When I first started going to 12-step meetings like AA or NA, the last thing I was worried about was talking to people. As a vendor for a sales and marketing firm, I talk to people all day long, and I talk them into buying stuff all day long. Talking about my alcoholism?
Piece of cake.
So there I was at my very first meeting listening to the others and patiently waiting for what I thought would be the right time for the newbie to speak. But the moment never came.
At first, it just didn’t feel right, but then I started feeling nervous, and I didn’t know why. The meeting ended without my uttering a single word. And I felt like an abject failure. What was wrong with me?
A Vicious Cycle
Meeting after meeting, I went there with every intention of participating, but instead, I would go numb. It was like my brain was frozen, and the only thing it could process was self-doubt. What if I said something that gave people a bad impression of me? What if I just sounded stupid?
After about a month of this frustration, I confided in my sponsor, and I’ll never forget her words of wisdom. “Oh, honey,” she said, “what we say here comes from the heart, not the brain.”
Turning On The Heart
It wasn’t an easy thing to do at first. I hadn’t spent any real quality time with my feelings for almost as long as I could remember. I drank throughout my entire adolescence and spent the last 20 years telling clients whatever would make them agree they needed to continue buying my product.
Sharing from my heart? I wasn’t sure I even knew what was in there.
Keeping It Real
I decided to try writing down what I was feeling. I had done something similar when I first started selling. As I got to know my clients, I made notes about what made them tick, how they felt about their jobs, and what they wanted from their vendors. I realized that if I could apply that system to myself, I might be able to bring out what was buried in my heart.
I made it a point to journal every day. Soon, I found myself jotting things down several times a day. I quickly learned that I had a lot of feelings stuffed down deeply into my heart and that writing things down took some of the pressure off.
The Big Reveal
Getting in touch with my feelings made me a better listener, too, and I began to get a lot more out of what other members chose to share. I realized that I could relate to so many things, and it was inspiring, a gift. That’s when I started hearing my heart speak, and I knew it was time to give back to this amazing group of people.
Benefits and Blessings
The first time I said anything, it felt really good, and it was so rewarding to realize that my sharing inspired others. I was no longer an outsider. I was now part of an incredible fellowship that enabled me to:
- Freely release pent up stress and tension
- Acquire a better understanding of what’s bothering me
- Gain a different perspective on problems
- Enjoy a feeling of accomplishment when something I say places that last piece in someone else’s puzzle
Getting out of my head and into my heart has given me the opportunity to share the road of recovery, and my journey has become so rewarding as a result.
If you or your loved-one needs help, please contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today for more information. We are to help and happy to provide a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced treatment advisors.