Feelings and Reactions

I am getting to a place where I feel pretty solid sober. Cravings come every once in awhile, but they can be dismissed much easier than the cravings I felt in the first few months. This is good. I like being sober, my life is going well, I have more clarity, I am energetic and making positive changes in many areas of my life. Good, good, good. Oh, and did I mention that I am 200 days sober today?

Now I am working on all the STUFF that comes up from being sober. I am no longer numbing my feelings with buckets of booze, so I have to deal with them somehow. I might have mentioned it before, but DEALING WITH FEELINGS IS HARD. For everyone, not just me, but this is my blog.

I am realizing that I almost always want to react immediately when my feelings are hurt or my buttons are pushed. I want to TELL THAT PERSON THAT THEY HURT ME RIGHT THEN AND THERE. I have a need to do something right away. I have a hard time letting go without action.

I basically see red until I say something, or text something, or write an email, or call the person. I have a hard time concentrating on other things until I clear my head of the issue and get it out on the table. DIRECTLY TO THE PERSON.

I believe in honesty and telling people how I feel, but sometimes I think I am reacting to my feelings instead of taking the time to think about what I am saying. I move too quickly to let people know that they hurt me. I want to stop doing this. Β I want to detach and learn how to deal with my feelings without ALWAYS having to tell the other person everything that is in my head. I want to create space in my life for new reactions and thoughts. I want to be more patient with my feelings… to see how they change, flow, ebb if I don’t react right away. I think I am missing an opportunity for healing by blaming the other person for my feelings. I don’t want to follow the same patterns of thinking and behaving from my past.

Wow, writing about this subject is triggering me. I can feel my shoulders tensing up.

I really like for communication to be crystal clear. Things were murky when I was a kid, so I prefer to have everything out in the open. Is this always the best way to do things, though? I am realizing more and more that it isn’t.

I think people don’t communicate their feelings to one another often enough, which leads to many miscommunications in life. People should talk more and tell each other their thoughts and feelings. I err on the opposite side, though, by sharing too much, too often. LOUDLY.

There is a time and place to have talks about hurt feelings, and sometimes I need to put on my big girl pants and deal with it on my own. It is selfish to put it on the other person’s plate when it is really all about ME and my perceptions. Chances are they didn’t mean to hurt me in the first place.

I know that it will be hard to change this, but from here on out I am making the intention to pause before I react. I shall simply pause to sit with my feelings for a few moments, regardless of the discomfort I feel. Maybe I could write them down, take a shower and cry in private, or go for a run to help release them instead of going straight to the person with them.

Huh, sounds so grown up.

21 thoughts on “Feelings and Reactions

  1. First of all, congratulations on your long period of sobriety. That is just great!

    I understand entirely what you write about feelings. I have the tendency to blurt out what I feel in anger or resentment without counting to 10 (or longer) and thinking the situation through.

    Which reminds me of something a person, whom I very much respect and whose job is dealing on a daily basis with a great variety of people with people, said once. He mentioned how he can always tell when a person who drank too much has stopped because of the new-found maturity that person exhibits. He said it is amazing how much a person changes from displaying adolescent mannerisms and responses to situations to adult ones.

    I think what you wrote above is exactly what this very wise person was talking about. I just hope that as my sobriety increases in time I, too can finally “grow up!!!”

  2. Jen I am right with you on this one. I had something blow up last week that got my emotions triggered badly. Like you I am trying to sit with them rather than react and act. I went and sat in the bath and had a good sob. I’ve decided to do nothing about it for the time being. I’m gonna see how long I can make this pause as a learning experience πŸ™‚

  3. Grown up. πŸ™‚ Cool how sobriety makes you feel that way. Is ‘grown up’ synonymous with ‘I can handle it’? I do think that a thoughtful (not in the ‘you’re so kind way’ but in the ‘let me take a minute here’ way) reaction is best, especially in emotionally charged situations.

    200 days is just wonderful. πŸ™‚ xoxo

  4. First off, Congratulations on reaching 200 days. That’s fantastic. πŸ™‚
    Secondly, you are spot on about the way our immediate reactions to situations are sometimes triggered by past experiences. You are going about it the right way, by stepping back, taking a minute or distracting yourself until the time is right to talk about what happened.
    Understanding my triggers is what I am working on as well as I’ve realized that in the past these triggers made my drinking habit so much worse.
    I found some encouraging tips online and wrote about them here: http://shadowashspiritflame.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/elementary-my-dear-watson/
    I hope you find them helpful as well.

  5. I love what you’re saying about that important pause. I used to think aiming at non-attachment meant not engaging with the other person, but I’m seeing more and more that it’s just not getting caught in their reactions. Maybe this growing up stuff is OK after all.

    Congrats on 200 days! You’re doing so well, and that’s always such an inspiration for me. Hooray you! xo

  6. 200 days is absolutely FANTASTIC. not big enough capitals. should be on a hill somewhere in enormous white letters like the HOLLYWOOD sign πŸ™‚

    I am more of a keeper-in of feelings than a blurter so am seeing an adjustment in myself in the opposite direction. I am more prepared to say, “can we discuss this, please?” when I have an issue, rather than bottling it up (then exploding later like a box full of fireworks…)

    Whichever way we’re growing, I agree that we are growing up! xx

    • Ha. Thanks Primrose! That is interesting that we are opposites in that way. I have seen both! Growing in the best way for each of us is key, you are so right on. πŸ™‚

  7. 200 days, Jen, that is FANTASTIC! So proud and happy for you. I think your intention speaks so highly of you as a person, it is challenging to change reactions that we’ve taken a lifetime to perfect. I look forward to reading future posts for updates!

  8. I landed on this blog accidentally…..are there really any accidents? I just wish I would have read this earlier today. 263 days sober today….and while it isn’t all that much….I certainly did not expect to have such wild emotions at this stage of the game. I too need to hold my tongue or texting for that matter. My husband gets the brunt of my emotions. We are close to breaking up after 18 years of marriage and two kids. Now that I am sober it is harder to shrug off somethings that he does/or doesn’t do. Without the haze of alcohol or being hungover they are harder to ignore. They trigger up a lot of resentment I have….and out it comes in such a harsh way. Today we had a rather civil conversation about breaking up. In the end, it is probably for the best.

    • I am sorry to hear that. I am finding that detaching with love is helping a lot of my relationships. I also think counseling can be a life saver for relationships. Just my two cents! Glad you found me, and you are right…more and more I do not believe in accidents!

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