Emotional Sobriety: A Four Letter Word?
Ah, emotional sobriety! I’ve written about it before, I’m writing about it now, and you best believe I’ll write about it in the future.
That’s because this tricky little idea encapsulates, in my opinion, the rest of the program. Emotional sobriety is how we gauge how well we’re living. It’s how we tell whether we’re practicing spiritual principles in all our affairs.
It’s also super hard! Imagine going through life a serene, peaceful person. Sounds nice, right? Too bad it rarely happens! Now, that isn’t to say we don’t have minutes, hours, or even days of emotional serenity, but it usually doesn’t last.
So, how can we make it last? How can we stretch those minutes, hours, and days into weeks, months, and years? Perhaps that’s a questions best left to the old-timers. I’m taking a stab at answering it today though!
Practice Radical Honesty
It’s hard to be bent out of shape if you’re honest all the time!
When I’m practicing radical honesty, I don’t have any secrets to hide. I don’t have any regrets or anxious thoughts clouding my mind. Basically, when I practice radical honesty, I’m also emotionally sober.
It’s important to remember, though, there’s a fine line between radical honesty and being mean! Let’s say I’m sitting in a meeting and I don’t like what someone shared. Do I raise my hand and tear them to pieces? That’s being honest, right?
Wrong! It’s being selfish! Just because I don’t agree with someone doesn’t mean I have the right to act out. So toe that line, ladies!
Live on God’s Terms
This one might be kind of obvious, but here ya go. If I’m living life on God’s terms, rather than my own, I’m emotionally sober.
If I’m praying, meditating, doing daily inventories, going to meetings, reaching my hand out to struggling women, calling my sober supports, working with sponsees, and handling all of life’s responsibilities – I’m also living in emotional sobriety.
It’s that simple!
Rework the Steps
I’ve found the best way for me to live life on God’s terms is to dive back into step work. Remember, that’s just for me.
If I’m struggling to live the sort of life I should be living, I need to get back to the book. I need to get back to what twelve-step sobriety is all about! I accomplish this by reworking the steps.
Sometimes this takes the form of reworking my steps with my sponsor. Sometimes it takes the form of working the steps with a new sponsee. Sometimes it takes the form of going to twelve step-series meetings.
Whatever the form, the result is the same. I end up feeling better. I end up living healthier. I end up in emotional sobriety!
Seek Outside Help
Sometimes our problems (okay, okay, I’ll only speak for myself!) are so big that I need to seek outside help. Think things like being sober yet acting out on self-harm or an eating disorder. Think clinical depression, anxiety, or other disorders.
When I’m struggling with issues like these, emotional sobriety is impossible. Not only is emotional sobriety and stability impossible, but so it being a decent human being!
So, when dealing with these game changers, I need to seek outside help. It can be from a private therapist, a therapy group, a mental health facility, or even from a friend who’s specialized in any of the above areas.
Basically, taking these measures is how I address all my emotional needs. And, dear readers, once my emotional needs are in order, I’m able to practice that ever so elusive emotional sobriety!