Last weekend's excerpt from Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud: Relapse and the Symptoms of Sobriety and this weekend's both lead into the chapter on communication, a vital part of getting into and stay in recovery.
We need five things to shelter a recovery (aside from the obvious don't-take-the-first-drink mandate). The five basics to keep us on the path moving from abstinence to sobriety to recovery and navigating that path without the relapse detours:
We can have none of those five without people on whom we can rely and the communication we share with them. Several studies bear this out: The most recent (June 2010) is from the Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery at Texas Tech University. This work demonstrated that those who dealt with stress by avoiding it had twice the frequency of alcohol cravings compared to people who used communication strategies to confront and understand stress.
At life’s intersections, if we don’t communicate well with others and do it with specificity and substance, we’re going to get t-boned.
If communicating feels one-sided at first, you’re doing it right. It has to be one-sided and you may feel like you’re just taking. It is all about the Alcoholic. And it has to be, at least at first. AA and other recovery resources will point out that in early recovery anything you put ahead of your sobriety you will lose. Davis Prend adds, “In the beginning . . . a definite period of self-absorption is necessary. In some ways you have to be completely, narcissistically involved in order to activate the healing process.” You’re not really in a position to give to others until you give to yourself first.
-- Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud: Relapse and the Symptoms of Sobriety, pg. 87
The new radio interview replay is available at alcohologist.com... and please read the new interview with Scott Stevens at Christoph Fisher Books. Mr. Fisher is an acclaimed international historical fiction novelist from the UK.