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Step 4, 11 months sober & not feeling part of anything

Old 05-03-2013, 01:23 AM
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Unhappy Step 4, 11 months sober & not feeling part of anything

Hi all,

Today marks my 11 month milestone of sobriety and working on my recovery. I've felt emotionally displaced and really fragile all week. I started my step 4 about 3 weeks ago and a repressed resentment came up on tuesday, to which I had an extremely physiological response. Thankfully, I made it to a women's meeting and talked the feelings tied to the resentment out, then called someone else and talked the actual resentment out. I still haven't shared it with my sponsor; she said doing it over the phone was possible, but it's preferable to do it in person. I actually had no idea I had it "in me" to be that angry while sober!

I am so out of sorts at the minute! I went to a meeting today and shared that I was feeling like I was mentally sitting alone on an island. I've been gravitating toward other women of late, and there was only one other there. I then caught up with Dad and bit his head off while at a local shopping centre because he can never hear properly and I had to keep repeating myself. I felt my buttons were being pushed, then apologised and described that what i'm going through right now is extremely taxing and confronting.

I'm fragile, but that doesn't mean I have to break!

I also went out for dinner last night with some old highschool friends (none of them know i'm in AA) and they kept asking how i've been and commenting on how well I look. I felt quite paranoid at the time I was hoping to talk to one particular friend about it, but there truly wasn't an opportunity to do so. It's not really packed-restaurant/dinnertime/group-type of conversation

I know I can't be alone in feeling alone and completely emotionally volatile being at this point in recovery-please share your experiences!

Xx
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:53 AM
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Hi Quinne. I can't advise at this point in your recovery because I am just under two months in and not doing AA but I can share that I know feeling fragile is part of our recovery. It's awesome that you are on 11 months -- that's an inspiration to me! All the best from a fellow Aussie.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:59 AM
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Quinne, 11 months sober? You are FANTASTIC. Congratulations. 1022 days sober here and I go to aa regularly and have almost from the beginning of my sobriety. The way I say it is, I'm in a perpetual 4th step. When I seriously began looking at myself, I found my worst character defects to be ambivalence and procrastination. I'm beginning to believe giving up the booze, weed, crack, and cigarettes is the easy part. I have wide emotional swings, but 2 emotions that have practically vanished are shame and guilt. Why? Because I don't do shameful guilty things anymore. I've been alone for a long period of time now and it doesn't bother me at all. For me staying clean and sober is a necessity, but clean and sober isn't all there is to a good life. Some of my behaviors are proving very difficult to change. One of the good changes is how I feel about being "chemical independent". I like it, it is one less problem I have in my life. I'll have a good life if I stay off the booze and dope. Rootin for ya.
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:35 AM
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Can you set a day and time (preferably in the morning as this may take a little while) to do your 5th step?

Follow immediately following step 5 or that evening before bed with an hour of deep reflection (read step 6 in the big book) and then follow with a prayer (step 7 in the big book) and willingness to have your higher power take those defects of character away?
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:59 AM
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Most of what I post is what I received many years ago from then the old timers. It was suggested that if we have problems with a particular step to go back one or two and examine that one. It worked for us quite often. BE WELL
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:04 AM
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What you shared Quinne makes me realize that I hoped that sobriety would be smooth sailing and "all done" at the close to 1 year mark. But, I look back and see that I was not anywhere near content or happy as I approached my first year.
You mention you are at step 4, well doing a fearless mental inventory is really not all that fun. I felt fragile too.
The way you have responded to the process and your reactions were all okay. You are doing a fantastic job!
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:13 AM
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After my 5th step, I really felt that I belonged in AA. Then after sponsoring people for a while I really felt that I was a part of not just AA but of the human race.
The opening of "There is a Solution" talks about the fact that we are like ship wreck survivors. There is a sense of companionship because we have survived together. We all have the same problem. But it goes on to tell us that alone would not hold us together. What really binds us is the solution. In my experience the solution has not only made me feel a part of AA, but it has broken down the walls that have always prevented me from connecting with anyone. AA or not.
I suggest, as Sugarbear did, to schedule a 5th and continue the work. You're not alone! You can do it!
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Quinne View Post
I actually had no idea I had it "in me" to be that angry while sober!

I am so out of sorts at the minute! I went to a meeting today and shared that I was feeling like I was mentally sitting alone on an island.
Glad you have a meeting where you can share this!

I know when I first got clean/sober I would freak when I felt a strong emotion. When I had a bad day. When I acted not so nice. I assumed I must be failing, that sober people weren't supposed to feel and act that way, that in sobriety bad days didn't happen.

But they do. Just like they happen to everyone. And when I realized that, big feelings, rough days, feeling lonely, angry or confused...I could accept it, roll with it, not think it meant armageddon was around the corner.

I used to try to hide it because I didn't want the people I knew in recovery to know I was failing, then I tried sharing it and wondered why they didn't get all excited that my sky was falling down. Now I see it's because they knew that a rough day didn't mean a failed recovery.

In recovery we allow ourselves to be honest, there are lots of twists, turns and surprises, by staying open to the experience we allow ourselves to truly grow and change, to accept the better life ahead of us.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:11 PM
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Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful responses, sharing your experiences and support

sugarbear and bbthumper, i'm catching up with my sponsor tomorrow morning so we can make a start on step 5 I've shared a lot of stuff with her, but this is a great opportunity to see my part in things and unburden more of what i've been carrying. We didn't have the opportunity to catch up last sunday (we've done step work every sunday in the 8-odd months she's been sponsoring me, with only a few exceptions), so while it's just how things have unfolded, i've been ready to "get on with it" for awhile-actually really looking forward to it

Threshold, you're on the money in your post, IMO-i'm still exceptionally hard on myself at times and have difficulty showing myself the same patience and tolerance that I seem to be able to practice with just about everyone, bar me! Talk about a distorted lens

Xx
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:36 AM
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I wanted to jump all over step 4. I figured 1-3 seemed logical, and did all my homework with treatment & with my sponsor.
When I spoke to her about step 4 she just said I needed to slow down & it was Progress not Perfection (yea yea where have we heard that)
But When she really started talking to me about how raw & real it was I realized if Im going to really be one of those success stories that I see & long to be, I need to really feel all those things you are speaking of.

I wish you all the best & I Pray your sponsor can really help you through this journey.
~Peace
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