Friday 24 March 2017

Day 23. The emotional sobriety solution

Successfully handling your emotions


Oh Man, if i said i was feeling a bit emotionally sobriety fatigued would you believe it? My head is spinning. In just 23 days, i have had an incredible shift in my thinking not only towards alcohol but in so many other areas of my life.  I feel more alive in mind body and spirit and I am looking forwards to finishing writing about this journey i have been on and go about doing some other fun and amazing things with my time. Writing about this has been such an amazing way to have everything sink in and i'm going to have a wonderful online reference should i ever need to be reminded of what pathway i want to be on.

One aspect of this journey i feel really good about is today's - emotional intelligence or emotional sobriety. I GOT THIS, in corona bucket loads.  It's an ability that can be learned and involves responding to our emotions rather than reacting to them in a way that is unhealthy for you and those around you.  The old getting cut off in traffic is the classic example of responding or reacting. You can have all the smarts in the world, but if you can't deal with your emotions, then it's going to affect many aspects of your life including your peace and happiness.
I always think about the power of the story when i think of emotional intelligence - and for me, a driver towards becoming emotionally intelligent was to learn to walk in someone else's shoes. Understand what their story may be that makes someone do something that we don't agree with. Learn not to take anything personally - respond in a thoughtful way, rather than react in a negative way.

And maybe having a good dose of emotional intelligence is why i considered myself as an habitual drinker, not a problem drinker - i would have a few drinks at night out of habit, not because of problems.

I lived with an emotionally charged person and it was more emotionally charged especially when he drank, because the things that were making him angry when drinking weren't anything related to what was happening in the moment, they were reactions to other events that had occurred.

I remember when we travelled overseas to see his family, we had an amazing day out visiting the sights of liverpool including some of the beautiful churches. What started out as a fantastic night of celebrating what should have been a beautiful moment of reconnection with people he hadn't seen in many many years, turned into a night of abuse, picking fights with strangers, smashing things on the street, anger and aggression and i was powerless to do anything, but leave the carnage to unfold and find my own way home in an unknown city.  I was so frightened for my safety when he eventually returned and the following day i wanted to leave and come back to Australia. When i asked about what triggered this craziness, he said it was because his father would never let him visit or appreciate the Anglican Church as he was a strict catholic. This emotion of anger had sat dormant for over 20 years and when triggered by alcohol, was severe enough to put not only himself, but others at risk of harm and damage relationships beyond repair. It was just one of many horrific similar events in that relationship and this is a sad example of the effects of excessive alcohol, but also the importance of having emotional intelligence, because even when sober, anything triggered an outburst that could have been controlled with some thought.

Our theme today is emotional sobriety where we are shown ways to live without being controlled by negative emotions in situations where our stress is elevated when confronted with challenging times. We learned the difference between what emotions - think flight or fight, the instinctive response to our environment and what feelings are (deep man) and we learn that every event has no meaning, until we decide to give it one, and that in turn determines our quality of happiness (deeper man). We learn that by controlling and freeing our emotions, rather than repressing them, we can control impulses that may make alcohol seem a solution to our problems.  And we have a mental makeover to help us stay motivated going forward.
Lets hit the action station for today.

Action 1. Practice the mental makeover
Practice awareness of emotions and feelings
Practice acceptance of these emotions and feelings
Analyze the emotions and feelings to find where they come from
Assign them and give them new meaning

Hot diggity dog - i have been doing this since before i ever realised what emotional intelligence was and the above practice is a great way to start.

Action 2. Practice the work.
Find a situation to practice Action 1 on.  Hot diggity dog - i don't seem to have anything but what just popped into my mind was some of the irrational fears i mentioned yesterday. I am putting this on my list of homework following my homework.

And can i say on day 23 - i had nothing to report.  I didn't even think of alcohol and i feel GREAT.

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