Hearing the Truth
I’m Melanye and I am an alcoholic. Recently I have been faced with having to tell others things they turn out not to be willing or able to hear. I have found that whether you are talking about it involving another alcoholic or not they all can pretty much react poorly, even explosively. You never know when you are saying it that it won’t be taken well. I’ve come to accept that it is a possibility. Alcoholics do not always use the tools they are taught to handle these things. But, I have to admit it still makes my heart race a bit when hearing/reading a response that just isn’t appropriate.
I have to remind myself that I cannot control how my words are received. I can only pray before speaking, then speak from the heart. What comes next is out of my hands. The newly sober or “repeat sober” people tend to be worse at accepting what they are hearing, even when it comes from a place of love and caring. I am known for saying to my Sponsees, “I will continue to gently knock at the door until you are ready to answer it.” But, I’ve also said, “I’m not going to sit here and allow you to abuse me just because you don’t like what you hear.”
On the flip side I have to pull out my toolbox when someone is telling ME something. Sometimes it’s on target; sometimes it’s hateful and uncalled for; sometimes it’s warped; sometimes it’s nonsense. No matter what it turns out to be I’m rummaging around that box for the right tool for the job. I do my best to react and respond appropriately. However, last time I checked in the mirror, perfection wasn’t standing there. Like anyone else there are times when I must make amends. This thing we call recover is a lifetime journey and therefore a lifetime of lessons.
What experience have you had with either side of this coin?? The floor is now open for sharing.