“An uncomfortable feeling is not an enemy. It’s a gift that says, “Get honest; inquire.
We reach out for alcohol, or television, or credit cards, so we can focus out there and not have to look at the feeling. And that’s as it should be, because in our innocence we haven’t known how.
So now what we can do is reach out for a paper and a pencil, write the thought down, and investigate.”
— Byron Katie
I’ve mentioned Byron Katie before; I read ‘Loving What Is’ a few years ago, and it helped me absorb the above thoughts.
I think about what Katie is saying in terms of being sober. In order to remain sober I MUST get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. She specifically mentions alcohol as a go-to in order to not feel those feelings. And I love that she adds in regards to drinking “in our innocence, our not knowing, it’s okay.” But now that I KNOW, now that I’m sober, it’s time to face the uncomfortable.
I have to <gulp> get honest with myself. These thoughts and feelings. I now HAVE to face them. I am learning that most of the time my scary thoughts and anxiety-drenched feelings were just being amplified to catastrophic world-peace-hangs-in-the-balance levels by alcohol. Without the booze googles, it is easier to look at these feelings calmly (calm-ish) in the eye and not let them overwhelm me. I can’t let them run ever-deepening circles around and around in my head ever again.
Also, how fully formed is this thought I am having at this moment? Do I spend too much time thinking about past feelings? What is unfounded? What is not yet a problem – and should I stop thinking about it for now? What is not in my control? What is in my control? Why am I uncomfortable with it? Why does it matter so much to me? What outcome do I fear and why? Lots to ask myself. No more numbing.