January 30, 2010 Divine Therapy Study Group – Week 9 We had our third meeting of 2010 on Tuesday January 26.

We gathered at 7:15 in Sister Rose’s office and had an interesting conversation about the early days of Contemplative Outreach. When the centering prayer started at 7:30 we used a tape that is timed for 20 minutes of silence with gentle music at start and finish. I appreciated this as I could fully enter into the silence and not be concerned about watching the timer. Reminder that if you arrive after 7:30 please enter quietly (door is unlocked so you don’t need to ring the doorbell) and take a seat. This week we continued with the reading around Step 2 but only made it through a few paragraphs – middle of page 24 to the top of page 26. We had more discussion around a smaller amount of text, but this is the way the work of Fr. Keating and Tom S. can be appreciated and used for healing. We’re not on a race to the final page, but enjoying the journey.
Step 2: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

“An addictive person, especially one who genetically has an addictive personality, or who is an obsessive/compulsive personality, is a sitting duck for some kind of emotional high that will relieve him or her of the pain that flows from the consequences of being set up that way.” (p.24) It’s such a vicious circle - I am in psychic pain, I relieve it with drugs/alcohol/food/relationships/shopping until this no longer works, I stop the addictive behavior and now am faced with the original psychic pain compounded by the pain of trying to stop my addictive behavior. Living small, within the container of my isolated world as a child and teenager, I had systems in place that protected me. I grew up in a housing project in South Boston and tried to disappear in sugar, reading, walking, and religion. It was only when I attempted to extend myself beyond the extremely tiny part of the world I occupied and go to college that big trouble began. “AA is a marvelous program of becoming a full human being without being dominated by an addictive program that is tearing you apart.”(p.24) I love that Father Keating sees AA as “a program of becoming a full human being’… If, every day, I’m working towards becoming a full human being then my time on earth isn’t wasted. Surely during the years spent buried in my addiction I was not contributing toward finding and releasing my authentic self. In the years before I started drinking I was emotionally immobilized from the childhood wounds around polio and a runaway father. I surely was in a frantic search for security, affection, approval and control. Looking back to Page 7 I’m reminded that the traumatic life events I experienced as a young child, combined with the genetic probability for alcoholism from a long line of

or controlling everybody will be available for growth and health. Have a great week! .25) Yes. How scary is that?? How do any of us ever get well?? Relating this to my own story I realized I had emerged from the two serious psychologically damaging traumas (polio and disappearing father) obsessed with survival/security. During the meeting we had an interesting discussion about sponsorship and about feelings: Sponsorship – how and why it works – and what makes a good sponsor? Feelings – how do we come to understand we are not our feelings? That our authentic self is intact and whole -.26) Blessings to everyone and hope to see you on February 2. (p.” (p. So. Eventually. but then find out that this known world is only 10% of the activity inside my mind and emotions.” So I go along. not just my drinking problem. meant to be shared. approval by everyone. sharing with my sponsor and developing an 11th step practice did help me climb out of the swamp. Putting down the drink. dealing with myself and my world to the best of my ability. from that young age I started living in fearful reaction to every situation. Father Keating says on Page 7 that “many of our deepest commitments to symbols for security. I grieved all those lost years – the ones before. I now know it’s the work of this lifetime. affection/approval. But you have to stay alert. power. working the steps. and develop a plan of action for healing the larger issues. Making it even more complicated is that so much of what moves us is unconscious. I had to face the fact that my addictive behavior was not the problem. and to use to help others in recovery discover the spiritual solution.separate from our reactions and physical/emotional responses. though. You are not your feelings. power/control and 90% of this emotional program was below the level of consciousness in my five year old mind/body. “…if we attend the meetings and help each other climb out of the swamp… the energy we used to put into security issues. I came to a stepping off place in sobriety where I became well enough to look at the big picture. during. It’s taken a long time. Already I was set up for a serious addiction problem. and affection are rooted in desires that are absolutely impossible to achieve because 90% of these desires are unconscious. and after my active addiction years. and untreated emotional issues on my mother’s side.Irish Catholic drunks on my father’s side. going to meetings. “Once you dis-identify with your feelings you know that you can change them. made me a perfect candidate for a life of addiction. this is absolutely true. only my temporary (20 year) perceived solution to the problem.