In recovery, the measurement of happy, joyous and free is provided to gauge the quality of sobriety. This can be especially true after physical sobriety is established and the addict has had sufficient opportunity to grow from the steps. It is important to temper this perspective with the perspective of living life on life’s terms.
Many of those who discover themselves in the life-or-death crossroads of choosing a life on spiritual terms or choosing a path of institutions, jail or death, are prone to avoiding emotional presence. Addicts are known for using substances as a vehicle for altering their emotional state, especially when concerning “negative” emotions like anger and sadness. A holistic perspective invites consideration that life on life’s terms means living with a full emotional range.
Emotional sobriety can be different things for different people, so the way that one addict in recovery relates to negative emotions will ultimately look different in a recovered state than another. For example, if in addiction, one person had a tendency to fully embrace a victim perspective about themselves and life in general, then in recovery, their actions in sobriety may be to put less attention on negative emotions than they are experiencing. Alternatively, another person may have tended to be more of the holding-it-all-together-everything’s-fine variety, the actions in recovery may be taking sometime to be with the difficult emotions.
Being mindful that these descriptions tell the story of two extremes on a continuum, be aware that is normal for the pendulum to swing as your life begins to transform. As the journey of emotional sobriety begins, the way that you experience negative emotions may be opposite of how you once were. Over time, emotional expression will include the range between these states. Emotions become a living response to the present moment and are no longer experienced as a habituated response to life.
When you are newly embracing negative emotions as an aspect of living a full and vital life, be reminded that these experiences become the gifts of wisdom that will expand your service capacity to others.
If you are struggling with addiction, alcoholism, and/or mental health, know that there is hope. There is a solution. Harmoniously fusing together the best elements of clinical care, holistic healing, and 12-step philosophy, Enlightened Solutions has created a program of total transformation for men and women seeking recovery. Call 833-801-5483 today for information on our partial care programs in New Jersey.