WHAT DOES RECOVERY REALLY LOOK LIKE? By Lori Edgar

WHAT DOES RECOVERY REALLY LOOK LIKE?

Step Four & Five’s primary result is the sudden awareness of character patterns of manipulation and dysfunction. Starting the day from the platform of humility means we are aware of our personality flaws and can adjust behaviors and ask for God’s help throughout the day. We don’t sit in meetings advertising how sick we are after years of step work and therapy (false humility).

We don’t take hostages or use the cliches as weapons to punish newcomers. We don’t tear down the newcomer to build them back up they are already torn down. Encouragement is not poison. Sarcasm is dishonest and should be a thing of the past. We say what we mean and mean what we say. We ask for help by choice.

Our 12 step work is by choice therefore we reap the self-esteem by doing the next right thing. Having an opinion on any issue outside or otherwise is part of self-confidence not a tradition ten breach. We do not speak for the whole of AA and seldom does anyone have that official power.

Facebook groups are not CNN or the Tampa Times. I vote and engage in National politics as my freedom and right. I have opinions on vital outside issues. I discuss important topics and learn to show respect for others and their opinions. I don’t shut anyone down or invalidate their feelings which are a part of them. Sometimes anger is the appropriate reaction to life’s circumstances. I get resentments but I know how to relieve them. I don’t’ rewrite the English language to suite my views.

I don’t whitewash AA and its members. In any large group of humans there is always error and mistakes. Quality sobriety sometimes looks like a boatload of tears and cries. Happy joyous and free is not constant. There is more to getting sober than just getting sober. If I don’t discover the reason for my attempts to numb my feelings, then I have more exploring to do. It’s not a sin to ask “why”. By exploring reasons and asking why empires have been built and humans have been saved.

There is no wrong feeling only wrong actions. To say my feelings are bad and wrong is to condemn myself as bad and wrong.   No but instead I learn what to do with the feelings that I have for so long feared. Stuffed feelings will come out sideways usually at those we love most so I write, I cry, I share, I find the fear behind the emotion and ask God to remove it. I admit when I am afraid. I walk through the fear.