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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Trying to run before you can walk: ‘Processing’ difficult emotions without letting them ‘take over’ is a skill best learned AFTER Step 9

A lot of newish people think getting well means they will be so 'serene' that they will feel 'blissful' or 'neutral' all the time. Things won’t feel ‘unpleasant’. Wrong! Serenity is not numb. You get to experience the ENTIRE range of the human condition! Serenity is being at peace with the process. Not making it a problem. It is peace AMID the storm.

Yeh of course addicts want a quick way out. Feelings, good or bad, need not be a problem. But the act of processing them without letting them 'run the show' is actually rather !! skilful. It requires a relaxed and easy going unflustered attitude to 'take on' these seemingly dramatic inner states without getting caught up in them. This skill is best learned AFTER step 9. (Actually this would be something you learn automatically if you were to do a high quality step 11 meditation practice, under the guidance of a good teacher.)

There is just too much resentment clogging up the system prior to that. Plus there is not enough emotional stability to really take these things on an maintain some sort of balance. I would say that without a decent completion of steps 1 to 9, trying to process resentment is like swimming upstream. You will simply never really !! 'catch up', as there is just too much resentment being produced on a daily basis.

Basically step 10 is a lost cause (in my opinion) if you haven't received the benefits of the first 9 steps. You will just never keep up! It’s better than NOTHING, or as a temporary support while you complete the first nine as fast as you can, but as a long term plan? Yipes! No!
What I’m saying is that ‘You cannot survive on step 10 alone’, for very long. Its a FAR better decision to REALLY go for the first nine, as THOROUGHLY as you can, using step 10’s as a way of keeping tabs on resentments, once you have learned the AA craft of identifying them in step 4. But in theory, you should be more ‘normal’ after step 9, and things should be getting to you less, in the main.
Obviously if (god forbid) your entire family gets wiped out by a hurricane, then YES you are going to get pretty !! Annoyed about that after step 9. Well you know what I mean! I hope!

I had MASSES of resentments (Every !!! FRICKIN day!!!!) before step 9, compared to after. Jeez, it would have been a FULL TIME JOB !! doing step 10's if i didn't get the benefit of the first 9. Now I hardly have to to anything. phew!
Well that's what Ive found anyway. In myself and others.
Basically that is what I would recommend, based on my own experience and what I have observed. I am not saying ‘You HAVE to’. (Just in case, there are lots of restless, irritable and discontent people reading this!!)

Have a DAMM fine Sunday why don’t you!

2 comments:

Syd said...

I'm not there yet but will keep this in mind as I progress through the steps. As usual a thought provoking post.

SoberSteve said...

Thanks for the great post. Makes me think about the resentment I still have daily. i know take it slow more to be reviled.

peace
Hugs and Kisses
Steve