Beliefnet
The Celebrity Therapist

There have been many books, blogs, and articles written about emotional
sobriety, however, the word sobriety often scares people off who are not in
recovery from drugs or alcohol or some other type of addiction whether it is
gambling, sex and love, shopping, internet, co-dependency or food.  Sobriety usually means being sober   from drugs
and/or alcohol. In fact one definition I found for sobriety is …” sobriety is continued abstinence
from alcohol and psychoactive drug use.”   When you add the word “emotional” to the
word, it then becomes about how we feel once the addiction is gone?  Or Do we feel happy, joyous, and free once the
addictions have been eliminated?  Or Are
we managing our emotions once we are sober?  And/or  Are
we able to have healthy relationships in recovery?  Although all these definitions are valid, I
want to bring emotional sobriety to the mainstream.  I want to bring emotional sobriety to not just
those who suffer with an addiction, but how about the rest of society that live
in depression, anxiety, fear, resentments, and misery?  Not only do I want to make emotional sobriety
available to those who suffer, but how about those who are living a meager
existence? Or   How about allowing
emotional sobriety be available to anyone who is not living on purpose or with
passion?  Or for those who do not even
know there is more to life than just surviving with the basic needs of
survival?

My favorite definition comes from
author Dr. Ingrid Mathieu, “I believe that emotional sobriety is less about the
quality of the feeling (“good” or “bad” and more about the general ability to
feel one’s feelings.  Yes, emotional
sobriety can be about being able to control and regulate our emotions when we
remove the addictive substances or behavior, but emotional sobriety is so much
more.  It is all about being comfortable
in our skin right now in this very moment even when chaos exists around
us.  It is about living mindfully
experiencing each feeling moment by moment, watching them ebb and flow, but not
allowing them to define you.

Finally, emotional sobriety is
all about discovering balance and creating a sense of well-being within
ourselves.  It is also about knowing who
you are and allowing yourself to express the good, the bad, and the ugly, and
remaining grounded as these ideas, beliefs, feelings, and desires make their
way to our psyche and everyday existence.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a Licensed
Psychotherapist and Life Coach and author of The Law of Sobriety: Attracting
Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery.
Sherry is a well sought out speaker, facilitates workshops, teleseminars,
and is now offering a $45 consultation for 30 minutes.  She can be reached at sherry@sgabatherapy.com or www.thelawofsobriety.com or www.sgabatherapy.com.

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