WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

ACCEPTANCE IS A PROCESS NOT A LIGHT SWITCH

I WAS VERY SICK FOR A LONG TIME

When I got sober after 30 years of drinking, drugging, and sick relationships I was scared to death.  My self-esteem was zero.  I was afraid to make a choice about pretty much anything for fear it would be wrong.  I didn’t trust myself or my choices and hadn’t for a long time, that is unless I was in control-ism mode.  But once I sobered up certain behaviors stopped immediately other habits took some time to develop.

SOBER DREAMS DO COME TRUE

I met a nice guy in AA.  He had seven years sober.  I like him so much but I was scared to death.  That did not stop me from building a relationship.    Well the thing is I was also going through group therapy at the time.  All three of my

Continue reading “WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE”

Why Are Addicts in so Much Emotional Pain?

Why Are Addicts in so Much Emotional Pain?

Page 64 Big Book: Our liquor was but a symptom. We HAD TO get down to causes and conditions.

Why do addicts seem to have a proclivity towards self destruction?

Why are addicts so inclined to blame others for their own choices?

And the biggie, why do our sponsors teach us to not ask “why”?

Answer number one:  I was in so much pain that I needed to numb myself due to a life-time of hiding away my true identity.  By hiding intense feelings and thoughts away my pain lived inside me till I finally was taught how to let it all out.

Because of emotional neglect

Continue reading “Why Are Addicts in so Much Emotional Pain?”

Laura Edgar Author Page

Hi!  My name is Laura Edgar and I am a writer.  My passion is to write about the changes I myself have experienced and just how they came about.  In “Paradise for the Hellbound” the book, I tell this story.  My book also addresses many spiritual and religious topics of which I have experience with.

I don’t think I or anybody should try to write a book about something they know nothing about.  I know about and have experienced profound changes in my lifetime.  I also write about emotional issues and how to get past fear, emotional pain, stress, depression, panic attacks, and addictions.

Change can come to any of us if we do the work to get the results.  When it comes to addictions, if we simply write off our issues as hereditary and non-environment connected then we have little chance of changing.  We may stand firm in our denial and take no responsibility what-so-ever for our addictive tenancies. We simply blame our emotional condition on an obscure gene pool.   Most addicts find for themselves it’s easier to blame our behaviors on a genetic twist of events rather  than emotionally traumatic circumstances.  Simply put, it takes too much work we think to delve into the origin of past hurts and pains.  Not to mention our primal natures bent on protecting the pack (mom, dad, brother, sister, uncle, etc) are so strong protective ideologies step in where enlightenment is scratching and clawing to get out and our true hearts are desperately yearning to be heard.  And then there’s the false pride screaming at the door of truth shaming us into submission.  “Don’t share that truth!” our false pride screams.  “If you share that truth no one will Love you.  For sure, everyone will make fun of you if you express any kind of hurt or need.” So says our false pride.  Yes our own intellectual false pride is at war with our true and feeling heart.

Our own intellect condemns what our heart wants to speak.  Our intellect calls our heart “weak” and “needy” because it wants its truth to be heard and it needs to be loved for who it is.

We have learned through conditioning as adolescents that our truth is wrong and bad.  That even we ourselves are wrong and bad.  So we continue to stifle and repress every authentic truth that springs from our heart.

We submerge ourselves into our left brain where we don’t have to fear feelings like hurt and neglect.  We go to the place which we know is safe from prying eyes that would tell us we are wrong.  In our left brain exercises we are safe.

And be sure…our left brain artistic activities do soothe us and protect us from the pains of rejection and inferiority.  However our activities are but a band-aid for the original wound that begs to be expressed so it can finally heal.  Until we go back into the past and become a vulnerable child.  A child who DOES care what other people thinks of her.  A child who is allowed to say she is hurt and cries.  A child who looks at her friends and says “I want you to like me”  a child who wants to be thought of as good and is GOOD.  Yes until we allow that child who craves mommies love and daddies attention to have her voice.   Until we let our heart have it’s voice all our efforts of distraction are  merely a band-aid on a wound forever seeping.  Our emotional pain without a voice will stay infected.  And many times the infection will come out sideways onto those we love the most, those we have no intention of hurting.

You’re Right Where You’re Supposed to Be.

You’re Right Where You’re supposed to be.

Link to Twelve Step Prayers.

Your Right Where Your Supposed to Be

So many times during the first two years of recovery I felt as if I was somehow doing something wrong in my recovery or that something was not right with my progress. I used to feel like my feelings themselves where wrong. Especially if I was sad or fearful, on the edge of depression or angry. I was fortunate to have effective group therapy which when combined with Alcoholics Anonymous kept me and several of my rehab-mates sober for a very long time. We all had sexual abuse in our past and took our addiction to places we were ashamed of. But I learned THERE IS NO WRONG FEELING, EVER.

It’s completely normal to go through an emotional rollercoaster ride in the first couple years of sobriety.

Continue reading “You’re Right Where You’re Supposed to Be.”

Addiction is “Fear Management”

Franklin D. Roosevelt said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”.

WHY does it seem addicts are far more fearful than other people?   It is a fear of feelings that drives a man to numb all his feelings including the blessed ones.  At the core of addiction lies fear, shame, and an inability to process our feelings in a healthy way.

Panic attacks, anxiety, stress, shame, embarrassment, nervousness, phobias, freaking out,, shame, insecurity, shyness, inferiority are all bi-products of fear.  Addiction =”fear management gone awry”.

Some may highly disagree with the fear theory.  They will tell us they are ashamed of nothing and don’t give a damn what anybody thinks of them!   And as they approach life through a platform of anger and wrath what they say is in some ways true.   We bathe in anger to cover fear, hurt and pain.  This is the addicts basic false-pride and denial system born from a core of fear and shame.  Shame is a form of fear.  Shame is the belief that other people are better than us and will see that we are BAD so we hide. (I do wish I was not writing my own emotional story here).

But please, before we slip into a warm cherry pie of deep dish denial and hang the messenger.

Please realize, addicts are not at fault for their deep fear/shame feelings.  In the formative years of which we were sponges learning the basics of life itself and where we fit into it, some adult/adults who probably loved us (as much as they were able) convinced us that we were of less value than other people.  These influential moms, dads, uncles, brothers, sisters, priests, pastures,  coaches and teachers were in a position to literally form our self-image at a core level.  Most likely they themselves reflected their own self-image onto us. They felt worthless and so we were worthless.  At times addict-type parents are ashamed even of their own children.

Low self esteem breeds defensiveness.  

We wear our hearts on our sleeves and we flinch and lash-out at any remote suggestion that we are bad, wrong, ugly, stupid, or any other negative connotation such as these.  Feeling threatened we immediately switch-off to blame-mode and block out countless opportunities for fruitful and productive relationships.  We routinely cut-off our own nose to spite our face.

And so as young emotionally defenseless children, we walked around with our heads hung low separate from the flock, prime prey for the abusive and distorted sex offender who reels us in by telling us what we crave to hear more than anything; ‘WE ARE OF VALUE, WE ARE LOVED’.

This my friend is the story of many an addict boys and girls alike.

IF AN ADDICT DOESN’T KNOW HE HAS BEEN  DEEPLY ASHAMED HE HASN’T GOTTEN DOWN TO “CAUSES AND CONDITIONS”….YET, IN his/her RECOVERY PROCESS.   But this is the beginning of healing, realizing the malady’s core.

We formed temporary emotional survival skills for our deep shame, but our skills, primal in nature have become destructive and push away the ones we love most and those we could have loved.  Our slip-shot solutions are destructive and hurt others.  We set ourselves up not as equals but rather as better than everyone else.  We do this through harsh condemning judgments and endless fault finding and criticisms.   We had to find a way to live with ourselves.  When we drink and drug then we are beautiful, then we are strong, then we do not have to be ashamed.

But the drugs quit working that’s why we are here in AA to find new solutions.  Solutions that do not consist of blame as their pre-requisite.  Solutions that will aid in our sobriety and our emotional healing.  And hopefully somewhere in our recovery we learn it’s ok to cry.  That crying  and being hurt are part of being human.  We MUST FIND WAYS TO PROCESS THE MOST INTENSE OF OUR FEELINGS IF WE DON’T, THEN WE WILL CONTINUE REPRESSING EMOTIONS.

THE SOLUTIONS ARE HERE WE JUST NEED TO USE THEM.

What do we do?  An immersion into AA or any 12 step group is vital. We do a serious third step.

We do step four and list all prejudice, shame, resentment, silent judgement, guilt, and all hurtful actions.  We do ongoing step work. We make a FEAR LIST.

We do step 12 chair meetings in jails, institutions, and AA itself, all service work will build self-worth.  The more the better.

We get therapy and develop emotional processes that work for us.  We hournal, write, cry, scream, groan, beat the bag, share, beat the bed.  (There is no wrong feeling therefore we don’t have to hide and deny them.)  We confess past offences.

We write a biography of the intense times in our life-What happened and how it made us feel.

Practice Spirituality-Step Eleven is priceless and should be ongoing.

A connection to nature and the outdoors is very helpful.  We go to rivers, lakes, springs, snow, sky, caves, animals, walks and more.)

Got Your ACE Score?

I AM NOT AFRAID OF DYING!

What is terror management theory?

 

 

DEMONIZING SOBER-SEX

Stop demonizing sober sex!

There is an unwritten rule in AA that is not without merit.  “No sex for the first year sober” is the suggestion.  Unwritten indeed.  The rule teeters on a scale defined as either a beneficial and spiritual quest or controlling and insane demand depending on the context by which it is administered.  Granted the “no sex” rule is not as well established as the “no relationships” for the first year rule.  But admittedly they are similar, and sex can be huge distraction in early sobriety that leads directly to the cliff called “relationships”.  After all a sexual relationship is still a relationship.

How can the rule of no sex for a year be potentially either spiritual or character defect both?  It is a spiritual quest if we choose it to stay clear of distractions and deny the flesh to empower the spirit.  And it is a decision I can change at any time preferably without being called an evil 13th stepper.     If someone is demanding that I “stop all sex for a year” no questions asked and insisting I won’t stay sober if I have sex as a blanket rule for everyone…well then it’s insanity because there are a host of circumstances in life which could prove that newly sober sexual relationships can work.  It depends on the person and the situation.  Perhaps I enter the rooms married, or maybe I meet my soul mate in the rooms.   Him with 13 years sober and me 13 days sober.  We fall deeply in love and are still together many  years later, in harmony.  And yet the frigid and judgmental call it a 13th step.  The most horrid of the AA offences, that is other than relapse.

Live by the golden rule and show others respect.

In the words of our great guru, king of the 12 steps, validator of the suffering addict,  Bill W. himself.  “We do not want to be the arbiter of anyone’s sex conduct.”   Well you sure as hell could of fooled me!  If “we” means the people at meetings I have been to that is.  Seems to me the rule forbidding sex in the first year of recovery supersedes many of the more important sobriety suggestions.   And Bill W. continues:  “We remembered always that our sex powers were God-given and therefore good, neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and loathed.”  He goes on to mention that “everyone has sex problems.”    I am sure that’s true also for the majority of humans, eventually.

Are certain members of AA mimicking religious fanatics?

Yes ironically, since the word “religion” is by far the most evil word in the AA pirate dictionary.

And the interesting part about all this shame inducing sex talk?  We hear a very similar message echoing from the pulpit of many churches.  Even though the Bible itself doesn’t talk much about sex.  But rather the Bible condemns the betrayal called adultery.  The word “fornication” in my opinion implies ‘betrayal’ and some sort of hurtfulness not sex alone.  Let consenting adults alone with their consensual sex.  Why, with all the violence, torture, abuse, murders, maiming, and molestation happening does an act of sexual harmony rate being called sin?  Only for the misguided, clearly only for the misguided.  Common sense tells me that harmonious sex is no more a sin than eating food.  Sex is right there in line with eat, sleep, drink water, have sex, have babies, and breath air.  Granted I am not referring to sex abuse that my friend is another mater.

What is addiction in the arena of substance abuse?  Addiction means un-manageability.  That is the difference between using a drug to help us and abusing a drug to hurt us.  But don’t think you escape un-manageability just because your sober. ha ha ha ha

Recovery is about what we do to recover not about what we are forbidden.  (excluding alcohol and our drug of choice of course)

Recovery happens when we go to meetings and do the work regardless of whether we are having sex with a newcomer who by the way used to be a prostitute.    The program works if we work it.  If you have sex you still make your meetings.  If you have sex with a newcomer you still make your meetings and if the newcomer doesn’t make his or her meetings, well that’s on them isn’t it?

We are adults, we make our own choices.  Newcomers make their own choices.  Some programs like to take away the power of choice, even imprison or restrain adults  but Alcoholics Anonymous is not one of them and the literature proves it.

WEBSITE ARTICLES THAT ADVOCATE NO INTIMATE, SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS FOR THE FIRST YEAR

5 Signs Sex Is Undermining Your Recovery

http://alcoholrehab.com/addiction-recovery/romantic-relationships-in-recovery/

http://www.sobernation.com/romantic-relationships-recovery-avoid-early-recovery/

https://www.thefix.com/content/sex-and-dating-in-sobriety-10028

http://relationshipvision.com/article/no-intimate-relationships-during-the-first-year-of-sobriety
http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/custom-cam12345/-articleutm_source

 

DO YOU KNOW YOUR EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS?

DO YOU KNOW YOUR EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS?

Very important to learn our emotional triggers in recovery otherwise…we will project every hurt, anger, and pain onto usually those we love most.  When we first get sober we are emotionally R.A.W. Ripe anger within.  Feelings follow actions not the other way around.  Meaning if I wait till I feel like doing something I am letting my feelings rule me.  At the same time denying and repressing feelings will make me sicker.  Emotional balance is what alcoholics often lack.  But for now, If we are not walking around with our hearts on our sleeve then we are not an addict in early recovery.  The thing is we usually want to Love and be Loved desperately but we continually push people away with our reactions to twisted perceptions.  WE ARE NOT BAD PEOPLE TRYING TO GET GOOD, We are Sick People Trying to Get Well.  We must rangle in our emotions long enough to get a sponsor and make some new recovery friends.

BLAME GAME HURTS ME AND MY RELATIONSHIPS

So how do we identify our emotional triggers so we don’t blame the world for our own feelings?  First we start the day with the precept of “I am responsible for my own feelings” even when I am wronged.  Even if I am wronged I am the one who must process the pain and hurt from that wrong.  I am the only one who can let it go.  So rather than trying to fix all my triggers in one day by taking my heart out of my chest and washing it off.  That would be impossible.  But what I CAN do and do have control over is my tongue and my thought processes.  I can intervene and basically “fake it till I make it” emotionally.

So when I suddenly find myself furious or deeply hurt, my face is turning red and I want to attack someone because it’s their fault that I feel the way I do…Instead I say.  “I am responsible for my own feelings.” I write out what I am feeling on paper.  I talk out what I am feeling with an empathic and understanding listener who WON’T POINT OUT MY SHORTCOMINGS AND DO MY STEP FOUR AND TENTH STEP FOR ME by taking my inventory.  My support group can help me see my triggers by their understanding and sharing their experience and their own past triggers.

DON’T BE ASHAMED OF FEAR

I must be able to admit fear or I won’t find my triggers.  I have to ask myself…”What is it that I am afraid of when angered and hurt?”  Am I trying to control everyone by making them have all my same viewpoints?  Am I playing God?  Am I afraid of losing something, like control or power?  Do I feel belittled and inferior as if the person I blame directly insulted me?  Do I feel I need to defend myself because I am afraid that I really am worthless, bad, inferior, stupid, or anything along those lines? (that’s the most common.)

HOW TO BUILD SELF-ESTEEM

We don’t come into recovery brimming with high self-worth and the self-esteem of an accomplished CEO of a large corporation.  Working on the 12 Steps however ALL OF THE STEPS will gain us the self improvement and esteem that we lack.  And that is exactly what we need to do to quell the incessant emotional triggers that hurt and anger us at a core level.

Know this my friend…nine times out of ten if I am triggered in early recovery IT IS NOT ABOUT THE PRESENT AT ALL.  It’s really about what lives in me and the baggage that needs worked through.  Repressing my emotions by denial will only make things worse.  I AM NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING! This is the attitude that will keep me sick.  All humans have fears and when I start realizing mine that doesn’t give me permission to point out everyone else’s.  But it does give me the advantage of understanding people at a deeper level.  When I realize my fears and ask God to remove them I realize often the same fears in other people by their behaviors.

STEP 11

We must go one step further in our self-examination process by finding the original “hurt” behind the triggers.  Practicing meditation will help me realize what my past trauma emotional issues are.  And remember none of the self-awareness is so I can beat myself up or condemn myself for my past.  Self punishment never has and never will get me well emotionally or stop my addiction.  If it could it would have already.  If I find myself in a place of self abasement then I say “OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION.” And I practice one of the programs’ many tools at that point.

By RUTH EDGAR -feedback welcome

If the grammar and punctuation of this article makes you crazy please contact Lori Edgar who is most likely willing to make you an editor on this recoveryfarmhouse website.