Protecting Your Emotional Sobriety in Recovery

Protecting Your Emotional Sobriety in Recovery


Emotional sobriety is all about staying on an even playing field in your emotional life and not allowing yourself to go up and down on a huge roller coaster.  For many people this takes years of work in recovery before they can get to a place in their life where they are experiencing this emotionally smooth ride, as opposed to the chaos and the peaks and valleys that they used to experience during active addiction.

Some people are probably addicted to the emotional swings and the up and down ride that we used to experience, and so they sort of sabotage themselves in recovery in order to experience the roller coaster.  They want the peaks and the dips even though they say that it is driving them crazy.  Eventually they will have to step back and take an objective look at their recovery and see if they really want to live a better life or if they want to keep living in chaos.  Hopefully if they have been growing in their recovery then they will want to work towards a smoother life emotionally.

This may take real work and effort for some people.  In some cases though it is more about removing things, saying no, taking stuff away, and not taking certain actions.  Getting to a healthier place emotionally might be about the negative in a sense, because it might be more about what you are NOT going to do.  For example, if you have some crazy people in your life who bring all of their problems to you and expect you to solve them, or if you have toxic relationships in your life with people who are dangerous or still using drugs or whatever, then getting to a place of emotional stability might be about saying “no” to these people and these situations.  You may not have to do anything, other than to stand your ground and say no to the chaos.  You might have to build a little island of serenity for yourself and draw some firm lines and boundaries.  It is not selfish to fight for your sanity in this way and you may have to learn how to do so in order to achieve emotional sobriety in the long run.

If you are walking around in recovery every day with a chip on your shoulder, then you know you have some changes to make.  You might have to work on yourself and on your own gratitude and your own mindset, but more likely you have to restructure your life so that you keep some of the chaos out.

The pursuit, even of the best things, ought to be calm and tranquil.
Creative Commons License photo credit: nimishgogri

Imagine that you went over to some other part of the world and took a vow of silence for a month or two, blocking out all distractions while simply meditating and praying all day.  Now as you leave that place and return to your normal everyday life, what are the things that “turn up the volume” in your life the quickest?  What things are most stressful upon reentry?

Should give you a clue about how your life needs to change if you are going to have bliss and serenity most of the time….


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