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Friday, November 27, 2009

emotional sobriety and a holiday

i have started reading a book along with a friend titled "Stage II Recovery" by Earnie Larsen. it talks about the hole in the soul that is left when the booze and the drugs have been taken away. it is very often a more daunting task for individuals to deal with life without their crutch and without a goal to work through this stage.

having only a few years sobriety does not make me an expert by any means. i struggle daily with mundane things that my "normie" counterparts long ago learned how to manage. what i hope is on my side in this new adventure is the awareness that i have work to do still. i must learn to recognize my shortcomings and my patterns, not get swept away in my emotional tides, and trust that my connection to this world is real and meritous-even in the midst of a tsunami. my sponsor tells me often- if you can find god in the middle of a storm, then you truly know you have found god.

for anyone who may be reading this, i assure you that these years i have spent clean have been phenomenal. they are a testament to synchronicity for me, and they speak directly to seeing the light. but this new focus of a different level of sobriety rings in the hope that i may discover more of my missteps have actually been more like directionals. that at my age, i can once again feel love, and wonder, and peace.

at times this does not seem the case. i have been listening to cacaphonous whispers criticizing and judging almost every move i make. sometimes it's tiring, sometimes it's discouraging, and many times it's debilatating. i am sure i have had these whispers my entire adult life, i just always drowned them out any way i could, and now i find that is no longer an option.

here is a little about earnie larsen and his remarkable "Stage II Recovery." having never met him, i cannot offer a personal story.  what i can offer is a simple thank you to him for helping light the way that is so necessary for my survival. just like at a meeting,  i will take what i need and leave the rest under the chair in front of me...

Earnie Larsen is a nationally known author and lecturer and a pioneer in the field of recovery. He has authored and produced more than 55 motivational self-help books. His most outstanding work is found in the creation of the Stage II™ Recovery process. He has a MRE degree in Theology and Education, a degree in Counseling and accreditation in Chemical Dependency and Family Counseling. Earnie has been a counselor for over 30 years and has spoken to sellout crowds all over the world. Earnie has been heard on hundreds of radio stations and appeared on TV shows such as the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN and the Sally Jessie Raphael Show. His newest book is called The Healer's Way...Bringing Hands-On Compassion to a Love-Starved World.

 Stage I is about arresting the addiction or surviving the crisis. Stage II™ Recovery, which Earnie created in 1985, is about understanding the triggers and imprinting that left us vulnerable in the face of substitutes. Whether the process of trying those substitutes is called co-dependency, shame based living, adult child sydrome or any other label.
Stage II™ Recovery requires discipline, practice, and the ability to refuse to let the past rob you of your present. Choosing this new, healthy road isn't as easy as it sounds. The assumption is that you know and recognize the difference between the past and the present. Often this is not the case at all. Not recognizing the difference between yesterday and today can mean less choice and freedom in your life.

Stage II™ Recovery answers will seldom be found in Stage I recovery groups. They have different focuses, and that's okay. Keep in mind, one stage is not better than another. There can be no Stage II if Stage I has not been won. Recovery does not end with sobriety.

copyright earnie larsen's website

today's sound choice is the final offering from the faithless "back to mine" cd. it is an alex gopher cut called "the child". it is a reworking and sampling of the glorious billie holiday and her "god bless the child". i have loved this particular cut for many years now. and i still very much love this "back to mine" offering. and this vid somehow reminds me of the b & w films i used to project on the walls at medusa's back in the day.




FrankandMary said...

I've used many crutches in life, though I believe false pride kept me from admitting that in the past, so this post was helpful to me. I've not eliminated my crutches, but I have narrowed them down for the time being. Wishing you peace & compassion on your journey. ~Mary

Jeremiah Andrews said...

Hey Rod,
Sobriety comes in stages. One year of teaching, one year of practical application, and so on ...

Filling the hole in the soul comes too over time. But we find in recovery that filling that hole with the right thing is the challenge.

Listening to those little voices is a drag, especially the critical ones. Are they coming from YOU or from someone else. The wisdom to know the difference is key here.

Sometimes the little voice is useful because it warns us of the past, and I am sure there are those who are looking for a chink in your armor. Beware of course.

Don't let the voices in your head get too loud, a little prayer and meditation always works for me even now I find that I have been listening to the voices a little too much as of late and have reverted back to sober advice I got from my sponsor. She is wise...

One day at a time. Stay on the path and make sure you are getting to your fair share of meetings. You can't take care of others if you don't actively take care of yourself.


Sheria said...

Your post made me think of a line from Ntozake Shange's choreopoem, for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is not enough: "i found god in myself and i loved her fiercely."

I don't always see it that way, but the line gives me comfort. I'm not always certain what I believe when it comes to God or any higher power, but I do think that wahtever divine force there may be in the universe is present within each of us. The trick is accessing the divine within ourselves.

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