October 2

DISCIPLINE MONTH: DAY 2: “In the Culture of Character, the ideal self was serious, disciplined, and honorable. What counted was not so much the impression one made in public as how one behaved in private.”― Susan Cain

Most of us know how to be socially acceptable, most of the time. Drinking and drugging are certainly not a good way to maintain that behavior.

Sadly, it is more socially acceptable to be high than it is to be emotional. Sad, huh? And our culture today embraces using and drinking as a social norm.

A lot of us have spent so much time trying to cover up for emotional or mental disabilities, including trauma or abuse, that we would rather be seen drunk or high in the world than with our frailties exposed. Being vulnerable to others is a tremendous social handicap.

So we pretend to be okay, especially when we are not. The truly sad thing is that it is not acceptable to be fragile or vulnerable in our culture. That leaves a lot of people who want to walk in the world without drugs and alcohol, yet do not know how to walk in the world as they truly are.

Being authentic is not something most folks learn in their developmental process. We learn to pretend, to wear a mask over our true feelings, and to never, ever tell others what is happening with us in whatever setting abuse or trauma are occurring or have occurred. It is terrifying. So we continue to act like we are okay.

The largest part of learning how to walk in the world of recovery is to find the tribe that will truly accept us as we are. And to begin to let down the masks and the walls that keep us apart from others. As we learn to be real, we can learn to allow others to see that. And then we are becoming disciplined in true honesty and integrity.

And the true me can be the same in public as in private. That is the discipline I practice today. To be mindful of how I walk in the world, how I treat others, who I want to be and live like, etc. This takes a great deal of practice with these principles. And I will practice them every day until I am done here. That is what my life is all about, no more, no less. What a gift!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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