Thursday, 13 February 2014

Are we really sensitive?

Sometime it is said that alcoholics are very sensitive people.

My view is this: typically, we are not remotely sensitive, in an unrecovered state. Sensitivity requires accurate observation of the reality around us and empathy with others. That, in turn, requires us to be in touch with our genuine, immediate responses to that reality.

Most unrecovered alcoholics, by contrast, are locked in a headspace, divorced from the reality around them and separate from their own bodies, aware only of the highly selected observations of the ego and its warped interpretations through the filter of the ego's own strange perception of who one is.

It would be more accurate to say we are hyper-reactive, but highly selectively so, namely when something affects the image we have of ourselves. To everything else, we can be quite blunted or even blind.

Unrecovered alcoholics can be oddly indifferent to the distress of others, except in as far as it affects them. I know I can be quite guilty of that.

Sensitivity, true sensitivity, is what we are shooting for, not what we are trying to get away from.

For that to be achieved, the ego has to be dismantled, and then we see and respond promptly and humanely to what actually is.

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