About Me

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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.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Soft or Hard? Open or Closed?: The beauty and bravery of vulnerability

Doctor a posted this on his blog called Relationships in Recovery
and I just LOVED it:

"This means allowing ourselves to become more vulnerable, more exposed"
Balance comes when we learn to accept being off balance, not when we hold ourselves aloof."

I LOVE both those statements because they 'champion' 'the beauty and bravery of vulnerability. I have made big inroads into this faculty in the last 2-3 years. I must say I like it. Its a bit of a weird new balancing act, but its do-able. .
I'm not sure what I 'do' as such to make it happen. Its just something I 'feel' more and more as time goes on. A 'softening' if you like.
Maybe its because I am a woman and I know how easy it would be for me to be a Queen Bitch, I dunno. But I HATE the 'aloof' thing in women. YIK!!

So what I don't like is:
Not 'gentle'
Hard faced
Queen bitch
'held in'
Just 'so'
'Perky': A slightly ? 'lively' amount of energy
Derogatory observations of others
Appears as an ''authority'. Meaning 'someone who KNOWS the answers.
Spiritual Pride.

What I DO like is:
Not 'spikey'
No 'toughness'
Everything is open to question. Open-minded.
Appears NOT as an 'authority', Meaning does not look like they know ALL the answers. Looks as though there might be MANY answers, and that the 'right' choice is FAR from obvious.

Bleh! I have seen this trait can develop with SOME women over a long time sober. Lets see..?.. 11 years or so and after. It happens SOMETIMES if they have a VERY structured and effective programme. The less effective ones are never afforded the luxury this kind of ? Superiority. (As far as I know) It is something you 'feel' rather than what they say.
The only reason I mention this is because I have found the success rate with the method I was shown is VERY high, and if you are not careful, that 'success' can go to your head and make you VERY complacent and basically give you a COMPLETELY FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY. I've seen it happen quite a few times with former members of my old home group. Its an easy trap to fall into. The more successful you are, the more likely you are to suffer from arrogance.

Mind you, I don't want to be completely accessible, as I would be overwhelmed by other peoples problems. I need SOME boundaries!

Yeah and don't get me wrong, that DOESN"T mean that I think people are doing GREAT if they are weeping all the time either!! Or falling apart at the seams. I'm just saying this in relation to the people that become just a LITTLE TOO GOOD sometimes at being 'well'.
The way I see it, is you spend the first 8 years or so learning how NOT to be a miserable B*****d. Then you spend the NEXT 8 years learning how to be UTTERLY OPEN TO EVERY SHADE OF EMOTION, WITHOUT JUDGEMENT OR 'INDULGENCE'.
It can seem sometimes like you are going 'backwards'. But its not the same as the uncontrolled emotional chaos that you experienced before you came to AA. Hmm lets see. One could call it a 'Controlled explosion'. Yeah I know. Perhaps not the best choice of word, but I can't think of another one.

Actually here's a phrase which probably explains it better
Going to Pieces without Falling Apart by Mark Epstein (Book)
You know I bought this book and it was a bit of a disappointment, but I LOVE the title. Perhaps if I read it now I would like it. Who knows. I think I like reading monks and nuns best. The only prior monk I like reading is Jack Kornfield.

Whatever. Its like 'Stage 2' of emotional growth,, is learning the VERY FINE balancing act of 'Neither repression or Indulgence'.
But Stage 1, is just like learning how not to HATE people. Including yourself. How not to be a MISERABLE COW and all that. Basic stuff about how to be positive instead of HORRIBLY NEGATIVE.

Whatever. That's just what I think.
Yeah Stage 1 and Stage 2. That's what I should call it from now on..
Stage 1: Steps 1-9. How to not be a Miserable COW.
Stage 2: Step 11. Learning how to "Go to Pieces without Falling Apart". The FINE art of 'Neither Repression nor Indulgence"

Cool! Sorry for thinking out loud there. Hope that makes some sense to you!
Have a GREAT Thursday!


Shadow said...

that's good, very, very good.

and complacency is the biggest evil, i have to agree. hubby tends to say to me to get over it and forget it. he can't understand that i dare not forget it, 'cause then i'll be in big trouble....

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Hey thanks Ms Shadow! Yeah it IS hard for a non alcohoic to grasp. But thats why i like the St Francis prayer "It is better to UNDERSTAND than to be UNDERSTOOOD. Meaning, I long since stopped trying to make others understand this thing. Its FAR better for ME to work hard at unerstanding THEIR inabilty to grasp this, and just accept that thats how it is. Stop trying to 'make them see it the way I do'. Cool. im off now..

Syd said...

Yes, I've found that among some "normal" friends, they don't understand and I no longer try to tell them. They have no point of reference for the effects of alcoholism. I just keep my boundaries intact and maintain conversation about something that we do have in common.

johno said...

yeh I find too that the more i tel the truth (tho not in a victim, selfseeking, or aggressive way) but, the more I reveal about me and let go, the more others seem to accept and or let go. Its odd, when I accept this is how/who I am and dont expect others to understand, and forgive them for not understanding, the easier it is all round. Which doesnt mean being an all the time open book, it just about being true to me, authentic. To thine own self be true. Going to pieces without falling apart, yeh I HAVE done this, its sooo liberating and a hugely growing up experience. Might check out that book thanks.

Kathy Lynne said...


twodogsblogging said...

Thank you! I remember when I got into the program their were so many loving women who, to this day, I model my behavior after. I found the phony, aloof, jealous, bitchy ones eventually eliminated themselves. I'm coming to Ireland soon to meet you! We'll have tea and crumpets. I was there a few years back and absolutely loved it. I even kissed the Blarney stone although I didn't need to, obviously.

twodogsblogging said...

Oh yes, try Thomas Merton, an extraordinary monk who was an awesome writer.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Cool! Thats a new one for me Ms 2Dogs! I will look him up! Thanks for the hot tip!

ArahMan7 said...

Thank you Ms Irish Friend of Bill for dropping by and your vote of confidence. Looked like all the hard works finally has paid off. I sometime missed lunch or dinner hacking and tweaking all day long, and I loved it.

Not too long ago, about four years back I know nothing about computer, let alone blogging. I'm far too busy scoring!

Anyway, I love to educate myself something new, absorbed tirelessly every single knowledge available about the Internet. I shall tell you more in my next post. See you around Ms Irish Friend of Bill.

Gooey Munster said...

A good friend of mine that I met via Boot Camp that has been an anonymous member for over 10 years honestly tells me about his thought of this double edged sword. The mind, it can convinve us that we "can drink like a gentleman (gentlewoman in our case)". Scary, esp cuz when one goes out after many years of sobriety they don't have it within to come back.

I don't know, I have early on in the battle yet has gained so much. Does that make sense?

Something that echoes in my head is something I have a hard time conveying. I remember someone @ the podium saying not to mix up about how you are feeling to what you are actually doing.

Anyhow just want to say I think you are wonderful, courageous and I adore your human-ness.