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Emotional Sobriety: Complacency, Scarcity, and Being Enough.

It's suggested that certain things are done similarly to how it's suggested you pull the rip chord when leaping from a plane. For example, it's suggested you 'keep coming back' to meetings, it's suggested you ask somebody to sponsor you through the 12 Steps. It's suggested you practice the programme to the best of your ability, one day at a time. After more than five years sobriety and doing the suggested things I can truly say I felt really bad. The four horsemen, Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration and Despair had emerged from the oblivion that once came from alcohol and now manifested insidiously from a disconnect I was unaware of despite my efforts in embracing recovery.

It's important to recognise that AA exists solely to treat and provide peer support for Alcoholism and isn't a solution for all of life's problems. I was advised by my peers, the old timers and the winners to listen to the Tom B recording regarding Emotional Sobriety. I implore you to listen to this recording if your struggling approximately five years into recovery from addiction. There are lots of people that relapse around this time and it's easy to blame complacency or even 'not wanting it enough'. My experience was overwhelming and shocking as I had accomplished more than five years of abstinence, I was aware of what I suffer from and how to arrest it on a daily basis using tried and tested methods of relapse prevention. Despite all this I had disturbing intrusive thoughts of futility caused by the hopelessness of inevitable drinking. I didn't want to feel the way I did, uncomfortable in my own skin, ill at ease, restless, irritable and discontent.

The following recording provided solace, empathetic insight, humour, understanding, congruence and kindness. It was a balm of soothing contemplation I needed to try and decipher exactly what was happening as I was beginning to suspect the possibility of dual illness such as anxiety/depression/ADHD/OCD/PTSD. I was relieved to discover that being emotionally unsober is a phenomenon that is as real as the anticipation of drinking alcohol. Both arouse strong emotional responses such as cravings, heightened vigilance, an impending sense of futile inevitability. Protecting your emotional wellbeing is an essential component of relapse prevention.

On awakening I had a 'hole in the soul', a lacking in gratitude and acceptance. Brené Brown talks about lacking, scarcity and being adequate in a world where inadequacy is juxtaposed with excess fuelling greed and envy. The truth is that in accepting life on life's terms and accepting yourself, meaning forgiving yourself for poor decisions, taking inventory and making amends promptly.

'" We're never thin enough, extraordinary enough or good enough – until we decide that we are. "For me," says Brown, "the opposite of scarcity is not abundance. It's enough. I'm enough." The Guardian Jul 2013

Sometimes not drinking, just for today, has to be enough.

Light the candle and feed the spirit

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