Aug 16: The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety

“If we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we will find at the root of it some unhealthy dependency and its consequent unhealthy demand. Let us, with God’s help, continually surrender these hobbling demands. Then we can be set free to live and love; we may then be able to Twelfth Step ourselves and others into emotional sobriety.” The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety by Bill Wilson, Copyright © AA Grapevine, Inc, January 1958

Thank you all again for my celebration last week. I picked this topic because just when I had thought I had got it all ‘figured out’ I got a lovely reminder in humility 😊.. My nephew on the same day as my anniversary got accepted into a prestigious university. He’s never seen his aunt drunk, out of control or fighting. I was delighted and of course, I made it clear I would be ready to help him at any point… and then something started bugging me. A sadness… ‘but, but, I am 12 years sober, where’s my big prize… a coin, lot of well wishes… But I want fireworks! I want more!’

2 hours later and I’m thinking ‘why am I envious?’ There it was: ‘I demand more than what I have already received. I went to a prestigious university too, but congratulate me again… I am smart, I am I am I am…’ […sigh]. You can see where this is headed… underneath it was just attention-seeking behaviour. A bit of king-baby syndrome.

Thank you, AA and all those 12 steps that help me, look within, find that self-centred fear and turn it over to my Higher Power. Bill W’s essay on Emotional Sobriety is still one of the best pieces of AA literature that right-sizes me. Within minutes I felt that freedom. I felt that the sunlight of the spirit. And I was back to enjoying those 24 hours.