Day 6 of 12 Days of Emotional Sobriety
Addiction is a disease of isolation. I can’t stress that fact enough. A lack of emotional sobriety is often caused from a lack of social engagement with others who support your recovery. Many addicts are ‘pseudo-independent’. Pseudo-independence is an adaptive survival strategy, rather than a healthy way of life. It develops because there was insufficient support in our early years. I know it well because I had it. I was proud to admit that, ‘I can do life alone, thank you very much’. It’s why asking for help seems like a sign of weakness, rather than strength. This maladaptive belief trips up every addict in early recovery unless they are willing to challenge this ‘old idea’.
Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to heal an addict. Neuroscientific research has shown that connection is the most powerful antidote to overcoming addiction. When our primary attachment relationship is to a bottle, a pill or a device, rather than to another loving human being, we are incredibly lonely and profoundly out of sync with what is best for us. Our task in recovery is to get ourselves into a group of like-minded people who understand and have found a solution to our problem. Within that group, we need to select one person who we are willing to tell everything to. Going it alone will not suffice. It’ a recipe back to relapse.
Tip for Today
Think of the saying: “The power of the wolf is the pack and the power of the pack is the wolf”. What does it mean to you? What can you do today to strengthen this in your own life? In the hierarchy of human relationships, interdependence is the goal. That means that you can stand on your own two feet and you can lean on others. If wolves can figure that out, surely we can too! Find a way to practice interdependence today with someone you trust. You could: tell them something you have been keeping secret about yourself; ask for help; let them know how much they mean to you. During this holiday season, give the gift of authenticity, vulnerability and transparency in your quest for greater emotional health.
Share this with your friends and family who could benefit from 12 tips to keep you emotionally sober this holiday season. Don’t forget to leave a comment below if this resonates with you or if you have tips of your own you’d like to share. See you tomorrow for tip #7!