There is a great euphoria that many of us experience when we become alcohol free. We are on this incredible high and we think it will never end. Until it does. And we need to deal with all these emotions we have numbed for so long. It’s ok to be not okay.
Feeling Your Feelings
Feeling your feelings is incredibly overwhelming in the beginning. We’ve used alcohol to numb and sedate ourselves for so long, that in many ways we’re not equipped to process these feelings and emotions. It’s ok to be not okay with your feelings. It’s ok to find this hard. It’s not ok to keep numbing yourself though. You deserve to be alive and to feel things.
This Too Shall Pass
Remember that these feelings won’t last forever. It’s ok to not be okay right now, but keep in mind tomorrow, next week or next month might feel different. When I’m having an emotional day it often helps me to identify what it is I’m feeling. If I’m laying in bed, my mind is racing and I’m unable to sleep, just telling myself – this is just anxiety is often enough to settle my brain.
You’re Not Alone
Drinkers, non-drinkers and former drinkers – we all have feelings. The difference between you then and now is that you’re not going to use alcohol to avoid your emotions. Everyone – regardless of drinking status – has good days, bad days, happy days, and sad days. They feel anger, get depressed, or get anxious. The fact that you’re feeling things is not a reflection of your relationship with alcohol. It is a reflection of the fact that you’re human. You are ALIVE.
It’s ok to be not okay but it’s not enough. Feeling your feelings is great, but learning to process and deal with them is important too. There is no one right way to go about dealing with emotions but there are countless options. You can journal, meditate, exercise, draw, paint, take a bath, etc. Try one, try them all. I can’t tell you whether keeping a journal or sky diving is what will help you in coping with emotions, but I can guarantee alcohol will not.
Find out more on feeling all the feelings. You can start reading This Naked Mind today.
It’s Ok To Be Not Okay
You do not owe anyone happiness, rainbows and sunshine all of the time. You are entitled to a bad day or a good day. If you’re having a hard day – let others know. I’ve had days where I’ve woken up and warned everyone that they should steer clear of me today because my emotions are off. Tomorrow I might be okay, but today – I need to be gentle with myself and be not okay for awhile. And that’s okay.