Willingness & Our Defects (Step 6)

I just wanted to briefly follow up on yesterday’s post on a simple way to work Steps 6 & 7.

I don’t like pain and my defects bring me pain. But as with all things in addiction and recovery, which pain is worse? For instance, I discovered that my anger was really a preferable reaction to the underlying sadness it covered up. But when I saw it was truly causing me more harm than the discomfort of the sadness, I was willing to have the defect removed.

So, I just wanted to bring to light that one defect may really be covering up some other emotion. You cannot get to the true feeling unless you are willing to have the conscious defect removed.

I have to remember that emotional pain will not kill me. For some reason, anger makes me feel more in control than sadness. Sadness is a blanket that feels like it is smothering me. Anger is a weapon that I brandish and can really hurt others.

When I put the weapon down, I can then work with the blanket to remove it. Sometimes, though, we just need to feel the feelings. Our society is so much about not feeling pain that we think any discomfort is unacceptable.

What do “normal” (meaning non-addicted) people do when they are sad? Do they run out to the store to buy stuff they can’t afford or stuff a dozen donuts down their gut or snort some cocaine or drink a bottle of Jack Daniels or go have sex with an inappropriate person?

No.

They feel sad.

For me, because I am an addict, just because I am sober doesn’t mean I am “normal.” Never will be. So I have found over the years that I simply shifted my addiction to the “next thing.”

Adrenaline is a big addiction for me. And anger is a great adrenaline rush. Instead of feeling sad, I get angry.

Now, in my DA recovery, I have worked hard to stop transferring my addiction. Not perfectly. But I am willing now to feel the unpleasant feelings, the ones I’m not used to feeling. The ones that make me want to crawl out of my skin. The ones that are at my core.

When I do that, it doesn’t kill me. In fact, it passes. And I don’t have a string of people to whom I need to make amends after the storm has passed.

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