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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

Self-awareness; friend or foe?

We have been self-aware from the beginning. One might say we were too self-aware. Aware of our insecurities, our fears, and our defects in general. Awareness was our biggest enemy. Awareness has become our best friend.

On a recent podcast, Claudia joined us at the coffee shop, sharing her experience, strength, and hope. You can hear that podcast by clicking here. It was a great session covering much and revealing plenty on emotion.

Claudia’s story resonated with us, beginning with what she described as the darkest moment in her life. Which, by calendar, is preceded, by one day, the beginning of the brightest days of her life.

For her, it has been a 3-year journey of self-awareness. For us, we cherish the same journey day by day.

Awareness, by definition, is “knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.” Self-awareness would be what we believe to be true of what transpires around us and what we suppose of ourselves. We love that the Oxford dictionary gives us the clearness that we realize our perception is our truth. We perceive that we are unworthy, and therefore, we are. We think that we are not loved, and consequently, we are not. We believe we are our defects and hence become them.

This perpetual cycle of self-sabotage caused us heartache and set us up to escape the reality of our own emotions as they ran amuck.

Concurrent with the negative tone ran a weaker, yet existent, vein of positives that included compassion, responsibility, and a deep desire to love.

We felt the conflict and feared the collision.

Emotional sobriety is our aim for today.

One internet summary defines the much-talked-about state this way: “Being emotionally sober simply means that you are comfortable being present with all of your feelings without anyone defining or controlling you.” We will support that summary for the point of this post.

The message we took away from our time with Claudia is that we can't get comfortable with something we don't know. So one takes the time to understand the feelings that stir within. The steps of 12-step recovery are a good starting point, assisting us in unpacking and tagging our emotional forces.

Navigating and understanding ourselves is life’s most significant and crucial task as it is, in the end, only ourselves that we live with. We find our basepoint in the area between the stimulus and response. That is where we want to live. We get there by learning how to process our sensations.

Sound hard? It is – in the beginning. Looking for a place to start? May we recommend a book by Allen Berger, Ph. D., titled “12 essential insights for emotional sobriety- getting your recovery unstuck. Or, google emotional sobriety worksheets and get at it.

Emotional sobriety, and the excursion towards it, promises a living experience based on reality. A presence unimaginable and a perception bent toward the positive once honed.

It is a choice; yes, another choice: do I move toward a new, in-tune me, or settle for where I am parked at this moment?

When we first came into recovery, we compared our dry days to our drunk days. We found ourselves scoring well in comparative. Today, we assess how our yesterday’s stand versus our today’s- are we improving, and are we more emotionally sober?

By contrast, getting sober was easier than processing the emotions we had buried for so long. The rewards of concentrating on continual improvement have paid dividends well above the effort invested.

By choice, we need not live in turmoil, controlled by our emotions.

If we are to be self-aware, then starting today, we can learn to have a healthier relationship with our feelings and reactions.

Make you enjoy your journey to within.


Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from a bonus drop podcast titled #111 Claudia Story The podcast dropped on 05/10/2023. Click here to hear the podcast.


Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.


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