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Back to AA: What I learned about refocussing

Old 08-18-2017, 01:27 AM
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Back to AA: What I learned about refocussing

I've been to six AA meetings since my last relapse and I've promised to myself to share one helpful thing from each meeting here, as part of my way of developing a better mental attitude towards the fellowship. One of things I'm learning is about the power of refocussing ones attention from negative to positive. So, in times of challenge or stress, one can make a mental decision to think about something pleasurable or inspiring, even though the temptation is to get emotionally transfixed on the bad things. So for example for me, as I'm applying for jobs, it's easy to get stressed about the rejection letters, lack of replies and interviews and that was partly behind my last relapse. But rather like switching TV channel, I can decide to think about other things instead, such as how much I'm looking forward to my next rock concert or the progress I'm making with my fitness since I quit smoking and started going to the gym. AA has helped me to see that emotions and obssessions don't just happen to me because of other people or outside forces - I play a very important part in deciding what emotions I have and what actions follow from them.
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Old 08-18-2017, 02:30 AM
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Glad you are posting!

Yes, learning how to change or refocus our thoughts is really important. One thing my fiance (also in recovery) and I talk about often is what we call "flipping it." Something's bothering me- how do I flip it around somehow to better deal? It could be something like....my mom's [ ] behavior that I would have handled very poorly when drinking- the flip of that could be that I focus on being grateful for the time I have with her over a nice dinner [rather than stewing over whatever she was doing or saying that bothered me]. It is freeing when we can do this.

I have found that if we try, we can flip most anything and also look at WHY we are feeling negative/bad/etc and focusing on finding a solution to that instead of living in whatever problem is on hand. It gets easier to do this- along with so many other things- the longer we are sober. Also, less things bother me in the first place, and when they do, they are more quickly "righted."

Keep going!
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Old 08-18-2017, 03:00 AM
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Reads and sounds like progression.

Progressing in recovery one step
at a time. It doesn't have to be perfect,
just as long as you are moving forward
to becoming a better, healthier, happier,
honest sober person in life and recovery.

Continue to listen, learn, absorb and
apply in all areas of your life and the
rewards of the Promises as written
in the Big Book will come true for you.

Good Job..!!!!
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Old 08-18-2017, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Learninganew View Post
AA has helped me to see that emotions and obssessions don't just happen to me because of other people or outside forces - I play a very important part in deciding what emotions I have and what actions follow from them.
.....and through those emotions and actions I can be free.

Thanks for posting this Learninganew. I need it this morning.
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:11 AM
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Thank you for posting about this refocusing. We all need it on some level as Ive fallen into ruts and relapses. I came across this relatable poem:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Jelaluddin Rumi,
Translation from The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:12 AM
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Thanks for some wonderful replies. I particularly appreciate that little poem, which is very charming. I am going to try "flipping it" next time I feel a build up of negative emotion which might send me the misleading signal that I should address my problems by drinking again.
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