Sitting here with my feelings. Sitting in sobriety. Sitting in awareness.
OMG this makes for an uncomfortable chair.
I’ve been so excited these last eighty days to experience the lifting of a mental fog that I often felt during the day from the drinking the night before. Anxiety levels around work have lowered, and I don’t feel nervous and sweaty about everything. Work seems more manageable. I am not making as many mountains out of molehills, nor am I sweating the big AND small stuff all the time.
But boy am I having a hard time with being naked (yes, I have clothes on, I mean no wine) without a crutch (wine) around all my feelings!
No matter if you are sober or addicted- the very early days of meeting and getting to know someone is fraught and brings up all sorts of feelings. Many of those feelings (if it’s the right person) are wonderful.. but old patterns take hold – and the urge for old emotional habits looms close to me. And the urge to numb them!
But I am determined to sit here in this uncomfortable chair and feel them. And get through them.
I tell myself to hang tight because relapse is at its highest rate during the first 90 days of recovery. Don’t take a sip! Every article I read says how you treat yourself during the first 90 days of your recovery will set the tone for how the rest of this process will go.
I found this terrific post – by luck –Feeling All The Feels. “Mrs. D” wrote it, and she is actually one of my all-time favorite writers around the topic of sobriety. Lotta’s blogging for a sober community, Living Sober, which looks really interesting and I’m going to investigate.
A couple of years ago, when I was dancing around the need to get sober, I read Mrs. D Is Going Without – and her personal blog — I highly recommend it for Lotta’s humor and her sweet, inspirational and gracious honesty.
Lotta has been sober for 5+ years now – but her messages continue to help me as I struggle to manage all my feelings. I’ve pulled out a few of the great bits from her Feeling All The Feels blog post:
- Get used to feelings – there ain’t no escape.
- This is what you have to be prepared for. “No longer will you be someone who can blur away anger, or numb sadness, or smooth over boredom. There will be no taking the edge off a draining day with a wine or four, or gratefully receiving a beer after dealing with something stressful. Alcohol – the great legal drug that helps humans avoid emotions – has left your building. Quitting drinking means you are now unable to avoid the blunt edges of tough emotions. There is no more avoidance. Your escape route has gone.”
- “You have to sit and become familiar with your anger and sadness, and less reactive to them.”
- “Feeling all the feels is actually a really good and important thing to do. Tough emotions are there for a reason. We’re supposed to feel them. They don’t kill us, they actually protect us, connect us with our fellow humans and teach us things.”
- “I now know what frustrates me and what causes me stress. I know that my anger isn’t to be feared and my sadness isn’t to be avoided. I know that it’s normal to go up and down, to struggle at times and not to always be on some sort of artificial ‘high’. Living sober all the time and feeling all the feels has slowly turned me into a fully realised woman – grounded in myself and my emotions – and this is a very satisfying thing. It feels authentic and brave and very, very rewarding.”
And so I continue to sit in this uncomfortable chair.