Written November 25, 2016
“Feelings are not fact” ~Anonymous.
I thought I’d write about feelings today. Especially since Thanksgiving is done and Christmas and New Years are coming up and I see people I know walking, around town. These people I see are fellow addicts, however they are more like wandering around town. They have either not found recovery or they were in a recovery program and have relapsed maybe once, maybe twice, maybe even more. I saw an addict who lost their son, one who lost their spouse because of their addiction, and one addict who was a victim of domestic violence , and yet another who was abused/molested as a child.
As a recovering addict myself I know all too well about feelings and how they can sometimes suck. That was one of my main reasons for using. I didn’t want to feel the feelings that I had. Feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, sadness, guilt, shame, remorse and towards the end of my using days I didn’t want to feel joy and happiness. Truth be told, I didn’t remember how to feel the good feelings. I also didn’t want to deal with conflict or reality. Bottom line I used when it rained, snowed, even if it was sunny or(as I say) someone pissed in my cheerios.
Now, what I’m about to say is not to boast or brag. It is simply to let another addict that even when feelings suck you can get through them too. In the few 24 hours that I have clean I’ve been through divorce, financial loss, the inability to find gainful employment, health issues that could be serious, and a failed relationship with another “recovering” addict. I say “recovering” because even though this person has a few more 24 hours clean than me, they were far from working any type of recovery program period. The program I work calls this abstinent. This is a debate for another blog post.
However, this time of year the holidays bring up all kinds of memories and the emotions that are attached to those memories. The other day I was going thru Christmas decorations in my basement and memories of Christmases past came flooding back with each box I went thru. Memories from my childhood, my young adulthood, my marriage, my parents, my grandparents, Christmas traditions gone,my friends throughout the years and this last relationship I was in. When I was done I felt like crap. My heart had fallen out of my chest and I didn’t like it.
So why did I choose to not find the closest drug dealer or go to an old hangout with an old playmate? I thought about the people I’d hurt yet again if I went back out. I also thought of what is called my “YET’s” – You’re Eligible Too. These are kinds of drugs I’d use, ways I hadn’t used them, and means of getting them that I hadn’t done. At some point I’d be to ashamed to come back to the rooms, yet again, so I’d probably end up killing myself by overdosing.
The bottom line is that if you’re reading this and you’re an addict who hasn’t found recovery or even tried recovery because of those feelings there are millions of people like me who’ve learned to work thru them without using. If we can do it, you can do it too. Don’t deny yourself those feelings. Just know that you don’t have to use over them – Just for Today.
Thought for the day: “Things change. People change. Feelings change. It’s a good thing that memories never do. Cherish the memories you’ve made…and never pass up the chance to make new ones.” ~(gail)~