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- July 10, 2016 at 7:33 pm #4656582
As the big book states, we commence to outgrow fear
and ….these defects do not vanish overnite.
I found the more I was aware of defects and fear, the more painfull it was to practice them because I didn’t want to be like that any longer.
So it goes, sometimes quickly sometimes slowly ….November 15, 2016 at 7:28 pm #4656583
Thanks to Jeremiah for this post! I have this exact same issue, and it’s always seemed kind of ironic because in general I’m considered a pretty calm person…I’ve heard it mentioned by others in the rooms, and wondered if it might be a characteristic of the alcoholic mind, the tendency to fixate that leads us into addiction in the first place. But I’ve also considered that it might have a lot to do with my early environment. I grew up in an alcoholic household, and focusing on one activity to the exclusion of all else was a survival mechanism. I could read a novel behind the sofa while my alcoholic parents flung dishes at each others’ heads in the next room. Interruptions in my house were at best unpleasant and at worst dangerous. By focusing my attention exclusively on the task before me, I could create an emotional safe space, and any interruption to this felt like a violation to my safety (and in my childhood home, probably was). Of course, now I’m an adult, and such a negative reaction to interruptions is no longer appropriate.
Regardless of where it comes from, the important thing now is how to work on removing this defect. It sounds like you have already gone a long way towards reinterpreting interruptions as opportunities and gifts, rather than threats. Hopefully, as my trust in God grows, I’ll begin to naturally interpret whatever life throws at me in a positive and optimistic light! In the meantime, what I’ve found to help is my daily meditation practice. I practice meditating to clear my mind of all thoughts. As thoughts and emotions arise, I see them, but try to just recognize them without clinging to them. What I find is that if I am doing this daily, when these abrupt interruptions occur, it gives me a little room to breathe (literally) before I react. It usually takes me three breaths. On the first breath I see my anger at the interruption, and let it go. On the second breath I see the fear that is right behind the anger, and let that go too. On the third breath I keep my mind clear. By then, I see my reaction for what it is – an outdated emotional reaction that has nothing to do with the person causing the interruption. Seeing that makes it easier to react calmly, and maybe even pleasantly.
It also helps to recognize that alongside this “defect” is one of my greatest assets – I have a tremendous capacity to focus my mind and accomplish my goals. Now the trick is to apply this to worthy goals! Like, um, my fourth step inventory, which I should get back to…
Thanks for your post. It helps me to know that whatever issues I’m struggling with, there’s someone else out there dealing with the same thing.January 17, 2017 at 5:16 pm #4656584
I really really needed to hear this. Life banging on the door not waiting for me to be ready!! Perfect. I have been annoyed by its disruptions for so long.
‘I must pause or I will pop out my claws’
I have done the opposite for so long that people just avoid me.
A couple slow deep breaths and a silent prayer~ And to my amazement, it’s actually working.
I am still astounded to hear the stories and thought processes of others that are so much like my own. I knew very little about the alcoholic mind up until joining AA several weeks ago and it is so AWESOME to no longer feel alone. I am in the very beginning of step 4- and clearly it will be a challenge.
I am so excited and happy to finally truly believe, with God running the show, I can live without alcohol. 9 days now-the longest I’ve gone in over 8 years.:tyou
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