Wow, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last wrote on the statements. Clearly the last portion of last year was not a good year for writing.
And so now I return to the statements with Statement 8:
The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth. Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.
This is one I struggled with and to an extent continue to struggle with. Clearly part of the recovery from my addiction is the ongoing struggle to learn to deal with my emotions without numbing them with alcohol. It’s hard. I don’t like negative emotions, and some days I just desperately want a bottle of alcohol or handful of sedatives so that I don’t have to feel.
But I’ve learned to cope. Journaling, talking with friends (really scary at first) and sometimes just staying with the feeling and letting myself cry, until it passes all work. I’m beginning to trust that my emotions won’t kill me, even if it feels like it.
The spiritual part is more difficult. I still have difficulty separating spirituality from religion and my childhood upbringing left me wanting nothing to do with organized religion. I don’t believe in God. If pressed, I’ll say I believe in physics and universal matter, the Hobson-Boggs particle as our nearest expression of it now.
The closest I can come to spirituality is mindfulness meditation. I was introduced to it several years as a tool for preventing depression relapse. It’s been something less than an underwhelming success in that regard, but it has proven a useful tool in regulating my emotions, particularly my anxiety, and in grounding me when I’m loosing touch with the moment. Next week I start an 8 week mindfulness meditation & yoga program that I’m hoping will expand my practice.
I don’t have the space here to do a full explanation of mindfulness justice. But there’s plenty of information on-line. I’d recommend starting with John Kabat-Zin, or Rick Hanson.
I can’t claim that I put my day in proper order yet – I’m still too scattered and overwhelmed, so that’s a work in progress.
But at least it’s progress.