Firstly let me express deep sympathy and concern over the souls in Southern Texas and the trauma that my fellow citizens are going through. I am sending prayers and support in my daily meditations.
My interior life feels as if it is mirroring the dissonance I see in the world and it’s a bitch to maneuver gracefully. My pride is being revealed as a real sense of power drain. This is a source of regret for me. I know that my tough makeup has been my companion for almost 50 years. It has sadly come time to retire it though. Heaven knows how I will operate without my scout always checking out the territory before I settle in.
I approach 13 years of recovery with no alcohol or drug use and I have found ease and comfort certainly. But the challenge now is to have my exterior life match my interior views. I would rather let go of the dancing I do when I am challenged by circumstances in life. I continue to shut down emotionally as I always have. I notice it now and change the course, but it’s all draining and takes time. Although it is better than just shutting down.
I am obviously wrestling with emotional sobriety on some level. It will work itself out no doubt. I leave you with an excerpt from a William White blog.
I have been closely observing the addiction recovery process for half a century. I have been struck by two extremes: people whose fragile recovery is forever frozen at a primitive stage of development, and people who go through metamorphic changes that transform their character, values, and the quality of their interpersonal relationships. In the former, drug use has ceased or radically decelerated in frequency, intensity, and consequences, but this change remains nested within the same self-centeredness, resentfulness, dishonesty, and intolerance that often characterizes active addiction. This former pattern has been referred to as the “dry drunk” syndrome. In the latter style, the radically altered person-drug relationship is accompanied by dramatic enhancements in global health and functioning, as well as changes in character and identity—changes AA co-founder Bill Wilson characterized as “emotional sobriety.”
It is easy to cast these widely varying styles of recovery into the boxes of bad and good, but time and experience have softened that view for many of us as we have come to see how each style can exist within the same persons (and within ourselves) at different stages of the long-term recovery process. Also of note is that the executive brain functions of some people may have been severely and even permanently damaged from addiction, precluding tolerance of the ambiguity and more complex decision-making of the transformative style of recovery.
Today’s guiding mantra is “whatever it takes—recovery by any means necessary under any circumstances.” While we can deeply admire those in recovery who have used the recovery experience as a catalyst for personal transformation (via humility, gratitude, tolerance, service, etc.), we can also admire those who must tenaciously cling to those crude early defenses as a way to “keep the plug in the jug.” Both are deserving of respect and admiration…. William White blog