Is there anyone out there in recovery who knows how to have healthy, sober arguments? I need help!
How can I possibly know how to argue in sobriety when I never did it well when I was drinking? Back then, my arguments were heated and often hurtful fights between two people capable only of screaming for what they believed was due or owed to them.
Even in long-term sobriety, I don’t know the social niceties of arguing. Until recently, my primary relationship had no need for argument. We agreed on everything. All our opinions were exactly alike and they were usually mine. I’m not placing blame there because I know I helped create that surface-level relationship.
I am no longer in that relationship because I need–and desire–healthy discourse in my life. I need–and desire–exchanges that run the gamut of stating positions on current events to tearful, gut-level, old-wounds stuff.
And I don’t know how to have those discourses. Or, to be more gentle with myself, I’m not very good at it.
Here’s the good news. I have learned to take direction well over the last few years and when things like this occur, I know to defer to the person who knows way more than I do–my sponsor.
The conversation generally goes something like this:
S: Hey, yourself.
Me: What’s going on? How are you?
S: I’m okay. Did you really call to inquire about my well-being? (She usually cuts right to the chase.)
Me: Well, no. I’ve got this thing going on.
Me: Yeah, and it’s making me a little crazy.
S: That sounds about right.
(Insert heavy sigh from me.)
S: Tell me what’s going on. (So I do).
S: You know, until you’re willing to do things differently, you’re going to continue to do them the only way you know how. Recovery is about living life differently but it’s not expected that you’ll wake up one morning and Shazam!, you have all knowledge. That’s not the way it works. There is only one way that I know to get the willingness to change.
Me: (Trying really hard not to sound sarcastic) Oh yeah? And what would that be?
S: Not what, but who. Go to God. God will provide willingness when you’re ready to ask. Now, I am really glad you called and I sure do love you. We’ll talk again after your conversation with God.
Sponsors! Am I the only one who wants to petulantly stick my tongue out at mine on a regular basis?