Are You Self Aware?

November 25, 2009 — 5 Comments

Weird question I guess but in my opinion there is nothing more important to someone’s recovery than being self aware.

Think of how it used to be. You went through life numbing out every inkling of self awareness so that you wouldn’t have to face your true thoughts and feelings.

I think that overcoming that need to block out your true thoughts and feelings sums up what recovery is all about. So with that said… are you self aware?

My answer is I’m working on it. I don’t think that self awareness is something that you can set and forget. It’s the type of thing that you constantly need to work on.

I guess it follows along the same lines as spirituality in recovery. You don’t just become spiritual and there you stay. You pretty much search out your spirituality and it is the act of searching that makes you spiritual.

Self awareness in recovery begins very early on when we allow ourselves to begin feeling and identifying feelings again. It’s often referred to as “thawing out”. What a tough phase of recovery that can be. Our whole addiction became based on us not feeling any of those feelings and then boom… they’re back.

Once those feelings and thoughts are allowed to be felt, they can then be examined. It is through that examination that we begin to see some patters of behavior that are causing us to feel the way we do. It’s at that point that we begin to work on modifying bad behaviors.

I have gone through both of these phases of self awareness. It wasn’t an easy progression but it was a natural progression. I didn’t read a book that told me that this was what needed to be done… I just naturally flowed in that direction.

Being honest with myself is not always easy but it is imperative to my recovery. Are you doing all that you can be doing? Are you being the best person that you can be? Are you being honest about how you are feeling? These are few of the questions that run through my mind from time to time.

The fact that those thoughts pass through my mind, regardless of what my answer to them may be at the moment, let’s me know that I am working my way towards being self aware. It’s a good place to be.

5 responses to Are You Self Aware?

  1. Beautiful post, Erin. Thank you, once again, for putting your thoughts and hard-won wisdom out here for those of us who are a little (or a lot!) behind you on this journey.

    I’m trying so hard to be self-aware, but it’s hard. There’s a lot of painful stuff in my life right now that I can’t really do anything about. And that’s hardest for me, to feel pain that I can’t fix. What do you do with those feelings?

  2. I guess you gotta just realize that it’s normal to feel that way.

    You have to say, if someone else was in my position they would more than likely feel just like this right? Right. So how you are feeling sucks but it is a normal reaction to be having. A less normal reaction would be to be feeling nothing which is what we used to do in situations like this right?

    So ya, feeling bad sucks. But you gotta acknowledge it and you gotta talk about it and I think if you do that it kind of lessens the sucky feeling… at least a little.

  3. As bottlecappie said, thanx really for sharing your hard won wisdom for ppl like me. Today is the 16th day of my being clean, early in my recovery I know, but I am trying hard to be self-aware the way you say, there’s this paragraph in the NA basic text which sums it all:

    “We believe that the sooner we face our problems within our community, in everyday living, just that much faster do we become acceptable, responsible, and productive members of the society”

    Perhaps, there is no escape until we deal with our feelings and emotions. About this, a member at an NA meeting I attended yesterday was sharing how she has stopped listening to her favorite blues songs while on the way to work, she instead prays on the way now. She said listening to the songs sometimes made her feel too sentimental and would get her off balance, and time and again, this got her using again. So, now after giving up listening to music which was so dear to her, she’s been able to be clean for 2 years. This confused me as what I understood was that you have to learn to deal with your feelings if you are to stay away from numbing them with drugs. Shutting them out by giving up something you love doesn’t sound right, music is very dear to me as well and I don’t want to give it up all together, care to share your thoughts on this, Erin?

  4. That is a really interesting question Raj. I don’t have any clear cut answers for you but I can tell you first hand about something I had to change that I enjoyed.

    I liked to read true crime and murder mystery books. The subject just interests me for some reason. I thought nothing of this before I stopped using drugs but once I stopped using I realized that reading those types of books was not having a positive effect on me.

    I would find that, especially with the true crime books, I would end up feeling anxious and they would give me a pretty bad outlook on society as a whole. I would think about how the world is filled with a bunch of sickos.

    One night I decided to read a different type of book called the Spirituality of Imperfection and it truly changed my life. I felt so great drifting off to sleep.

    So as it turned out, just like your NA member realized, just because I liked doing something doesn’t mean it was good for me. Once I cut it out I was much happier.

    That doesn’t mean that you’ll have to give up things that you enjoy. If you like listening to music and it makes you happy… great.

  5. well, what you say is true, just as you say I love reading novels about crime a lot, my favorites are godfather, ‘the day of jackal’ there are characters in such books who are ruthless, cold blooded, calculating and in control and after reading about such characters, my outlook on the world would also change, I’d try to be like em, trying to “keep my friends close and enemies even closer”, and “trying to make offers to people they can’t refuse” LOL 🙂 it takes a while to get Michael Corleone out of my system afterwards and then I get back to being the simple, uncomplicated and spiritual person that I really am and life is so much easier, guess I have a very easily impressionable mind :-)…

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