Some of the members in my fellowship – who have done the 12 Steps completely and have some solid recovery – refer to themselves as “recovered.” Their obsessive thinking, their compulsive behavior and their acting out is behind them. They have experienced a spiritual awakening and are now free from the tyranny of their addiction.
But in a very real sense, our recovery as addicts is ongoing. I am more inclined to refer to myself as a “recovering” addict. Just like an onion, there are many emotional layers that need to be peeled away as I continue my recovery. I am working towards more emotional sobriety.
Emotional sobriety was first introduced by Bill Wilson – one of the founders of AA – in the publication known as The Grapevine.
“I think that many oldsters who have put our AA ‘booze cure’ to severe but successful tests still find they often lack emotional sobriety. Perhaps they will be the spearhead for the next major development in AA, the development of much more real maturity and balance.”
Emotional sobriety is all about balance and maturity. Achieving emotional sobriety will take much longer than sobriety from our addiction. But the benefits are great.
Many of the promises that we read about in our program literature are referring to emotional balance: A new freedom and a new happiness; we will… know peace; the feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear, etc.
As you continue in your recovery, be careful to note how your self loathing is disappearing. And notice how your relationships are improving as you become more at peace with your self and your surroundings.