Sober since April 6, 2006


Monday, December 04, 2006

embracing emotions

From Courage to Change - One Day at a Time in Al-Anon II, entry for December 4:

In the past, many of us learned to make choices strictly on the basis of our feelings, as if feelings were facts. If we were frightened about taking a certain action, for example, it was best avoided. There was no middle ground and no room for more than one feeling at a time.

Part of recovery involves learning that feelings aren't facts. I am a complex, fascinating human being with a wide range of emotions, experiences, and thoughts. There is more to my identity than one feeling or another, one problem or another. I am a wealth of contradictions. I can value all of my feelings without allowing them to dictate my actions.

Today I can feel anger toward someone and still love them. I can feel afraid of new experiences, yet move forward through them. I can survive being hurt without giving up on love. And I can experience sadness and still be confident that I will be happy again.


Today I am learning to embrace my complexities and contradictions and to be grateful for the rightness they bring.

"Life, for all its agonies ... is exciting and beautiful, amusing and artful and endearing ... and whatever is to come after it -- we shall not have this life again." -- Rose Macaulay

Physical discomfort has always been easy for me to handle. (Hey -- if it hurts, it's still attached! That's usually good!) But I've been a total wuss in regards to emotional discomfort. I've always avoided emotional discomfort at all costs.

The past couple of months have been damn scary. Being mostly isolated for so long, I've been afraid to open up to people. I've been afraid to call other alcoholics. I've been afraid to show up to every meeting 30 minutes early (as directed by my sponsor). The anxiety kills me. I hate it.

At the same time, I've been facing those fears. I have to decide that I'm willing to experience the discomfort that these situations generate. Sometimes I'm more willing than others.

As of now, I'm very grateful for the people I've met in the program. I wouldn't know them if I had stayed clammed up in the corner. I wouldn't know about someone's son being in trouble, about someone else having a hard time finding a job, or about someone else who needs a ride to a meeting. These people are just like me. Why am I afraid?

Today, I'm especially grateful for ...
  • being 243 days sober
  • going back to the meeting I wanted to avoid last week
  • hearing a fantastic speaker tonight
  • talking with other alcoholics today
  • AA buddies, online and off
  • getting to play with my dog
  • my family decorating the house
  • learning more stuff at work
  • having time to RTFM before work
  • the beautiful day
  • God, because He puts people in my life for a good reason


An Irish Friend of Bill said...

thats a great passage. i agree wholeheartedly with it. where is it from? Ta

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Doh! just seen the reference...

Sober Chick said...

It is so Huge when we begin to see over the horizon and realize how big the world is . . . filled with other love, lives and beauty.

Shadow said...

hang in there! you're doing great!!!

hippychick said...

Hey you!

Physical discomfort is my middle name. When I was in my addiction, physical discomfort was a no-brainer.

So was work, friends, family, responsibilities, bills, etc.

I am glad that physical discomforts are an actual contemplation for you today. That means you are definitely getting better!


Trudging said...

Oh thank you for reminding me that feelings are not facts.

SCoUt said...

Thanks for an important post.
I hear you growing.

tkdjunkie said...

Thanks, guys! You're awesome :)