The excerpt this weekend comes, again, from Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud: Relapse and the Symptoms of Sobriety. However, there will be a second excerpt and links to an author interview posted Oct. 28. The book had the honor of appearing on the website of internationally acclaimed historical fiction novelist, Christoph Fischer. Watch for that tomorrow.
Today's snippet is the introduction to a chapter on communication in recovery...
Communication is the glue that holds an Alcoholic together during recovery, so in that regard it is me-oriented. In no way does this mean exalting yourself or venting your ego. Instead, the emphasis is on self-disclosure. Self-disclosure is give-and-take even though it might feel like you’re just taking.
We have a bandage of silence over the wounds alcohol left if we clam up. The bandage does not cure the cortisol, it only makes the Symptoms feel less goofy temporarily.
Self-disclosure is the medicine for the cortisol. “Disclosing private information about ourselves is a very effective assertiveness skill. Private feelings and worries cannot be dealt with by other people by denying or disregarding the truths of your feelings,” according to psychologist Manuel Smith. “The type of voluntary self-disclosure is about things we assume we should hide.” Like grief. Like guilt. “Voluntary self-disclosure is not to be confused with the vomiting up of confessions of lack of self-worth.” Voluntary self-disclosure also means talking only about today. Twelve-step manual Alcoholics Anonymous adds, “Unless some good or useful purpose is to be served, past occurrences should not be discussed.”
Talk about what you feel, in other words, not what you did.
-- Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud: Relapse and the Symptoms of Sobriety, pg. 88