(the first post in this series is here: On Being a Social Outcast )
(the previous post in this series is here: Putting It All Together – Part 3 )
Page 58 of the A.A. “Big Book” * states…
There are those too,
who suffer from grave emotional
and mental disorders,
but many of them do recover,
if they have the capacity to be honest.
[* The main text used for the Alcoholics Anonymous program.]
Getting sober also necessitated a humongous amount of honesty about how much pain I was feeling and how much I wanted to drink. To stop the drinking, I leaned on many, many people. Since I had no friends, I only had the people in Alcoholics Anonymous and several therapists, to lean on. I had a huge desire to drink for a very long time after I got sober, but I made it through the terrible urges by telling other sympathetic people – the truth – that I was hurting really badly and I wanted to drink more than I could ever describe. Many (but not all) of the other AA’ers hated my honesty, but I believe most of these people, due to lack of honesty in themselves, are either drunk or dead now. Meanwhile I have 34 years sobriety to show for my hard, hard work.
Another bout with honesty came when I was six years sober. I found that I had to stop all contact with my abuser-parents – permanently! so that I could stay the course of sobriety. I had to stop all the lying (telling them how much I loved them and how valuable they were to me – Yuck!). They were extremely toxic to me and I was totally incapable of withstanding the toxins they were dishing out. For me, there was no other choice. Breaking the bonds I had with these abusers was enormously traumatic and very frightening. There was a lot of pain and stress to do this. But I did do it!! I offered to meet with them providing a therapist be present. Basically, they told me to… Eff Off.
I can not even begin to describe to you the amount of fear and stress I suffered through breaking these bonds with my actual abusers (not their Introjects mind you). While going through the process, I came close to being catatonic with fear. How on earth was I going to live without their ‘support’ !!?? The idea that I didn’t have the brains to tie my own shoes without their help, was heavily instilled in me from a very early age. It took about nine months – with a therapist my Higher Power hand picked especially for me (Higher Power paid for it too, by the way) – to get back on my feet again and keep walking sober. Now, I’m here to tell you that, though you may feel like you will, you won’t actually die if you do this. With the help of a Higher Power, this… can… be… done. And you will live to tell the tale to others. To pass on your exquisite success.
* * *
(the next post in this series is here: Putting It All Together – Part 5 )