The Winners Circle

I’m no expert, but for me there seem to be at least two phases of sobriety – the getting clean/dry/abstinent part, and then what a lot of folks call the emotional sobriety part. The emotional sobriety part is what a lot of my non-alcoholic/addict friends seem to want more of too. And that makes sense. The thought is that the drinking, using, gambling, eating, spending, sexing, working, exercising, video-gaming, whatever the addictive behavior is, is but a symptom of the real problem. The real problem is the “ism,” the painful way of being that denies the true self, that forgets we are all of value, children of Gd, even ourselves as we really are, really, even that person who cut us off in traffic, even our moms and dads and spouses and bosses and coworkers.

And forgetting that essential stuff, it’s easy to feel bad a lot of the time. To be run by worries and doubts and desires and exernals that are not the main event for me or for anyone I know when we really get down to it, slow down and get really honest about our core desires – To love and to be loved, to feel safe and seen and like we’re really living, as ourselves, with all our senses, getting to savor this day and this life.

The steps are the brain-rewiring tools that have helped me get more in the flow, and stay there, or return there more efficiently when I get out of the flow. It’s a way of living in the sweet spot, regardless of what’s going on externally, regardless of how the people around me are being or what they’re doing. It feels really good, much, much better.

And it’s kind of a lot of work. But it’s been worth it. It’s worth it. These days I feel in my life a lot of the time, whereas before the program even though I accomplished lots of stuff and had lots of nice stuff and did lots of cool stuff I didn’t feel connected to what I was doing or who I was with a lot of the time.

I was not emotionally sober. I was craving more, different, better of everyone and everything and especially myself a lot of the time. I thought serenity and acceptance were code words for giving up, rather than the keys to contentment, the frigging winners circle. I like it here. I’m gonna stay.