Nothing More Than Feelings

“Just because you’re feeling it doesn’t mean that it’s the truth or that it even matters,” he told me at a few months sober. Basically, this friend of mine was telling me, whatever it was that I was feeling, it wasn’t a big fucking deal. Clearly, he didn’t know what I was going through. Because everything I’ve ever felt is a big fucking deal, thank you very much.

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In those early days of recovery, feelings raged bubbled up inside of me like hot lava and I couldn’t control where they spewed or what they destroyed. All I knew is after not feeling anything for decades, I was now in the middle of an emotional natural disaster.  There was never a middle ground with me and emotions. I either ignored my emotions or I let my emotions rule my life. Both ways were totally out of control ways to live. If I ignored whatever it was I feeling, eventually my insides would start to ache and I’d need something to take the edge off. A bucket of blow and a kiddie pool full of tequila usually did the trick. If however, I let my emotions drive the bus, I was in for a wild and unpredictable ride and so were the poor folks I dragged onboard.  I felt like people were out to get me. I felt like I need to control the way people reacted. I felt like I needed to be happy so I concocted bullshit stories to help sell this lie. I felt, I felt, I felt and it all felt crazy and therefore a drink would help fix this way of living too.

When emotions take over in sobriety, that is when things get tricky. The drama of feeling depressed, angry, victimized or heartbroken is another drug entirely for me. Something in my addict mind tries to convince me that if my life is hard or bad than I have a reason to check out. “He hasn’t left his bed in days but can you blame him?” is what I hope people will say. In reality, people don’t care if I feel good or bad. People, just like me, are too wrapped in thinking about themselves to give two shits about my mental state. My emotions and what I feel have turned out to be what that friend said they were: not a big deal. In this no-big-dealness, I just get to feel whatever it is I’m going through. The good, the bad, the unfabulous. I feel it, I acknowledge it and I move on. And sometimes I feel crappy for a while and this is okay too.

As I talked about in the post below, my life hasn’t been easy lately. I had nine days solid of a lot of drama of the boring professional nature. While disheartening and annoying, it has proven to be just that. I’m lucky that my health is good, that I get paid to do what I love and that my husband has my back no matter what. Mainly, I don’t drink when shit is uncomfortable or when feelings do show up. Today, I get say when somebody asks, “I feel like shit.” And I get to say that with no remorse or drama attached. I say how I’m feeling now because it isn’t a big deal but ignoring it is.

 

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5 thoughts on “Nothing More Than Feelings

  1. I love this post. I always say, Life was so much easier when I didn’t have to feel these damn feelings. We used to take the easy way out, right? Or so we thought. In one of her books, Melody Beattie says something like, you can have homicidal feelings toward someone without committing homicide! Feelings are not necessarily facts, they are just feelings. Its okay to feel feelings? Man…look how far we’ve come! 🙂 xoxo

    • Love that Melody Beattie quote! Very funny and very true. A girl I got sober with used to refer to it as the “never-ending adventure of emotions” and it certainly feels that way at times. Yet you’re right – we have come a long way and today it’s nice just to feel whatever it is and then keep going. ❤ – S.

  2. Very true what you say…feelings aren’t truth, even if we make it seem that way. I always use the example of wanting to ram into the car ahead of me that is going oh too slow for my liking. I know that I won’t, but that feeling is there. So I let feelings pass – I picture them as clouds moving back and forth, past me, some slow, some quick, and don’t take heed to them as much as I can. Easy to say of course! But it’s been a process for me to not jump on the first thing that gets into my field of vision.

    You are absolutely spot on about how things are in sobriety, especially the roller coaster that is early sobriety. I wanted to hug everyone one second, then strangle them the next. I didn’t know where I was being “led” but I felt like I was on a bucking bull, just hanging on for the ride. But the ride eventually slows down. And like you stated so well, I now feel it, acknowledge it, and then move on. That’s the growth we get in sobriety…and the honesty that we get when we start to get clarity in our lives.

    Lovely post 🙂

  3. This is so good and reminds me of what Pema Chodron says about dropping our story lines and getting in touch with the energy behind them. LOL, I have to laugh at myself because lately I’ve been ‘feeling’ that sometimes having a spiritual awakening can be a real pain in the ass!!!! 🙂

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