fear creates. Some deadly knee-jerk solutions are blame, criticisms, hate, playing the victim or the oppressor anything that relates to putting down and condemning others to make ourselves feel better if even just for a short while. There is no shortage of people to condemn including ourselves. In the meantime we lose what our hearts really need and crave…to Love and to be Loved, to comfort and to be comforted, to understand and to be understood, to follow our conscience and to live guilt-free.
If you want to read what Alcoholics Anonymous’ take on dating and sex is read page 69 from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Also here’s the link to the Narcotics Anonymous literature on the topic.
There are some awesome suggestions in both texts. I feel obligated and inspired to write my own experience on the topic as an A.A. member since 2006. My sobriety date is 04-15-06. My name is Lori E. and I am a recovering drunk, heroin addict, crack-head, and co-dependent. Given all of the things that I have recovered from including cigarettes I needed more than just A,A, to get better.
However without A.A. I doubt I would still be sane and sober. I am the Chairman of the New Life Group in Gainesville, Florida. I have done my share of taking meetings into the very jail I got sober in and the institution that taught me emotional healing. Bridge House at Meridian Health Care. http://mbhci.org/treatment-services/residential-inpatient-services/ saved my life and it cost me about $4 a day for 28 days if memory serves. I do know at the time of my stay the government was footing most of the bill. They allow A.A. to bring meetings into inpatient on a regular basis including women meetings which at this phase of my sobriety are my favorite. Women open up on issues that are so pertinent to their healing that would otherwise be taboo in mixed meetings. I remember they told us that only one out of the 30 patients in our group would still be sober after a year. We proved them wrong due tothe excellent psychological therapy that we received from psychologists working there at that time. There is a group of 5 or 6 of us who are pushing the 10 year mark of sobriety. “Trauma in recovery” was the name of the therapy group. And we had a “women’s issues” group also. Out of the two therapists who saved our lives and taught us how to emotionally process (live with feelings) one has passed away and the other still works there.
SOBER RELATIONSHIPS and codependency
Three of the women that I got sober with including myself have been in long term healthy relationships that began during the first year of our sobriety in 2006. Two of us are with men that have at least 7 more years sober than ourselves and we met these men in the program. Technically that makes those two men 13th steppers but we can laugh about that now. Thank god for the 13th step! 13th stepping is when a member with say a year or more sober preys upon a new and vulnerable member. Technically this can be a very bad thing so I won’t make light of it without explanation. I believe if we are over the age of 18 we are responsible for our choices and that includes when we are newly sober.
We women in my outpatient therapy group were dating early on but we took every action and choice that we made regarding our new relationships into the group for feedback and guidance. We all spent at least a year in that therapy group 2 to 3 nights a week. Since we had a support group we were not technically as vulnerable as your typical and newly sober woman. Without that group I would not be in a mature and happy relationship today. But it took allot of work on myself to change. So two of us found our men in A.A. and the third women a total miracle because she found her husband in Bridge House. Hers was what we call a re-hab relationship. Re-hab relationships rarely last. Usually what happens is the two people leave rehab and use drugs together. Next they betray one another and the relationship ends in a total train wreck. That’s the odds.
Even our wise counselor at Bridge House told us that from what he had seen people who get into relationships in their first year always relapse. I remember in group one day Dr. Rand Maryowitz told us that he had never seen a relationship work that had started in the first year of sobriety. Us women looked at each other reading one another’s minds we thought, “there is no way we are ending this relationship! It feels too good.” And it was good, the trick for me was to survive the crash of the fairy tale expectations which was one of my patterns of co-dependency.
I wanted to RUN AND BLAME
so many times when my feelings would get hurt and I felt he had wronged me. That was me a runner and a blamer. I was the victim. Each time I felt that way I would call my new friends from group instead of running. I would then realize one of two things, either my new partner had not wronged me at all or he had unknowingly done so and I just needed to communicate with him on an honest level and let him know how I felt and why I felt I was wronged. Not so I could be “right” but so we could get to know each other and learn what one another considers disrespectful. If you are with a partner that is willing to work with you and communicate at a core and honest level then you have a chance of gaining a life-long mate. Soul mates THE FACES OF LOVE
RULE NUMBER ONE- STOP BLAMING MY PARTNER FOR MY OWN FEELINGS AND MY OWN CHOICES.
RULE NUMBER TWO- TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR EVERYTHING IN MY OWN LIFE. INCLUDING MY PAIN AND INSECURITIES
RULE THREE-LEARN WHAT TO DO WITH THE INTENSE FEELINGS THAT WON’T GO AWAY.
I had spent my whole life blaming others for my shit. It took a strong support group, a good counselor, and A.A (the twelve steps to be precise) for me to make the transition into self-responsibility. Here are some of the articles that talk about the solutions to relationship sabotage. I really had no idea what a healthy relationship was until I got sober and allowed myself to be emotionally vulnerable and teachable.
The thing is we get hurt and betrayed then we put up walls that protect us from that happening again. But unfortunately the instinctual walls of a sick addict push love out and bring fear in. I had to learn how to be okay with me. I had to let myself off the hook for all the mistakes of the past and make amends where I could. I had to invite God into all the areas of my life that I had been shielding Him from. Without a Higher Power the healing process does not have the supernatural punch needed for an emotional make-over. Therapy, 12 steps and God. Three ingredients to a super dooper recovery! I know many people in A.A. have given up of intimate relationships. Many times when they do give up then, finally they find their soul mate. A partner cannot fix us. They cannot process our feelings for us or build our needed self-esteem only we can do that by doing the next right thing. And continuing to do the next right thing. Here are some articles about relationships and what it takes to be a partner.
We in recovery would do well to learn how to agree to disagree. Showing respect to those whose views are different than our own is part of emotional sobriety (translation-Maturity). We learn at business meetings and at the poles that voting and having varied opinions must be understood. We should not run from all controversial topics as if they were poison and CENSOR them as if they were blasphemous. Controversy is not bad and personal choices and opinions have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TENTH TRADITION. “A.A. has no opinion on outside issues.” Tradition Ten is about A.A. AS A WHOLE IN THE PUBLIC AND POLITICAL ARENAS.
EXAMPLE of a breach of Tradition Ten would be…
>[I am the chairman for the NEW LIFE GROUP in Gainesville, Florida representing Alcoholics Anonymous in an official capacity and I make a statement to reporters of the Tampa Tribune that Alcoholics Anonymous officially has voted to NOT support The Governor of Florida in his next election because he endorses Narcotics Anonymous (and we hate them right? Or is it just NA who hates AA? off-topic sorry) That would be a Tenth Tradition breach.
If we don’t learn to stand for something in our recovery then we are still hiding behind a passive and fearful blanket of irresponsibility. Do we vote? Do we teach our children the principles that we ourselves have chosen in spite of many people’s opposing beliefs? There is NOTHING wrong with standing for something and discussing it…that is not a Tenth Tradition issue so next time you witness a respectful discussion of two people’s opposing views…don’t quote the Tenth Tradition as if it had something to do with it.
Here is a quote from the Tenth Tradition in the Twelve and Twelve. Understanding what the Tenth Tradition is really referring too is vastly overlooked in A.A.
“TRADITION TEN OF A.A.”>“Let us reemphasize that this reluctance to fight one another or anybody else is not counted (motives?) as some special virtue which makes us feel superior to other people. Nor does it mean that the members of alcoholics Anonymous, now restored as citizens of the world, are going to back away from their individual responsibilities to act as they see the right upon issues of our time. But when it comes to A.A. as a whole, that’s quite a different matter. In this respect we do not enter into public controversy, because we know our society will perish if it does.” Bill W.
THIRD STEP PRAYER, ELEVENTH STEP PRAYER, SEVENTH STEP PRAYER, ST. FRANCIS PRAYER, SERENITY PRAYER SHORT VERSION & LONG VERSION, LORDS PRAYER, 23 PSALM 1-6
Third Step Prayer short version
God, I offer myself to Thee—to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and The way of life. May I do Thy will always!
Seventh Step Prayer
My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good & bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you & my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here to do Your bidding.
Eleventh Step Prayer
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace–that where there is hatred, I may bring love–that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness–that where there is discord, I may bring harmony–that where there is error, I may bring truth–that where there is doubt, I may bring faith–that where there is despair, I may bring hope–that where there are shadows, I may bring light–that where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted–to understand, than to be understood–to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.
Serenity Prayer Short Version
GOD, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living ONE DAY AT A TIME; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace. Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
St Francis Prayer
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace, that where there is hatred, I may bring love; that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness; that where there is discord, I may bring harmony; that where there is error, I may bring truth; that where there is doubt, I may bring faith; that where there is despair, I may bring hope; that where there are shadows, I may bring light that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted; to understand, than to be understood; to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father who are’t in heaven hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses. As we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. For, Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory for ever and ever
Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff–they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
— Psalms 23: 1-6
Read more: http://www.lords-prayer-words.com/lord_traditional_king_james.html#ixzz3vBh6QQpA
Children’s Bedtime Prayer
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep:
May God guard me through the night
And wake me with the morning light.
Third Step Prayers
Topics: Fear Not, Step three and Step Five of Alcoholics Anonymous
“Fear not” is easier said than done. We need to learn the 12 step tools and especially invoke step three to keep fear at bay. There is no shame in revisiting a third step to remind us that God has our back! One of the first things we do when beginning our walk in sober school is identify, seek, and find a Higher Power. Step five in the Big Book is the magic step that alleviates our guilt & shame but make no mistake, it is not a one-time job! Unless of coarse your perfect or sociopath.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. “They say that the most used phrase in the Bible is “fear not”
The psychological make-up of an addict
Many of us when we were very small children were often told by parents that we had nothing to be afraid of when we expressed our intense child-like fears. Unfortunately during our forthright expression of true feelings our parents often implied by their lack of empathy and understanding that our fears were not only unfounded but ridiculous and perhaps absurd. These adults knew no better.
Parents do not usually know that some validation of our feelings along with comfort and logic was necessary for our emotional health. Therefore our intense little feelings were invalidated, we felt “wrong” for being afraid. After-all our parents knew best how we should feel so our fears must be wrong. But instead of that making our fears go away it motivated us to hide our fears for shame. My parents used shame to control me. They used shame to oppress me and steal my dreams and hopes.
What’s worse once we got to pre and elementary school we found out just what kind of people express their fears openly. We learned about the scaredy-cats, the chicken-shits, the pussies and the yellow-bellies. We learned that people who express any form of fear will be ostracized greatly by their fellows and friends. We must be bad we must be wrong!
And so we learned to stuff down those big fears into our guts, we learned to act, and we learned to put on the mask of fearlessness. No-one would call us cry-baby again! Ever! We learned, even…to shut off our tears. Showing any kind of hurt emotional or physical would label us weak. So we turned our hurts to anger. Who could blame us…we didn’t want to be labelled by everyone. Between our parents and our school-mates we were really left with very few people if any in whom we could confide our true feelings so we could let them out.
Most of us women in addiction were sexually abused as children. We hid the feelings from that away as well…deep in our bowels lie the pain and hurt of a wounded, neglected, and abused child. We did not trust that our feelings were right therefore we could not trust our parents to tell them what happened…or maybe our parents are the culprits of the abuse. Either way we had no adult to confide with about the abuse and the feelings of self-loathing that resulted from it.
AND SO GOES THE STORY OF THE TYPICAL ADDICTS EMOTIONS…expression of feelings was off the table so what would we do with all those feelings inside us that were ready & able to cause an explosion of wrath. We usually weren’t cruel people we didn’t want to take out our feelings on others so we beat ourselves up for being who we were.
We developed a voice in our head that screamed at us for things we said and did and things we didn’t say and do. We became our own worst enemy.
The self-hate, the anxiety, and the depression that we felt had to stop!
SO WE MEDICATED! After-all the last thing we would do is confide in someone so they could turn around and use it against us!
Ohhhh how the drugs worked, ohhhh how they made us feel better…for a while anyway!
Robin Williams-an addict in recovery hung himself today. Why would anyone with all that money, in the program, sober for quite some time want to kill himself?
“Our liquor was but a symptom, so we had to get down to causes and conditions.”
I have a friend who is a therapist and in 12 step recovery. He loves both programs. But he has quoted me shocking numbers of addicts/alcoholics in a 12 step program who have committed suicide. The statistics are staggering. What you will find behind the statistics is an ability to express and share negative feelings. . My friend insists that all his sponcees do regular fifth-steps in meetings by telling “WHAT HAPPENED AND HOW IT MADE ME FEEL.”
FEELINGS ARE NOT AN OUTSIDE ISSUE, THE SOLUTIONS DO NOT LIE IN SHUTTING DOWN OUR FEELINGS AND PRETENDING THEY DON’T EXIST.
“WE ARE AS SICK AS OUR SECRETS”
WE MUST FIND AT LEAST ONE PERSON WE CAN TELL ANYTHING TO.
IN THE U.S. SUICIDE STATISTICS FAR OUTWEIGH OTHER COUNTRIES.
The solutions to anxiety and depression are simple but not easy. You can find them on my website:
THE 12 TRADITIONSTRADITION 2
“For out group purpose there is but one ultimate authority-a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.,
Sponsorship & a lust for power & control can go hand in hand if we are not carefully self-aware. Sin is an uncomfortable word for many addicts probably because of being judged harshly by religious people in our past. After all, power over others can be very seductive and addicting. We need to be very careful and stay mindful of this when we sponsor newcomers. Being an authority in a church has its own sinful temptations, and pitfalls such as the obsession to control others.
Usurping authority over others, and the elation we humans often get when we are allowed to manage another person’s life is often downright luscious to our flesh. The desire to play God is the exact reason why our early founders of Alcoholics Anonymous set up the 12 traditions the way they did. Bill W. and the rest of the early members knew that power corrupts and that if addicts got a taste of power it would be all she wrote for AA.
Greed and the lust for money are right up there with the hunger for control and authority. It is written in the Bible that; “The Love of money is the root of much evil.” This scripture gets mis-quoted probably more than any. It’s the “Love “of money rather than the Love of God which turns our insides into a den of thieves and makes us sick. One solution for these greedy & selfish fear based character flaws are to realize that we aren’t trusting God when we struggle for more, more, more and simple giving.
To combat greed we give away something that we absolutely do not want to give away like a hundred dollar bill or something we covet. Giving away what we covet takes sins power and smashes it into smithereens. It also frees us from our own fears that drive us to selfishness. Giving away something we value or covet will curtail possibly even cure our greed. Giving away that which we don’t want that bad anyway won’t work in the same way.
It’s a spiritual law that is obvious to the spiritually minded furthermore Jesus spoke about this Karmic law in the New Testament when a ruler asked Him how or what he needed to do to have eternal life. The man was very rich and Jesus suggested to him that he give all his material possessions away and follow Him. (Luke 18:22) I believe the ruler walked away saddened by the instructions unable to carry the directions out.
We also need to firstly not hand over our power by asking others to make our decisions or take on our responsibilities and second we should never tell our sponcee’s what they must do. Our sponcee’s are sick and they oftentimes will want to turn over their power of choice to someone of authority like a sponsor. No doubt if we start making their choices for them at some point the power they gave us will get snatched back and we will be left wondering why we feel like crap. Not to mention when the choices we have made for them don’t turn out well we will become their beast of blame. Best we help them by going over their options, possibilities, and then they can make an educated choice and reap their own consequences called self-esteem and confidence.
Honesty Open-mindedness & Willingness
Give Us Drama or Give us Death shout the recovering addicts!
|Honesty Open-mindedness & Willingness to learn and change is where emotional sobriety stems from. And what is drama except the opposite of emotional sobriety? Come on! “We are not saints” (BB) don’t post that Bible bullshit! However I will post this scripture from the King James Version of the Bible for learning purposes only. These beautiful words of Jesus back up my point in concise poetic word structure. Please bear with me I will also translate my point into an AA cliche. Mathew 12:37. “For “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
“Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”
Luke 6:44 A tree is known by its fruit.
But we are in AA we believe our own quotes and cliches!
AA Cliche #552
“Believe who people show you they are not who they tell you they are.”
What will you and your friends be having for your “daily bread” (celestial nourishment is one Greek translation) today? asks the waitress at the coffee house.
“Please waitress may I have a pound of lies, a side order of dramatic chaos in a gravy of screaming and yelling, and five pieces of entitlement with some toasted blame? And please three strips of self-pity make it crispy. For desert I will be having some sex with strings attached because I am not responsible for my choices [they] are and [they] owe me if I give them sex!”
Ouch! That makes it pretty plain that drama is a seductive and sometimes tasty dish. However it is counter-productive to our personal emotional growth in recovery.
What are steps four through nine really about if not changing our blame filled dramatic lives into peaceful lives in which we take full responsibility for our actions? But how do we stop the drama?
First we must work the steps and practice restraint of pen, tongue, and keyboard strokes. We must realize that we really will miss the drama; it filled a void in our lives as sick as it was. We must replace the drama with healthy activities and loving responses. We must rely on our Higher Power to help us accept the things we have no power over (mainly other people) and let ourselves be molded into different people.
We pray the serenity prayer each time the temptation to attack or defend rears its head. We call our sponsors and vent hoping and sometimes knowing they will not gossip about our issues.
Venting is absolutely vital for us to change. We must be aware that we cannot stuff down every negative emotion that rises up in us and deny that our feelings exist. Our hearts need badly to be expressed. Venting with a neutral party about other people is not gossip. On the contrary rather it keeps us woman sane. However when venting becomes minutes upon hours of criticisms and character assassinations it has surpassed the criteria for healthy venting and turned into soul sucking emotional vampirism.
In social situations if we become angry we can walk away and discuss any pertinent issues we may have with our fellows when our emotions have settled down rather than having to talk things out when we are highly and emotionally triggered. We respectfully tell anyone who wants to argue with us just that. That we must respectfully withdraw from the conversation until our emotions have settled. We do not want to pile up more situations that we have to make amends for. We have enough Ninth step work to do without creating more offenses.
And so we learn to vent with a neutral party when we are highly agitated or hurt. We share with a person who can and will relate to us not shut us down emotionally. We practice restraint of pen and tongue and we do not repress and deny feelings that do rise up in us by labeling them “bad” and denying we are human and emotional creatures.
We are on the road to drama free lives by creating healthy emotions in us. We are learning to share our feelings rather than letting them come out sideways by verbally attacking our fellows.