For as long as I can remember, I always felt like there was something wrong with me emotionally; unless something directly affected me personally, I couldn’t really force myself to care the way I perceived that a normal person would. I felt vaguely disconnected. Oh, I’d go through the motions and say (and hopefully, do) the right things. But deep down inside, there was another part of me that felt detached. Disengaged. Other than. I thought I was inherently emotionally flawed somehow.
Since getting sober 18 months ago, I’ve undergone so much emotional growth – especially in terms of learning how to sit with unpleasant emotions and situations. And I’ve learned something else: anger can be a blanket emotion. I’ve been learning how to sift through what I’m feeling and dig out what’s underneath it. I feel so much more connected and tuned in to my own emotions and to the people I love.
Sometimes I don’t have the luxury of time to unpack what I’m feeling. I have to react to a situation quickly and diplomatically, which isn’t one of my strengths. I can’t escape or emotionally check out. So, when all else fails, I try to remember: “if you can’t get out of it, get into it!” I take a deep breath and stay present. Right here. Right now. And do the best I can.
I realize now that booze was robbing me of the ability to stay in the moment. I’d operate by kind of shoving feelings away and putting them on a shelf so I could drink over them later; medicate them away.
This is such an interesting journey. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.