Emotional Sobriety

3 Sep

The concept of “emotional sobriety” is one that resonated strongly with me from the start. I think I first heard it in AA, when people were sharing about “acting out” in other ways when they’d put down the drink.

In a conversation with Primrose following my last blog post, I reflected on how drinking is only a very small part of my “story”, as they say in the rooms. I drank destructively for 2-3 years, having had lots of other ways of expressing my emotional turmoil prior to that. I often look at the sudden way alcohol turned on me, previously having been a moderate and happy drinker. It’s my very strong belief now that the “alcoholic” cells (I like to think of my alcoholism as a teeny tiny group of cells tucked away inside me as part of my biological make up) we’re lying dormant my whole life, waiting for a moment to multiply. Had it not happened now, it would have happened at some point in my life. I remain thankful that it’s happened early enough in my life for me to have a brighter future ahead of me if I keep on top of it.

This cluster of cells represents the physical addiction that now I have more or less under control, but what about this pesky brain of mine?

As part of my 21 day challenge, I’m pushing myself to reflect on non-alcohol related negative behaviours. Something that’s really compromising my emotional sobriety at the moment is my weird compulsion to tell teeny tiny white lies. I’ve always had it. They’re so small and inconsequential they don’t harm people, but of late, it’s been bothering me. It doesn’t feel very authentic or “sober.” How to address it? I’m not sure. But at this stage acknowledging it as something I need to work on feels like some small progress.

Emotional sobriety to me means keeping our emotional and moral lives in check. Trying to live the best way we can live, avoiding harms to ourselves or others.

And that’s my focus for day 3 of the 21 day challenge. Still no chocolate consumed, although there was a run in with a bowl of granola that felt a bit off… Anyway, progress not perfection.

Happy Wednesday!

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11 Responses to “Emotional Sobriety”

  1. One day at a time September 3, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    Happy Wednesday to you too. That’s an interesting post and I’m going to contemplate some of those ideas myself. By the end of all this we should all be much people. Let’s hope we make a difference to our tiny bit of the world.

  2. Sarah September 3, 2014 at 8:19 am #

    What would be an example of teeny tiny white lie? I am asking only because I am wondering if it is something I am guilty of and or something for me to think about. My first reaction to ‘teeny, tiny white lies that don’t harm anyone’ thinks it is simply part of being human, everyone does it, and in fact it is necessary for the smooth running of any group of people. But I’d love to know more about what you thinking on this topic.

    • FitFatFood September 8, 2014 at 8:53 am #

      It’s really interesting Sarah- like embellishing or changing the details of an anecdote. Nothing harmful, but it has caught me out once or twice before and I need to try and work out where it’s coming from. I’m looking at this as an area to work on because for me, the difference what really happened and how I perceive something to have happened is an important thing to delineate. I can believe my own fiction sometimes. It feels like something that will be good to address for my emotional recovery. Thanks for asking the question- you provoked some good thought 🙂

  3. lucy2610 September 3, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    ‘although there was a run in with a bowl of granola that felt a bit off…’ that made me smile 🙂 Admire your honesty FFF and look forward to seeing you soon 😉 xx

    • FitFatFood September 3, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

      Hahah, it was “off” in the sense I scarfed it down and probably didn’t really need it! :-/ will check my email tonight x

  4. ainsobriety September 3, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    I’m sure I’ve written this before, but have you read Brene browns book the gifts of imperfection?
    It is a good guide to living an authentic and happy life.
    Small lies are often part of a need for acceptance and acknowledgement. When you start looking for those things internally, instead of from others, the lies disappear. Relief.

    That book has really changed my life.

    Anne

    • FitFatFood September 3, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

      Thanks Anne- I reaaaallly need to read that. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  5. primrose September 3, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    great post! quite agree that acknowledging anything that is making you uncomfortable is a great first step…

    am trying to resist make jokes about you being a ‘cereal killer’ damn damn damn that one escaped 😉 xx

  6. Ruby September 4, 2014 at 12:46 am #

    I’ve been discovering a lot of sober blogs lately, but i find myself coming back to yours over and over again. There is so much of your story that i relate to, and i appreciate your willingness to share so much of yourself online. Thank you.

    • FitFatFood September 4, 2014 at 6:58 am #

      Thank you ruby- I hope your sober journey is going well x

  7. Lisa Neumann September 8, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    It’s all good. Even the screw ups are good. Sometimes it takes a big dose of what we don’t want to get clear on what we do want. xoxo
    ps. granola gets me too … every time.

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