As addicts and alcoholics in recovery, “emotions” and “feelings” can seem like dirty words. Feeling and having emotional experiences is what makes us human. Learning to stay clean and sober involves learning how to feel your feelings without having to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope.
Your Emotions Won’t Kill You (If You Feel Them)
“If I really feel my feelings and let it all out, it might destroy me”. Pent up feelings create a tense amount of pressure somewhere inside of us. Though emotions and feelings are invisible energy, it feels as though they are within us, pushing against us, like they’re about to break us apart. Emotions can be painful. Emotions can be wonderful. Indeed sometimes we feel our emotions with every ounce of our being. Eastern philosophies believe that our emotions live inside of our bodies, in our muscles and our organs. Refusing to feel our emotions by avoiding them, denying them, or trying to escape them, just keeps them pent up. Feeling our feelings won’t kill us. However, suppressed emotions can create stress in the body as toxic energy. Overtime, that stagnant emotional stress can cause illness and injury. Eventually, the body and the mind have nowhere else to store emotions, so the negative energy starts taking over and slowly destroys the body. When we finally allow release, we feel better from head to toe.
You Can’t Actually Escape Your Emotions
No matter how we deny, avoid, ignore, store, stuff, and neglect our emotions, we can’t actually escape them. In our minds and in our bodies, our emotions continue to happen. Our old emotions stick around and new emotional experiences build up. We may succeed in distracting ourselves from our emotions for some time- by way of drugs and alcohol, for example. However, once the drugs and alcohol wear off or we finally get clean and sober, we find all those emotions are still there, demanding to be reckoned with.
Over Thinking Your Emotions Doesn’t Make Them Go Away
Our emotions are what they are. We often don’t realize we are empowered to choose our emotions. Some emotions come naturally and cannot be changed. As we practice mindfulness and learn more about the root of our emotions we develop an ability to objectively look at our emotions, then make choices about them. We can’t change them. We can learn from them and choose differently. If we get lost in analyzing them, doubting them, over thinking them, we aren’t feeling them, we aren’t changing them, and we aren’t making a new choice.
Emotions Are Passing Energy, Not Definite Facts
Thankfully, emotions are the greatest example of this too shall pass. Emotions are energy which we need to experience and learn from. Some emotions are brief, some emotions are long term. However, feelings aren’t facts. Feelings and emotions are perceptions which are passing. We will experience happiness, then we will experience sadness. We will experience gaining something and we will experience losing something. What we experience is part of a constant cycle. Recovery equips us to sustain ourselves within that cycle and stay sober through every up and down.
Emotional wellbeing is one part of the process of holistic recovery. Seeking to heal mind, body, and spirit, the private residential program at Lakehouse Recovery Center shows clients how to have fun again in life without drugs and alcohol. For more information, call us today at (877) 762-3707.