Friday, 26 July 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | July 26 | DonInLondon | Step 7 "Courage To Change"

July 26, 2013 step seven in mind: "the denial process: all about restoration to normality, or rather the new normal after events we prefer would not have happened." Many people understand that denial is a necessary part of life when we cannot cope with overwhelming shocks to our emotional outlook and our thinking outlook. Denial ultimately is about developing the courage to change and accept life on life's terms.

We get a nasty shock and we cannot believe it. What happens inside us when we have a shock? The first part is the I can't believe it moment, where our self-esteem is driven upward for a short period, and then we follow a downward trend of anger and frustration, and possibly into depression, and as we then start to absorb and understand what the nasty shock means to us in the long run hopefully we return to a place of acceptance and a new normal. Denial though, we humans run backwards and forwards between the I can't believe it, to anger, to frustration, to depression to acceptance… A rollercoaster with five forward gears and five reverse gears all equally efficient in taking us forwards and backwards, the ultimate emotional rollercoaster of nasty shocks; that is denial.

If only, yes if only we got nasty shocks, one at a time. Life is not like that. We can be in denial and still grieving over one incident, loss of life, loss of a relationship, we do not have a cut-off point some would wish to call closure. Or maybe a new normal could be closure? Depends how we cope with each shock we face. And our whole life has to change because of events beyond our control, the desire to put the clock back to a better happier time can be very strong and persist not only for days, it can be weeks and years. When people say let go move on, in some ways some people can. In my experience, I have learned that I don't forget, that I do grieve and as the process happens over and over, I become forgetful around anger and bitterness, and I become happier cherishing the good of what happened even in the most difficult circumstances nobody would wish on another person. Where I have lost people in my life, I still talk to them and I'm sure you know what I mean…

Part of my denial process was self will run riot, the obsession of controlling myself and being able to overcome my addictions on my own through willpower. I was on the path of everlasting ignorance because I thought I could pull myself together, give myself the quick and swift kick up the backside and move on without dealing with what led to addiction. That was denial on my part, that the rules of life and the emotions we have did not apply to me because I knew better and could think out a solution on my own. Addiction is the loneliest place in the world and it cannot be sorted or rectified through a single drive of self will. That is my opinion, I'm sure intellectually some of the time I might wish to deny that is true. Who wants to be a dry drunk? A thinker without feeling…

And I'm glad we have denial at our disposal, because the moment we feel our thinking can command and control our emotions, we have probably lost the plot completely. Directing ourselves intellectually into a new way of life is the very essence of self-help without support. It might be fashionable to believe we can control ourselves and our environment, and it is attractive emotionally to consider we are masters over our destiny. And yet every day, the power of people places and things will modify our direction and inform us of the next steps we can take. Choice based on reality, being able to cope with the reality in the spiritual moment of now. We do have freedoms based on the current conditions of the day, not on what we would will life to be or what we would try predict life to be.

We all find ourselves measured in some way by educators, workplaces and ourselves. We test and I'm reminded of testing in the past, psychometrics or psychological instruments of measurement which would lead to predictability and potential people might have. All people have potential, some are quick learners, some are confused and take a bit of time, some favour their thinking, and some favour their emotions and every mixture you can imagine. Psychological instruments of measurement will give you some solid information, what you prefer to do, what you might be good doing, and what you might find extraordinarily tedious doing. These tests of measurement often are flawed because on the current conditions of the day, it could be a good, bad or ugly result. To refute some of the usefulness of these tests, especially in young people, if you give a person a blueberry smoothie four hours before the test, the result is likely to be at least 10% better than a banana smoothie given four hours earlier. So much for prediction! The measures of people can be inaccurate and completely detestable! I was a late bloomer because my early life was dogged by insecurity. Or was it? Only I can say ultimately, and although I can feel the detestable times of the past, I can find serenity being exactly where I am right now and today.

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