Written November 25, 2016
“Feelings are not fact” ~Anonymous.
I thought I’d write about feelings today. Especially since I see so many people I know just wandering around town. These people I see are fellow addicts. 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 one addict who lost their son, one who lost their spouse because of their addiction, another 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, or remorse. Towards the end of my using, I didn’t even 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 those crappy feelings 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 are pretty 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, this person was far from working any type of recovery program period, at least as far as I could see. The program I work calls this abstinent. This is a debate for another blog post.
The holidays are tough on addicts because they bring up all kinds of memories and the emotions that are attached to those memories. The other day I was going thru a bunch of pictures in my basement and all kinds of memories of my past came flooding back with each box of pictures I went thru. Memories from my childhood, my young adulthood, my marriage, my parents, my grandparents, Christmas traditions gone, my friends throughout the years, my first car and the last relationship I was in. When I was done I felt like crap. My heart had fallen out of my chest and sat like a lump on that cold basement floor. 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. I didn’t use these are kinds of drugs, I hadn’t used them in this way or get them this by these means of getting them. At some point I’d figured I’d be to ashamed to come back to recovery, yet again. I’d probably end up killing myself by overdosing. This is also called playing the tape all the way thru to the end.
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 that 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)~