Emotional Sobriety – Pat_Lifeline August 2015

I grew up in an alcoholic home with two functional alcoholic parents. This was a traumatic childhood that I can bring into my relationships. My parents would get drunk together every night. My folks drank martinis; I loved the martini olives, and this wet my pallet for alcohol. They would visit with each other, and the only way we could be heard was to interrupt and talk over. This is a terrible habit to bring into work or social settings.
My dad was OCD about cleanliness and terrorized us when we made messes. Mom would say clean up your toys in one minute or daddy will leave home and never come back. My folks introduced me to drinking at seventeen. At home I was a rebel without a clue and broke all of the rules at work as well. I’m no longer in my alcoholic home and do not need to be defensive and aggressive, protective and reactive, apologizing and explaining, and repeating and complaining.
In 2004 I realized I had an allergy to alcohol. I was an addict from the start guzzling codeine cough syrup as a child. At seventeen I attended my first party and argued with the host, and he beat me up. At nineteen I was binge drinking with relatives and became mentally ill but never realized that drinking caused mania.
As a teenager I developed anorexia and bulimia and have had weight issues on and off for years; this was coupled with different psychiatric medications. I had knocked off most drinking in my twenties due to feedback from a psychiatrist boyfriend and never wanting to drink like my parents. I began seeing a psychiatrist who suggested I read the book Adult Children of Alcoholics where in I figured out that I grew up in an alcoholic home.
In my thirties I became mentally ill after drinking with my parents in their home and made a suicide attempt and almost died. I lost everything and spent two years living on welfare and food stamps. I had become disabled and survived on Social Security. When I returned to the workforce, I had impaired memory from benzodiazapines and got sick and had to be hospitalized going off this med. Eventually psych meds became available that enabled me to work again. I discovered an allergy to steroids in my 7th year of sobriety. Any type of steroid makes me manic.
I found a New Age Church where I discovered a Higher Power. I met the man of my dreams and found the ability to work again. I quit smoking in 1999, quit benzodiazepines in 2001, alcohol in 2004, and steroids in 2011.
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2008 and lost my job due to cognitive impairment. When I got sober in 2004 by working the steps with battle axe AA and Alanon sponsors, the recovery promises came true for me. My life is a whirlwind of acceptance. I can say God is breathing for me, thinking for me, acting for me, standing for me, listening for me, speaking for me, and one with me. I can quiet the mind and have God show me the way. I can pretend that God is saying to me “Yield to me; let me guide you; let me protect you; let me take care of you; let me relax you; let me soothe you; let me heal you, and let me cure you.” I can quiet the mind and have God show me the way. I can focus, concentrate, watch, observe, reflect, notice, and listen. I can look around me and be blessed. I can be soft and slow, loving and giving, balanced, healthy, and faithful.
The recovery promises have come true for me, and the obsession with alcohol has been removed. I am seldom interested in liquor, and if tempted, I recoil from it as if from a hot flame.
Emotional sobriety means not wanting to hurt myself. I can be rid of my “bad girl complex”. When I want to hurt myself, I can say, “Thank you old habit, but I don’t need you anymore.” Pain and mania are not in charge, and I can accept love and love myself.
Perfectionism is a tool to be critical; I can be loving and giving instead. I can “Be still and know I am God” and practice awareness, acceptance, and action. Instead of fear I can change my negative thoughts to positive. I can let go of self-seeking and ask for freedom from self-will. I’m grateful today for the ability to be of service to God and to my fellows. Under God’s care I can pause, slow down, and stand now, walk now, drive now, listen now, speak now, and cognate better today. Amen!

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