- Emotional Sobriety

Emotional Sobriety




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

Postby Dallas » Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:17 am

Anytime, anyone has anything that is really valuable and important to share... the majority will reject them for any number of reasons that the majority will make up.

Anytime, anyone, does anything great... the majority will reject them for any number of reasons that the majority will make up.

That's why the Majority wanted to get rid of the Carpenter... and try to destroy all He said and did.

Looking through history... I saw the same thing happening with all great men and women... that did great things or that had valuable and important information... the darkness will do all that it can to put out their light.

So, it no longer surprises me... in AA, to see that when one person really has a grip on something, or is doing great things... many folks in the fellowship will be trying to bring them down.

I made it a point in my life... that when the majority doesn't like someone... then, that someone is someone that I want to know more about! And, most often... the popular guy or girl... has nothing that I want to know about! :lol:

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Postby sunlight » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:01 am

Our district is is having a workshop on "Emotional Sobriety-the Next Frontier" on January 31. How timely!

I will share with you everything that's given.

It's even going to be a chili potluck! Sorry I'm unable to share that! :lol:
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Postby sunlight » Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:54 pm

The workshop on emotional sobriety consisted of 6 speakers, each giving their experience with this topic. None of them felt that they had "achieved" this, and they were ok with that! They seemed in the grip of grace & accepted that this was going to be a lifetime deal. They appeared content with progress, & the wisdom & help & humor of the fellowship provided them with encouragement & hope.

The old-timers came with us, & actually cried when an old-timer speaker talked about those he knew with 20-30 years who put a rope around their necks & took their lives.

Here's some comments I remember. Dependencies & demands seem right in there.

"As an alcoholic, I love intoxication. Where there's intoxication, there's no emotional sobriety."
"The steps are a way to not play God."
"Right thinking + emotions = intuition."
"Nothing happens at the speed of thought."
"I distract myself from the things that will grow my soul."
"I want a more complicated solution than to pray."
"I'm wrong, thank God. I can start taking actions knowing I'll be wrong."
"Stop asking for answers. Pray for different questions."
"Forgiveness is the key to emotional sobriety. Forgiveness fosters humility, which fosters gratitude, which fosters emotional sobriety, which brings on spiritual progress."
"If I'm trusting God, why am I acting like this doesn't work & there's no hope?"
"Admit and act."
"I get a lot out of workshops. I don't know what you get. I wish I could care." :lol: :lol:

Oh yeah, the chili was great - nice & hot! :lol:
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Postby Dallas » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:06 am

Gee. It's really sad that they picked 6 speakers, for a workshop on emotional sobriety... and none of the speakers had achieved emotional sobriety. Why didn't they pick at least one speaker... that had achieved emotional sobriety... so that they could share their experience, strength and hope as to how they achieved it?

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Postby Tim » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:40 pm

Dallas wrote:Gee. It's really sad that they picked 6 speakers, for a workshop on emotional sobriety... and none of the speakers had achieved emotional sobriety. Why didn't they pick at least one speaker... that had achieved emotional sobriety... so that they could share their experience, strength and hope as to how they achieved it?

Dallas


Dallas--Can you please explain your comment about the speakers on emotional sobriety? What do you mean when you write "achieved emotional sobriety"? How would you connect this to the line in the AA Big Book "We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection"?
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Postby Dallas » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:43 am

I'll try... :lol:

Our book indicates that alcoholism is not just a spiritual malady... It's a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual problem. Our problem, as our book suggests "centers in the mind."

If a problem is: Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual... trying to treat the Spiritual aspect alone -- would be like trying to treat the physical problem alone -- it will result in a treatment that is not being applied to the whole person.

Most of us were pretty mangled up when we got to AA. Our bodies were sickened, we had twisted and toxic thinking... that added to our toxic emotions -- toxic emotional problems and emotional conflicts that we had been supressing or repressing.... and our attempts to use people, places, things, substances, ideas, philosophies, beliefs, etceteras... to "cope with life."

I think of it, in this way... Just as the body had to be detoxed... the mind and the emotions need a detoxing also.

And, the body needs more than just detoxing. It needs to pursue a direction of positive health and healing -- if it's going to make a full recovery from the abuse of practiced alcoholism.

It's kind of like, in our book, where the question is raised... "Is sobriety enough?" The guy that walks out of the cellar, and says "Ma! See no problems here! The wind has stopped blowing!"

Our book also refers to "re-creating our lives"... not just recovery.

For people like myself, there wasn't much to recover. Had I recovered, and stopped there -- I would have still been trying to live my life before I turned to alcohol.

If I had positive health and well-being -- physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually -- I would have been living a life with the necessary information, tools and resources to "cope with my conflicts" rather than turn to outside solutions.

I hope I answered your question. Maybe, I should go back and read the question... :lol:

I believe that it's what Bill Wilson came to believe, after he had been sober for years... "We've only just begun. There are other mountains to climb. " (Referring to what he called emotional sobriety and emotional maturity).

Bill, in Chapter 11, indicated that "more will be revealed." More will be disclosed. At the time of writing the Big Book, Bill didn't even fully understand and realize the full potential of how the 12 Steps (for example) could be used towards their maximum potential.... for mental and emotional detoxification and a re-programming of the "mind" that had problems. That's why Bill searched for other outside resources to help alcoholics. He, himself, had not fully understood and realized the potentials that were in the 12 Steps... even though he wrote about them.

Fortunately, for many of us... even though Bill didn't fully understand what he had written in the Big Book... it was written. (I think of it as a work that was similar to the Bible... many of the authors that wrote books and letters... never envisioned their words or works as being compiled in a book that would be of such value to so many... the Bible. They only saw "part of their deal".... and those that came "after them"... more fully understood the relavence of what has been "passed on to them.").

Dallas
Last edited by Dallas on Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Dallas » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:56 am

Tim wrote:Dallas--Can you please explain your comment about the speakers on emotional sobriety? What do you mean when you write "achieved emotional sobriety"? How would you connect this to the line in the AA Big Book "We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection"?



Ooops! Sorry... that my long answer didn't specifically answer your question! :oops:

I guess it would be easiest for me to start by asking a question... :wink:

"How can we claim spiritual progress... if we haven't worked to achieve it?"

Spiritual progress doesn't come without effort and working at it. If it did come without working towards spiritual progress... "Why would we be given a 'spiritual tool-kit' "? Tools are for work... to "achieve something."

It's kind of like the Preamble that is read before many AA meetings... that includes the words "achieve sobriety." :wink:

So, "if we work for it"... we can achieve...
Spiritual progress.
Physical progress.
Mental progress.
Emotional progress.

And....... we can re-create and re-design and build our lives in any direction that we choose...... and achieve most anything that we set out to achieve.

God gave us "free-will" and brains and body to use. Why would we have brains and body... if spirit was all that there is?

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Postby garden variety » Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:09 am

Excellent response Dallas.

The only "measure" for "achieving" anything that I know about is "progress".

One of the things that tell me I've made "progress" toward "Emotional Sobriety" is how I react, respond, or otherwise "treat" my feelings. My feelings, whether they're on the money or totally off - are no longer my masters. In other words, I'm no longer a slave to my feelings. I've learned to trust them many times, and I've learned to ignore them at other times.

For me, the "acid test" is "self-sacrifice and unselfish constructive action". Whether it's my feelings, my "belief systems", or anything and everything else that crosses or touches my path, I know with unfailing assurance that "constructive action never fails". What a blessing it is to freed of the bondage of self today!
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Postby sunlight » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:43 pm

Wow! You all open the windows of my mind! Let the fresh air in! :D

My impression with the speakers on emotional sobriety was, they equated saying they had achieved emotional sobriety with saying they'd achieved humility. Once you say you got it - it's gone! So they shared their struggles & victories, but there was always more work to be done.

I posted in the AA Recovery forum, under the topic "What made your blood boil in meetings" about a man I knew who said he hadn't gotten angry in 6 yrs. I don't think he said this to brag, but to share that it can be done. The AA club he managed literally ran him out of town (last I heard he went to S.Dakota) cuz no one could stand that he'd done what they would not or could not do. Shades of the carpenter!

The man in the workshop who said forgiveness is the key to emotional sobriety, struck a chord with me. The carpenter said, "Be perfect as your Father is perfect." The context of this statement is in loving your enemies, doing good to those who hate you, not being some icon.
How can I do this? I can't re-wire my own brain! But I can take actions that I don't like, don't think will work & won't be appreciated & somehow my brain changes & my emotions are at peace.

I do this with my ex all the time. He's almost completely disabled from his addictions & I don't think there's anyone who hates me more! When he lets me know his caregivers can't make it that day, I'll go wash his dishes, mop his floor or bring a meal & something changes in me. He tells me how terrible I am & I agree & I am free!

This is really hard to explain, like saying how to ride a bicycle. Try it!
My current challenge is my new boss who is power-tripping. I could feel my stubbornness rear up & I knew I had to get busy taking action. ( Not only with her, but with family, friends, fellowship, strangers...) I do everything she says, & have her valentine present all ready to go!

Bill said, in the article starting this topic, .."The development of much more real maturity and balance (which is to say, humility)..."
Action will take me there.
But, it's not static. I can't get complacent.
That's why it's not just a job, it's an adventure! :lol:
Last edited by sunlight on Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Tim » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:51 pm

Thanks, Dallas, for taking the time to shed further light on achieving emotional sobriety. Reading what you have written often provides me with sober cud to chew on.

Dead-end emotions like self-pity, resentment, fear, worry, and pride are the rot-gut whiskey of emotional insobriety. They are a misuse of our sober minds, Gordian knots that the active use of the 12 Steps can cut through.
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