My emotions unmanaged can be deadly to both others and myself. Especially when I am using. All the trauma and pain that I endured as a child was stuffed down with just about every negative emotion out there. Once I touched drugs those emotions unleashed themselves causing trauma and pain for others that for the most part did not deserve it. Looking back now I am very lucky that acting out on my emotions didn’t get me killed. Apart from using drugs, my emotions could also get me in loads of trouble. When I decided to get clean I realized that recovery is not only staying clean from drugs, but also clearing your head of negativity. Without clearing your head, you are just stuffing the pain and trauma down again until it blows up like a time bomb. I am grateful today.
Emotions come and go... They always have and most likely always will. At times in my addiction I was fully convinced I didn’t have any emotions. I was wrong. They have always been there, I would just shove them down as fast as I could so I wouldn’t have to feel or deal with them. Now that I’m clean and sober I still experience many different emotions daily. Some of them I embrace, while others not so much. The beautiful thing is that I don’t have to run from them anymore or deny their existence. I can just let them be. I’ve gained the tools to be able to identify what is going on, and have healthy people around me to process them, with if need be. It’s still not easy and uncomfortable having some emotions such as hurt, sadness, fear, and the list can go on, but thanks to sobriety, I no longer have to run. That in itself is a huge blessing.
Emotions: The thing I used to stuff as far down as I could, run from. The thing I associated with weakness and something easily targeted. Getting sober is almost indescribable to imagine all the emotions or as I used to label them “bad feelings” that begin to bubble up and immerse me. It’s almost suffocating, and extremely terrifying and uncomfortable. As I was writing this it occurred to me that yes, this is what I’ve been running from all this time and it’s also what I’ve been so deeply craving. Every time I take that drink or drug the overwhelming “good emotion” it brings me maybe for even a brief time. The thing about taking drugs and alcohol out of the picture is you no longer only experience that “good emotion” you are suddenly sent on a roller coaster of the whole spectrum of emotion, good and new. What I’ve realized is in order to truly feel one emotion, you must eventually feel them all-sometimes all in one day and sometimes over time. I’ve learned now feeling these things so deeply is a gift not a curse.
For some time my emotions were not present with me. I avoided the truth behind things that I felt. I figured what's the point? Half the time I didn't want to feel anything anyways. I told myself that the drugs were doing it for me; managing the emotions that I thought I couldn’t handle at the time. I walked through life without a single concern on my mind, or a single feeling, whether good or bad. I went through scary situations with no fear. I became numb and desensitized to life. However, during that time, I forgot what mattered to me the most. It wasn’t until I had a couple months clean that I was able to look back on all the emotions I was missing out on while I was using drugs and in active addiction. Recovery at South Orange County Detox & Treatment has shown me how to manage my emotions and I'm grateful to feel again. Without the ones I don’t run from anymore, there wouldn’t be the one’s I don’t want to leave.