Day 7: Don’t Be a Doormat – But Don’t Pick Fights Either

Day 7 of 12 Days of Emotional Sobriety

Many addicts have extreme and contradictory emotions.  Passivity in relationships means you allow yourself to be walked on and later feel used by others. This ‘resentful compliance’ is toxic to emotional sobriety as it leads to a seething resentment that builds over time.  Most addicts don’t take responsibility for their part in this dynamic and instead blame the other person for treating them badly. Emotional sobriety means learning to be honest with yourself and others about how you are really feeling. This is something you can deliver in a clear and direct way and with kindness and consideration.

On the other hand, you may have learned to find your power through aggression. Maybe resentment has been festering so long that you can’t hold it in any longer. Maybe you are just doing to others what was done to you growing up. In any event, uncontrollable anger and hostility are traps that keep you stuck in your addictive cycle. It is never acceptable to use anger as an excuse to verbally or physically abuse someone else. Anger is a feeling and has a purpose in helping us to set healthy limits. Abuse is a behavior that is violent in nature. They are two entirely different things.

Tip for Today

Do a spot inventory by writing down any resentments you may have. Make sure you know what caused each one and how they affect you emotionally and spiritually. Once you complete the list, go back through and write down your contribution to each issue, asking yourself how you set the ball into motion. 

Next, write down any harms you have caused others by being emotionally inappropriate. Be honest with yourself – look for the self-serving motive that may underlie a misleading surface motive.

Discuss this with your sponsor or spiritual mentor and be willing to take any corrective action to make peace with yourself and others. 

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 #8!

Warmly,
 

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