Learning to Control our Emotional Natures

“… we couldn’t control our emotional natures…”  The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 52

What does controlling our emotional natures mean?  Have we run rampant over others, without any regard for them, due to our feelings?  How has this been magnified when we’ve been drinking and/or using?

Let’s consider how we’ve reacted to people when we’ve felt emotionally challenged while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.  When we’ve been angry, have we responded by shouting or screaming, name calling, or even physically lashing out?  Maybe we’ve taken the other route; being sullen & silent, behaving in a passive aggressive manner with the attempt at manipulating situations to try to wound the other person without every stating we were upset.

Now, while getting sober, it may be even more of a challenge to learn how to contend with our feelings while not defaulting to and relying on how we’ve reacted previously.  It is in the best interest of all for us to be willing to be reeducated, so to speak, in how we respond; recognizing and becoming mindful of how our reactions affect others.  The staff at this Los Angeles drug rehab has intricate knowledge of how to not only recognize when an overwhelming reaction is building up but to also quickly diffuse the emotional component of the situation.  In the moment, they offer a new view to what may be happening and a possible way of how to respond while still being in touch with our feelings, instead of allowing those feelings to be our only reaction.  This is, more often than not, a learned skill and simply because it might not be easy or even understandable, it can be acquired and honed over time.

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