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Tuesday, July 11, 2017
One of the oddest things I learned in recovery was to develop tolerance and even desire for feeling good. At first I didn't connect much with other people. I didn't let anything approximating intimacy occur. Later, I noticed a paradox. When someone accepted or cared for me, I felt pleasure and pain. I was perplexed. Why would I feel pain in the same time as happiness? I asked an Al-Anon friend about this. She wondered if experiencing the good feeling I yearned for as a child might stir up some pain. She said the "receiving might, for a short time, bring up the "not receiving."

Her words proved to be true for me. I did go through a recovery phase during which receiving others' love, approval, and respect almost instantly recalled deeply buried sadness at not having received those things from my parents while I was growing up. In fact, I often didn't know such pain was inside until someone was nice to me. Then I would pour it out into my sponsor's loving ears and arms. Eventually I learned that my parents couldn't give what they didn't have, and I was able to feel compassion for them. 

Practicing "Easy Does It" helped me. I sometimes chose to leave meetings before they ended. I had received as much "good stuff" as I could handle on that particular day. Sometimes I had to limit the number of hugs I accepted. I'd share my thoughts and feelings afterward with my sponsor. Gradually, I began to like, and even love, getting the "good stuff" that leaves me feeling serene and happy.

Thought for the Day 
If recovery feels too painful, maybe I need to slow down and practice "Easy Does It." 
"Easy Does It" and "First Things First" help us to keep moving, but remind us we need only take small steps." From Survival to Recovery. p. 95


This is really a great message for me today, when I'm feeling some pain on the verge of good changes happening.  


  1. Hmm, I can't say this fits me. I have the opposite problem of wanting to get too close to people because I didn't have that. But I seek it from the wrong people and put up walls with the people I'm supposed to be close to, to avoid vulnerability and pain.