Thu, 15 February 2018
I know many of you who listen to this podcast are sober in recovery, some of you are thinking about it, and many of you are normal drinkers or even non drinkers who don’t have a problem with alcohol. What I’m about to talk about is based on a saying from the “rooms of recovery”, but does not mean it only applies to us alcoholics. I believe it can apply to everyone.
I want to talk about the term “my life had become unmanageable” and it comes from the first of twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous:
And to be honest, I always had a problem with the whole “life had become unmanageable” part because mine hadn’t. I had a great job I loved, a good marriage, two great kids, friends, and life was pretty good. Someone explained to me that it was my spirituality that had become unmanageable and that didn’t seem right either. I mean, sure, I had moved away from spirituality when I was drinking, but still. It was also explained to me that it was that my “insides” had become unmanageable, not my “outsides”. And since I had had the emotional shit kicked out of me in 2006, I for sure knew what it felt like to have my “insides” unmanageable. I felt like I had healed a good deal from that time in my life and didn’t feel as “unmanageable” when I got sober five years later as I had back then.
In terms of being in recovery, not being able to “fit” into that, made me feel like my bottom wasn’t low enough and maybe I DID need to wait until my life was unmanageable to get sober-- my insides AND my outsides. (And that’s not a good place to be in terms of our thinking when we are newly sober!) I continued to ask people about this, people tried to explain it to me in their own way, and it never seemed to feel like it applied to my life. Until…
I had a few years of sobriety and I realized how shit my boundaries were. And in the first couple years I realized how emotionally illiterate I was and that I had a lot to learn in terms of communication.
“Ohhh, so it’s my relationships, emotions and boundaries that had become unmanageable.” I realized. I finally understood what it meant in my life.
And again, you don’t have to be alcoholic, or a love addict, or an anything addict to have all that feel unmanageable. Feelings and emotions are crazy-tough sometimes and numbing out becomes easier. Boundaries seem impossible so people-pleasing and blaming become your go-to. Communication? No one taught us, so we don’t fight fair, we don’t own our stuff, and tend to be passive aggressive.
Honestly, that’s why I wrote my last book. Everything I just mentioned was woven in, but what I want to make clear in this post is that some of the hardest and best work we will do in our lives, yes of course is the work we do on ourselves, but is also the work we’ll do with the people we love the most. The people we’re in relationships with. We have emotional attachments with them and have emotional transactions with them. If we don’t know how to communicate in a way that makes us proud, our lives can feel unmanageable. If we don’t know how to set boundaries and have hard conversations, again, our lives can feel unmanageable.
Tomorrow, all these lessons I’ve been talking about all week come together and I’ve put a worksheet with journaling prompts together for you.
Lastly, tomorrow, registration is open for Raise Hell. A 4-month online program that is part course, part support group, part accountability group, and all around adventure that will take you from autopilot in your life, to taking action on the life you want. This is its pilot round, so there is an introductory price.
I believe when a woman sits down to decide what she wants and what’s she’s willing to do, and then stands up to declare it, commits to it and asks for help, when women come together in solidarity to change their lives for the better and not put up with other people and the world's shit, that is an act of raising hell. Stay tuned for tomorrow!