noun: emotional intelligence
- the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.
"emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success"
The last few years I have had this constant nagging that I had missed a lot of the important details throughout my 45 years of life. The more time I have spent sober, the more I am aware of my greater handicaps and misgivings in my life. I have spent years getting wired or drunk and never focused on the finer points and nuances of how to live life. I was sober for brief periods in my past and I was really miserable and always focused on negative outcomes or I was distracted by various hobbies and/or general things like making money or watching television. When I wasn't under the influence I treated everyone around me with distrust or disdain and I simply didn't care about anyone else or anything.
Throughout the years, I have had a limited amount of time for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual understandings... I have done some math along these lines:
Timeline of intoxication
From 0-8yrs old: Generally sober, but had already tried smoking cigarettes, got drunk discovering the “punch” bowl during a family Halloween party (was found passed out around vacuum cleaner in closet)
From 8-12yrs old: Smoked cigarettes (pack a day at 12yrs) and weed a handful of times and didn't much like weed, but continued to smoke cigarettes and drink whenever it came up. Couple summers spent chasing MD20/20, Strawberry HIll, Peppermint Schnapps, etc.
From 12-20 yrs old: Tried Meth for the first time at 12yrs. Knew instantly what I would be doing from that moment on. The switch was flipped.
From 20-25yrs old: Sober for 5 years (in the rooms).
From 25 - 42 yrs old: Blew the doors off the first year back to drinking and tried to control it the rest of the time. I got progressively worse as time progressed, but I managed to acquire a few items along the way.
From 42 - 45 yrs: Sober for 3 years.
As you can see from the timeline above, I currently have had a lot fewer years (fewer than 16 years) sober than I have had under the influence of alcohol or drugs. That “constant nagging” is a voice in my head that has had to acknowledge a truth about myself. I realized that I have never had the opportunity to grow emotionally and form well-balanced behaviors that I needed in order to cope with my daily life. Though I have picked up a lot of strategies along the way, not all of them have been helpful or healthy, to be honest. I have made a good effort in a lot of areas with some successes too. It hasn't all been bad as the timeline above would lead you to believe. But I have fallen short in my emotional growth for sure. That's why I really appreciate resources like The Book of Life for helping me to generate new topics and stimulate my thoughts in this area while encouraging my desire for a greater “emotional intelligence”. My hope is that you will be encouraged too by reading this post.
The Book of Life
In my many explorations in the world of recovery and other general life resources, I came across The Book of Life! There are so many things that fascinate me about others and myself and this resource fills in the gaps that have sometimes troubled me the most personally. From my own understanding of addiction, relationships, self-image, and so many other topics, it's the missing manual for me in a lot of ways! I think it's a wonderful resource! If you're interested, I would encourage you to check it out when you have some time to devote to it. They also have products that support the content and vice-versa as well as videos produced on occasion for some topics and articles.
The School of Life
The same people who produce The Book of Life also have classes for the School of Life (not in the U.S. - YET!) and it looks really interesting! When I see some of the offerings I think about how much I would like to attend things like that. If you have attended any of these events/classes, I would love to know what you think of them (please comment below).
Got an email today to take a survey
I completed this questionnaire on The Book of Life site this morning (It's what reminded me to write this post today) and it was interesting, to say the least. I always loved horoscopes growing up ;), but this result got a lot of things right about how I see myself in regards to my job/work. You may want to try to take the quiz yourself and see how this one measures up for you.
Thanks for reading! And happy quizing!!!