Pesky Old Feelings

Yesterday I felt bad. Tired, lethargic, irritated, kind of angry. This followed two or three days of energy-havin’, flowy days where things just seemed to click. The bad feelings almost seemed worse because of the good days I had just experienced.

I tried to get myself out of this funk all day long. I went outside and did yard work to get my blood pumping, played with my son, lounged and watched TV, took a bath… all of which sometimes help to make me feel better, but not yesterday. Nothing helped.

Also- I couldn’t figure out WHY I was feeling bad. I didn’t know what was wrong. The only thing I could think was that maybe I needed some alone time… but I wasn’t sure if that was it. I really had no idea what was going on with me.

Today I read the postΒ Whatever You Do, Don’t Feel’ on the Sober Mommies blog. It made a lot of sense. I don’t always feel my feelings… sometimes I can’t tell you what I am feeling at all, and yesterday was one of those days. I spent so long avoiding my feelings it is only normal to have some confusion about them now.

I am trying to figure out how to get to the root of my feelings at times when I am unsure of what is going on inside. Writing helps. Talking helps. Acknowledging the fact that I feel bad and don’t know why helps. It is okay to just sit with the bad feelings, too. I don’t necessarily have to figure everything out all the damn time. There doesn’t always have to be a REASON. (All caps because that is how it sounds in my head.) Ha.

Anyone else have this experience? What do you do about it?

17 thoughts on “Pesky Old Feelings

  1. Last paragraph says it all. Sometimes we just sit in it. Things don’t come to us right then and there. I can sometimes use the tools at my disposal and get to things, but not always. Sometimes I need to talk it out. Sometimes journaling. Sometimes it will come later. I may pray and meditate on something, and the answer comes out of the blue when i least expect it. But just sitting in it…that’s big. The other thing I need to remember is that just because I feel it doesn’t make it SO. I feel pissed off? Why is that – usually comes from fear of something. Fear of losing what I have or fear of not getting what I want. What’s threatened? Etc.

    Great stuff – we grow when we can start unravelling what’s going on underneath… πŸ™‚


    • Thanks Paul…your words are very reassuring. I like your thoughts on fear being the basis for most of the negative feelings. That is interesting, and probably so true! I am bad a sitting in it without being a huge grouch, so maybe I DO need alone time then. Lots to ponder. πŸ™‚

  2. Oh, I definitely know how that goes! I had one of those days last week. I woke up in this funk, and I tried all day to shake it by doing things that usually cheer me up. It didn’t work. So I gave up and listened to some blues-y, sad records and sat in bed and just let myself feel whatever I was feeling without trying to perk up or put a label on it. I did that until I didn’t feel like doing that anymore and then it was as if I totally forgot about it.

    The mind is a tricky thing and you’re right, there doesn’t always have to be a REASON for feeling the way you do. Just ride it out. It most likely wont last forever.

    Great post!


    • That’s so true…very wise! I like the idea of listening to music and really getting into the feelings until you forget about them. Thanks Shaina- I will try that next time I can’t snap out of my funk. xx

  3. I liked that Sober Mommies post, too. This week I’ve been reading Pema Chodron’s thoughts on sitting with feelings, but it’s still hard to do that most of the time, that’s for sure. Also, I’m trying to do what you say here and worry a bit less about the root of the feelings. Sometimes maybe they are just like the weather, they come and go and I can feel without understanding. Then sometimes I go AARGH and want to get out of myself! Good luck working on this. It’s tough stuff, but I think it really matters. xo

    • I love Pema Chodron. When Things Fall Apart is one of my favorite books. I need to keep practicing sitting with my feelings and not lashing out or internalizing them into negative self-talk. It’s hard, but you’re right… it really matters overall! xx

  4. that was a great link – haven’t seen that website before, so thank you.

    those funky feelings are really tough, aren’t they? I think you’ve written on here before about PAWS. I’m never quite sure if I believe in PAWS, as it seems to be a catch-all description of anything that is bothering someone recovering from a chemical dependency. You might as well just blame it on demons and be done with it πŸ™‚

    I do think however that it might be one explanation for the lows that follow highs (just searched your blog for PAWS and as you probably realise you’ve posted about that previously a couple of times!) This is a good article if you haven’t seen it already:

    In that article they say that PAWS can last for up to 2 years! aaaargh…. but if that is true I’d rather know about it. I also like that they say PAWS is a sign that your brain is recovering. I hang on to that in the low days. And we know it passes, right?

    In practical terms lowering my expectations of myself helps. If nothing ain’t working then that’s just how it’s going to be. Alternatively I have also occasionally decided to do a really crappy task I’ve been putting off, since I can’t feel any worse than I already do. I then have a childish feeling of triumph of having got one up on the low feelings πŸ˜‰

    You are doing a great job. Seriously. You applied various mood lifting strategies, which didn’t help, then you made the wise decision to sit with the feelings and wait till they pass, and wrote about it on here. That is such a brilliant approach. Keep going! xx

    • Maybe it is PAWS, but I think we will still have negative feelings after that, too. Maybe just not SO NEGATIVE? I don’t know. I definitely think I have experienced some aspects of PAWS so far, but some of it might also be hormonal, or just due to old pent-up feelings that need to be released. I like your idea of doing a really crappy task during those times. Ha! Lowering expectations is also a good idea. Thanks for your support; it means a lot. xx

  5. Hi Jen, I have those days too. Its not fun, especially when you cannot pinpoint a reason why you might feel so blah. Someone told me that the lows become less deep and the highs become more frequent, but it takes time to get there. Sending you lots of positive vibes! I’m pretty sure that worked, right! πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your family! πŸ™‚

  6. I know just what you mean! Sometimes I get in a funk and then I feel even funkier because I’m being sad and cranky or just not right. The good good thing about being sober is that I am slowly (so slowly!) losing my instant gratification part. Like, how if I feel upset I instantly have to feel better! Or how if things are going south they instantly have to be ok! This just isn’t true anymore. Dare I say I even enjoy a good wallow? It feel more and more natural to sort of ride the roller coaster day to day. There doesn’t have to be a REASON. Brilliant!!! And who made up the stupid rule that if we aren’t blazingly happy we’re doing it wrong? Fuck that! :]

    • Right?! I love your attitude and thoughts on this. We don’t need to be happy all the time. I am going to try to enjoy my wallowinga little more next time. I will warn my husband to get out of my path. xx

  7. Uh, to be honest, there’s *a time of the month* when I totally feel this way even if I’ve been having an ok or better than ok life for a bit. /shrugs Sometimes there isn’t a reason we can see, and sometimes it’s biological. Just a thought.

    • Yes, yes, yes. I totally get PMS and feel like SHIT for a few days, but I have been keeping track of it on a calendar so this wasn’t it. Ha! At least then I KNOW my bad mood is hormonal. It still could be the case during other times of the month… biology is kind of mysterious in that way. xx

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