The other day I sat in a room full of people who were sharing about how their emotions had taken a hold, the emotions had got the better of them and then the inevitable happened “Relapse”. I shared that even though it has been a long time since I have picked up an illicit drug, I still have days when I have what I call an “emotional relapse,” but rather than pick up drugs, I pick up the negative self talk, the negative thoughts, that like a cyclone take a hold and lift me into a depressive and dark emotional place.
There were times my early recovery where I would spend, days or even weeks wrapped up in negative mindset. This then impacted on my behaviour, how I would react, or over reaction my case, I could sit and stew on my emotions for a while before I would realise that it is time to turn down the heat, take a step back, and make the time to reflect and get in touch with what was “really” going on for me. I find I can never move forward or past feeling shit, without addressing or getting to the bottom of what I was thinking to truly understand how this was making me feel.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned and learning about more recently is to embrace vulnerability, when the cloud of vulnerability eclipses me I have been wanting something or someone to remove the vulnerable feelings, I have been treating my feelings as a nuisance or an illness that needs to be cured or removed, especially those negative emotions. The vulnerability I have felt, I now realise has come from seeking validation from others, I have been measuring my self worth based on someone else’s or organisational conditioning.
I am still coming to terms with the reality that that suffering is inevitable, it is part of being human and to deny this and continuing escape it only keeps me in that hamster wheel, the inescapable cycle of suffering where nothing will change until I address who I am today, why I came to be where I am are, and learning to understand where the emotional grief comes from.
Nobody can understand me better than myself. Being honest about the things I might do wrong, being able to admit to things I need to change, can only come from within me. Willingness to see and change, the decision to change what I don’t like about my life, can only come from me.
Having support from trusted friends is crucial, use them as a sounding board, but to seek out people with the expectation that they can solve your emotional crisis is fruitile when they have never been through the things you’ve been through, emotionally, they may be able to relate, they may have experienced similar feelings and hurt, but that’s there own and not yours.
I am coming to accept, and am learning to understand that my emotions are there to guide me, protect me, and in order to help myself I need to learn to listen more to understand them.
Getting to this place, or learning to understand myself to this degree, has taken years of practice and I will probably be still be reflecting and learning about myself until I draw on my last breath. I haven’t done this in isolation though I have listened and learned from others, taken the parts that fit me, life is like jigsaw puzzle I am slowly building a picture of who I really am.
Try not to be afraid of who you truly are and r