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Emotional Sobriety in Addiction Recovery Learning and growing from our past
Emotional sobriety is finally taking its rightful place in recovery. We have been seeing more and more folks like you and me begin to discover a dimension to their recovery that they never knew existed. This is very exciting. I love it when I see that light bulb get turned on.
The Drug Epidemic and Celebrity Addiction – Addiction Expert Panel, The Discovery House
Drugs, sex, and rock and roll. It’s seem you can’t have one without the other. Kurt Cobain. Chris Cornell. Chester Bennington. Amy Winehouse. These are all household names which are now synonymous with addiction and suicide. And there are countless others, including celebrities and us regular folk. As a country we lost over 50,000 people in 2015 and we’re on track to surpass that number for 2016 and 2017. Something’s not right about this. With the loss of so many of our favorite musicians and celebrities becoming commonplace we decided to ask the experts; what is going on?! Why is addiction running rampant in the lives of the elite and how can we all learn from this?
Five Core Concepts of Emotional Sobriety
Bill Wilson identified emotional sobriety as the product of working the Twelve Steps. In his discussion of Step Twelve in Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions he wrote, “Here we begin to practice all Twelve Steps of the program in our daily lives so we and those about us may find emotional sobriety (106).”
Emotional sobriety is when the best of you does the thinking and speaking for all of you. This state of mind is achieved when what you do becomes the determining force in how you feel rather than letting your feelings be overly influenced by what others are or are not doing.
Bill Wilson’s Fourth Legacy
Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob left us three remarkable legacies. Their first legacy was the 12 Steps. The 12 Steps have helped millions of people find freedom from their addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Their second legacy was the 12 Traditions. The 12 Traditions do for the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous what the 12 Steps do for the individual. We can think of the 12 Steps as a design for daily living that promotes emotional well being and peace of mind while the 12 Traditions provide guidelines…
Emotional Sobriety in Relationships
Earnie Larsen, author of “Stage II Recovery – Life Beyond Addiction” helped us understand that recovery unfolds in stages. The first stage is concerned with getting and staying clean and sober. We can think about this stage as breaking the bond of addiction.
But as Earnie noted, getting out of a bad place is not the same as getting into a better place. Stage 2 is concerned with getting into a better place. For Earnie getting into a better place happens when we learn to have healthy relations. But what does it mean to have healthy relations? Let’s take a look at some of the insights that Bill Wilson, a pioneer in recovery, that will help us answer this question. Bill discovered that we needed to face our “defective relationships” with others because these were at the heart of our problem.
Understanding a Key Issue in Emotional Sobriety: Our Emotional Center of Gravity
Emotional sobriety has recently come into focus as critical to establish a sold and stable foundation for recovery, and for very good reasons. In fact I consider it to be the missing link in treatment. We are finding that many people who seemed to be doing well in their recovery ended up relapsing because they didn’t know how to deal with disappointment, rejection, fear…
Emotional Sobriety in Relationships
Earnie Larsen, author of “Stage II Recovery – Life Beyond Addiction” helped us understand that recovery unfolds in stages. The first stage is concerned with getting and staying clean and sober. We can think about this stage as breaking the bond of addiction. But as Earnie noted…
The Hidden Rewards of Making Amends
I have spent a good portion of my career unpacking the therapeutic forces operating in the recovery experience. Early on in my career I could plainly see the soundness of the psychological principles underlying the 12 Steps. This inspired me to spend the past 20 years of my career exploring both the specific and general therapeutic effects…
Tom’s Perspective on What is Wrong with NA
Hi everyone, I know many of you have seen this on my Facebook page so I am sorry for the redundancy, but I have been asked by several friends if I could post this on an email as well. It seems to have hit a nerve for many of us…
Unpacking Bill Wilson’s Fourth Legacy
As I mentioned in my previous blog I believe Bill Wilson left four legacies, not three. The fourth legacy is about the next frontier in our recovery. It’s about emotional sobriety. Bill left this fourth legacy by relating to us the insights he developed about emotional sobriety during his emotional and spiritual development. These insights were discussed by Bill, himself, in a letter he wrote to a depressed friend. This letter was subsequently published in the January 1958 Grapevine…