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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

So here we go, my first blog. I'm playing hookie from work in order to write this and yes I do feel guilty (but not that much).  This has been a long time in the making.  Years ago I kept a journal.  Both therapeutic and fulfilling, I gave it up in order to pursue more pressing concerns that drug use seemed to resolve.  But before I get into my story and current events let me share 21 bullets about myself for the curious reader:

 

  1. I live alone.
  2. I work in health care.
  3. I am a credentialed drug and alcohol counselor (ironically).
  4. I love animals, especially my little beast; he reminds me of who (and what) I am.
  5. I am ambivalent about being single.
  6. My recovery has been very fulfilling, but is not always gratifying.
  7. I love to read, listen to music and enjoy all the performing arts.
  8. In addition to drugs, I am addicted to the internet (no, not porn, you cheeky monkey) and recently food.
  9. I am an INTP, with a strong extroverted side.  I like the term Introversatile.
  10. Honesty is easier to recognize than practice.
  11. I love nature, travel and all new adventures.
  12. I do not attend enough meetings.
  13. I believe in our capacity to change; change is hard.
  14. I am sometimes given to morbid rumination.
  15. I like spirituality as an idea rather than a feeling. Spirituality must be practiced.
  16. I'm lazy. I eat too much and don't exercise enough.
  17. I think a a great deal about what it means to be "good," "well" and "happy."
  18. Love others, even when hell is other people.
  19. Empathy is a skill and an art.  It starts with you.
  20. We all carry a bag of rocks, the key is learning to let them go.
  21. One must consider Sisyphus happy.

 

Well that's me in a nutshell.  I'd love to hear about you . . .  A parting thought:

all is merely talk which isn't singing

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Being in an intimate relationship in sobriety is difficult to say the least.  Relationships are like steroids for my character defects; they cause them to grow more powerful than I imagined possible.  From jealousy to control issues, my need to be right to my need to know everything, my character defects really come to light in relationships.  However, being in a relationship has taught me a lot, and my growth has been great.

Keys to My Healthy Relationship

With my character defects glaring me in the face in this relationship, I have found several important keys to keeping the relationship strong and healthy.  As with the rest of my recovery, I must remain vigilante with myself in order to sustain this healthy relationship.

Communication

The first, and most important, tool in my healthy relationship is communication.  Communication is an absolutely indispensable tool in my relationship.  Obviously, this applies in the sense of not lying, straightforward nor by omission.  However, communicating goes much further than telling the truth.

In order to maintain a healthy relationship, communication must go both ways.  I must walk through my (often irrational) fears, and be able to communicate how I feel.  Remaining considerate of her feelings, I tell her how I feel, whether I am upset (with her or not), happy, anxious, or dealing with something.  She is not my sponsor, nor is she my Higher Power.  However, she is an integral part of my support network.  Furthermore, when I hold things in too much, it closes off my heart to her.  As my heart fills with fear and resentment, my capacity to love is diminished.  As I become able to tell her how I feel and what is going on with me, it frees my heart up to be filled with love.  It is not always easy, as fears of being judged, not being enough, and driving her away do arise.  However, I consistently walk through these fears, and each time the fears are easier to overcome.

Also, I must be open to communication from her end.  As important as talking is to communication, so is listening.  When she speaks to me, whether it is a casual conversation or something more serious, I make a diligent effort to listen mindfully.  My reactions are not always compassionate and loving, and it is something I am consciously working on.  I find that as I listen with more mindfulness, I am able to respond with more compassion rather than reacting with fear.  When I react with fear, I am not encouraging a safe, open environment.  Just as I go through fears sharing my feelings, so does she.  It is not within my control whether or not she will be open and honest with me, but it is within my control to encourage a safe space to nurture the love rather than the fear.

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