Dear Emotions, Stop Dictating My Life!

There is this thing called Emotional Sobriety.  It can be a confusing term for some.  Does it mean being happy, joyous, and free?  Not exactly.  Emotional Sobriety is not so much about how one feels…”I feel good or bad,” but more about the overall ability to actually feel ones feelings.  When we get sober, we are restored to sanity, but that doesn’t mean being “happy, joyous, and free” all the time.  What it is about is being in the moment…the present moment.  No matter what that looks like.  It is about what we are experiencing at any given moment.  Is it possible to be present in all of your feelings, without letting any single one of them define you?  Not an easy task.  But possible.

I often still feel, in sobriety, completely overtaken by annoying pin pricks under my skin.  You know…that feeling…where you are totally uncomfortable in your own skin.  Those are the moments where I am slipping away from Emotional Sobriety.  Where I am unable to tolerate what I am feeling at the moment.  Where I start to blame myself or other conditions for the challenges of life.  You see, if one is Emotionally Sober, then they don’t need to do something to make a feeling go away.  You don’t need to blame yourself or others.  It is about sitting with the feelings, tolerating them, and acting spiritually minded as you experience the here and now.

It is not easy staying Emotionally Sober all the time. It takes a really spiritually grounded person to balance on that beam.  And I am not there yet.  There is a natural unconscious drive to protect oneself from painful realities or difficult confrontations.  At least today I am not reaching for drugs or alcohol as my defense against such confrontations.  Instead I try to work through them in a healthy way.  But I do have my bad days.  I do fall off the beam.  Those are the days that I am unable to recognize myself and my behavior.  Or rather, I recognize myself as the un-sober woman…old behavior.  Old habits.  Old reactions come to the surface.  Blah!

“My Emotions Don’t Dictate My Life Anymore”

Luckily, through the 12 steps and the work I have done thus far to stay physically sober, I am able to almost immediately recognize my emotional slips, giving me the choice to jump back on the Emotionally Sober path, or fall into a fearful path of destruction…. filled with cranky, self-pitying, angry and resentful thoughts.  No thanks, to the latter!