Happy Halloween….I was flipping through the photo albums trying to remember Halloween’s gone by. I remember the costumes, I remember the faces BUT I don’t remember the feelings attached to them. Some days I struggle with feelings…. Some days I feel numb unable to feel anything. I wonder if the MS not only stole my memories but also stole some of my ability to feel???
Well, today is all about feelings….. so what are feelings? We all have them, right? Feelings is defined as “an emotional state or reaction“.
Many of us have spent our whole lives stuffing feelings (okay, so some of us). I know I am not alone in this. One of the reasons addicts become addicts is because they don’t want to feel anymore. Pretty much we don’t know how to cope with whatever the feeling is we are feeling. I don’t mean just drug or alcohol addicts…. there are those who stuff their feelings by eating, or shopping or having sex or the list goes on. Basically an addict is anyone who does something to not feel feelings. I usually say, anything I can get obsessive and compulsive about to help me not feel is an addiction….. I know I squirreled. LOL.
I am writing on my Fourth Step which is all about feelings. It is actually about taking a moral inventory of myself. When it came to the part about feelings, I was lost. The only feelings I ever remember having were shame, guilt, fear and anger. Were there any others??? See I had beat myself up for so long over the mistakes I had made in my life I didn’t know how to cope with my feelings. So, I went from drugs to alcohol to shopping and credit card debt. Anything to help me step out of those feelings I didn’t want to have and feel better about me. It worked for awhile but then life got unmanageable. We can only stuff the feelings for so long before they start to bubble up and create a mess in our lives.
I actually had to do a Google search for what types of feelings there were.. I was clueless. I was amazed at the list I found….pleasant feelings vs difficult or unpleasant feelings. I had actually felt a lot of them. The tough part came when I had to remember the time when I felt them and describe the event. MS has stolen so many memories. I remember bits and pieces but not always the details.
MS along with my relapse/recover brought about so many negative emotions I am learning NOT to stuff on a daily basis. The reason I started Thankful Thursday was to turn the things which I tend to view as negative into a positive. By looking at the blessing associated with the negative situation, I can get a better perspective on my life.
Shame is “a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior“. This one is HUGE for me. We all do stupid things growing up, right? Some worse than others but at some point, we need to let go of the shame. I thought I had my first time in recovery BUT there is still some things buried deep down I have never let go of. I actually think I wasn’t ready to deal with them until now. I need to forgive myself and take the positive aspects of the situation and learn from them. It may be easier said than done but I am giving it a try.
One of the toughest feelings I have to deal with is resentment. Resentment is “bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly“. Have I really been treated unfairly? In most cases… NO. I didn’t know what resentment was for a long time. There were obvious situations where I resented people but many of those cases I had been treated unfairly. Now, when I am talking about a situation with anger and frustration, my sponsor is quick to say this is growing into a resentment. WHAT!?!?! Think about the invisible score card you keep in your head of the things you have done for someone. They do something against you and you want to automatically run down the list of things you have done for them. Guess what, you have a resentment! When I do things truly out of love and caring, I forget about them and the invisible list in my head goes away. Who do you have an invisible score card on?
Feelings are emotions, they are not fact. When we talk about them, we let them go. Well, most of us try to…. Wrap yourself in the positive feelings…