Intimacy…God’s Little Gift

One of the truest miracles of recovery is learning how to be intimate with another human being and with myself. Now you’re probably asking yourself, “How do I become intimate with myself?” First we had to learn what the word intimate meant, and then after we learned that we start to follow our hearts and share ourselves with people in an intimate manner. Slowly at first, but as time grew I became more fluent. This was a special time. I was sharing myself emotionally with my wife in ways I never dreamed of while I was in my addiction. We became closer. My sharing in meetings began to blossom with real value. I was allowing my emotional self time to engage with others. This is different from the ways I allowed myself to engage physically with people while I was in my addiction. Sharing one’s heart and feelings has meaning different from sharing one’s physical self in an anonymous hook-up in our addiction. This was a learned trait only while I was in recovery, truly one of God’s gifts. Spending time alone reading a good book or out on a relaxing jog is being intimate with one’s self, even a truer gift.

9 thoughts on “Intimacy…God’s Little Gift

  1. I need intimacy with myself. I use to take long walks by myself. I found this was the best way to think. I was moving, so I was awake. Getting endorphins tingling in my brain. I would enjoy the feeling of the breeze on my skin and the beauty all around me. A lake, birds, a night sky or a sunny day. However, I would also be thinking about what I would like to do in the future and how I would accomplish it. This gave me focus for when I went back to work or went back to play with my family. In addiction, I spent so much time focusing on short term pleasure that I didn’t leave time for my mind to grow. I need to set aside time for intimacy with myself just like I set time for my addiction

  2. in?ti?mate – adjective
    Archaic- to make known; announce
    in?ti?ma?cy?– noun

    Synonyms:
    closeness, familiarity, warmth, affection

    1. the state of being intimate.

    2. a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group.

    3. a close association with or detailed knowledge or deep understanding of a place, subject, period of history, etc.: an intimacy with Japan.

    4. an act or expression serving as a token of familiarity, affection, or the like: to allow the intimacy of using first names.

    5. the quality of being comfortable, warm, or familiar: the intimacy of the room.

    6. privacy, esp. as suitable to the telling of a secret: in the intimacy of his studio.

    Intimacy, wow I thought I knew what intimacy was but I only knew what my addict’s definition of intimacy was…. It was NOT loving or personal. It was NOT a close association with anyone or anything. It was NOT any kind of detailed knowledge or deep understanding. It was definitely NOT a quality of being comfortable. And it was NOT any kind of privacy.

    In my acting out I kept things as impersonal as possible I did not want to know my acting out partners and I definitely did not want them to know me. Love was NO WHERE in the equations. I keep everyone one at arms length where I “thought” I was controlling the situations so there was no close associations. I was too numb and too high to have any kind of detailed knowledge or deep understanding of anything to do with anything in my turned off brain. I thought I was comfortable not being intimate but I was just continuing the pain cycle. And while I had plenty of secrets in my acting out secrets are not privacy.

    Now in recovery, I am only just learning intimacy. I am learning that quiet is ok. That, when I am quiet I can get a quality of being comfortable. But the best part has been learning and accepting that loving and personal relationships with the group, with my sponsor with my husband are ok and they are safe that I don’t have to be afraid of letting people get to know the real me. The “real” me is not this horrible beast I had her made out to be. I would have to say the best part of recovery is being intimate with myself knowing when to set limits and say no I can’t and also know to say yes I deserve such n such. That is definitely not anything I knew in my acting out life. Sobriety has not in anyway been easy for this recovering addict actually most days I feel like my addict has the upper hand but today is a good day.

  3. Wow, Ally’s share is amazing and stirred up some stuff. The fear of intimacy. This word, like the words anger, love, hate, and joy conjure up intensity of feeling for me. I have always been afraid of feelings that I have perceived as intense. I never knew how to deal with them so I suppressed them, supposedly. I told my therapist I was good at suppressing feelings. He said “no you’re not”. I got it right away. He meant that suppressing feelings made them come out in obtuse ways. Examining my defects of character made me realize that I have a history of being irritable, annoyed, frustrated, or impatient with myself or others, usually when things were not going my way.

    Peeling a sick onion: I acted out because I wanted to sooth anxiety and discomfort from stress; I was stressed because my attempts to control things were not working; I wanted to control things because I was afraid of lack of control rejection, failure, success, and the biggest one, intimacy; I was afraid because I was of the core belief that I was inadequate and/or unworthy top begin with.

    Restoring the onion to health: I am a worthy, loving, lovable and spiritually connected being. These core beliefs give me strength, trust and faith to conquer my fears, let go and let God; In turn letting go and letting my Higher Power allows me to face life with openness, honesty, humility, vulnerability and integrity. Easier said than done, but working on it one day at a time it will come.

  4. As an addict there was no intimacy, period!
    Now I’m learning the most important part of being intimate, sincere communication. Without it there is no intimacy.
    Being fiercely honest with myself in my new life, and having an open heart and mind no matter the circumstance is vital to my recovery. The wonderful effect of this is INTIMACY with myself and everyone that surrounds me. This takes lots of practice and there have been bumps in the road but I always resort to getting help from my sponsor or friends in the program.
    The incredible thing about intimacy is that it gives back to you twice what you put into it. Learn to communicate honestly and openly and your Higher Power will do the rest.

  5. Intimacy is something that I was always looking for in my active addiction but never received. I thought I was getting it, but what I was getting was the exact opposite. The more I acted out the more I separated myself from who I was and the more I separated myself from those around me. I isolated in my addiction and in my secret world. Even with my acting out partners I was not intimate. Even though I thought I was at the time, it was not. It was all about what they wanted from me and what I wanted from them. We were basically using each other. Today intimacy has meaning. First I had to learn how to be intimate with myself. By that I mean I had to get to know who I was again. I did that by working the program and working the steps. Then I could learn how to be intimate with friends. What this means for me is focusing on people that are real friends and speaking my truth. And finally it means that one day I will look forward to a truly intimate relationship with someone special. Today I know that I can have that and I know what it means. I can do this because I know who I am, I know what I am worth, I know how to treat my friends and how they should treat me, I am working my program and I turn everything over to my Higher Power to take care of me as long as I do what I need to on a daily basis.

  6. I recently shared on intimacy, however, I want to share on it again. As I stated before, intimacy for me has taken on a whole new meaning. I always thought it was about sex, but today I know it is about truth and honesty and integrity, knowing oneself and being in healthy relationships and being close to someone who respects and cares for you as much as you do them. Intimacy is about caring for yourself and spending quality time with yourself, taking care of yourself, and enjoying yourself. It is also about caring about another person, spending quality time with another person and enjoying that other person. In my active addiction I could not appreciate any of this. All I could do was look for ways to get what I thought was intimacy but what in reality was sex and drugs and emptiness. Quick hits and despair and loneliness. Today I don’t have to live that kind of life, because today I can live a life based on spiritual principles. Today I can look to my Higher Power and to others around me that know better than me and who came before me to guide me and show me the way. I can trust them to help me and I can listen and take suggestions and be willing. I can do this and work my program and in the end I will be wise, right? Yes, because all of this has led me to where I am today. A person on a perpetual journey who can understand what intimacy is today with himself and with others and who can pray to stay sober one day at a time as long as I continue to do the work that I have been doing that has gotten me to this point. Simple, right? Yup!

  7. Intimacy has many different levels and I have shared on this before tonight. However, tonight intimacy means for me being able to say what you need to say to someone who is important to you even when you are afraid to. Tonight I needed to make an amends to someone and I was nervous to do it. However when I finally did it opened up a conversation that was very intimate and it was wonderful. I think that it was very appreciated and I am glad that I did it. It definitely makes for a closer relationship. At the same time, intimacy also means getting closer to someone who is a friend by allowing them to come in. I had a friend call me and let me know about some things that were going on in their life and they wanted to share them with me. I had pulled away from this person for the past year because I felt that there was not much there. However today I felt that she needed to have me listen and I did and I felt that it brought us closer together. I was happy with what she told me and I simply allowed myself to be open to hearing what she had to say and being there for her to listen to her. So I guess in both cases intimacy is being there for someone. And to me that is what life is all about and that is what recovery is all about: being a healthy person who can have healthy relationships with other people. I work on myself so that I can continue to grow in my recovery and grow in my ability to have healthy relationships. And for that I will continue to pray every day and for that I am grateful for this program and my higher power for getting me this far and taking further where I need to go.

  8. Intimacy is something that I have avoided all my life and I was very successful at it. Simon and Garfunkel wrote a song titled “I am a rock” and stated that a rock feels no pain. While that may seem true, it comes with the pain of loneliness. I was a rock and I felt no pain that I could recognize as pain. Today I have come to know that the pain I felt was real and that is was worse than the pain of broken bones, business failures or relationships ended. Today I have real intimacy with my wife and while we have been married that intimacy came in 5 minutes one day. How, why or what caused it that day I will never be sure of. The greatest gift of that moment is that I now have a wife and not just a companion that walks through what appeared to be a fairy tale life. I can’t wait to expand that intimate relationship to include others.

  9. Intimacy is on my high priority list at present. I thought it was to find intimacy with my girl friend, but reading here, it is clear that I have to find intimacy with myself first. If I can’t be happy and satisfied with myself, I will never be able to achieve that with others.

    First step will be to find peace with who I am, and to accept God’s forgiveness as an example for myself. Once I can recognize me as a basically good person, I can show that real authentic me to another as a second step. The first step is the hardest.

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