For me, one of the most difficult things about quitting drinking has been having to deal with all of those negative emotions and feelings that I had masked with wine. (Happy feelings are not requiring any work at this time!) Sometimes, I almost feel like my emotional being has been stunted. It's been 10+ years of heavy drinking...so that means 10+ years of no emotional growth. Sometimes I feel like my kids can deal better than I do! (Can I think that I gave them the skills? I am going with that! hahaha) I seemed to have forgotten how to handle them...that is, if I had really known!
So, now all of my family and friends, and sometimes strangers have to deal with a 53 year old BABY! Seriously! I am working so very hard on not going to the depths of despair when I am sad or depressed, not blowing up when I am angry (this one is VERY hard for me) not be harsh on MYSELF with judgement, not letting my self feel victimized because I can't drink, recognizing my anxiety so I can prevent some of these negative emotions.
I am a work in progress!!! It is a very slow path forward. But, I have found a few things that are helping me...and I am looking for more so post away!!! Please!
Sober53's Emotional Toolbox:
1. Going to a therapist. I go once a week. I talk about things that happened during the week. For example, blowing up at Mr. Soberat53 because he left a glass of wine in my plain sight on a Friday night. Usually I have no problem with this. But last Friday night, when I came in and saw it I lost my mind. Therapist explained that Mr. Soberat53 was probably confused as I keep changing the rules and how is he to know? So, she suggested that a.) I make my anger about me and not yell at him for leaving the glass in plain sight, (me: How could you do that, knowing I am in early sobriety, it's a Friday night, yada, yada, yada) (Instead: Seeing that wine glass really bothered me. It made me feel like I wanted to pour myself one. It brought a lot of my drinking struggles to the surface) After all, how was he to know it would bother me when it hadn't before? and b.) Explain to him that sometimes I am fine with seeing the wine glass and sometimes I am not. Therefore, if he could keep it in a more discreet place then I wouldn't have to ever worry about seeing it.
2. Reading the book "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. I wrote a post about this. (https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=7562529066027046102#editor/target=post;postID=312885625019780993;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=9;src=postname)
Here is a recap:
Agreement 1: Be impeccable with your word.
Agreement 2: Don't take things personally
Agreement 3: Don't make assumptions
Agreement 3: Always do your best
I LOVE this book. And, I really try to use the agreements. It is so helpful. I wish you all could read it.
3. Sobermummy wrote a post on 3/25 quoting a poem "The Guest House" by Rumi. You know when you read a blog and something just really "clicks" for you? This did it for me. The poem is below. But you should really read her entire blogpost that day. For your reading pleasure..and I hope the link works, if not look up 3/25//2016, post entitled "Conscious Uncoupling" (http://mummywasasecretdrinker.blogspot.com/2016/03/conscious-uncoupling.html)
When I am experiencing a negative emotion I remember this poem and just let it in. I sit with it and ruminate about it and am able to make a plan of action (most times anyway!)
The Guest House - Rumi
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
Now that I have some tools in my emotional tool box I am trying hard to "just sit" with whatever emotions I am currently experiencing. I LOVE having things to help me out. And, just for the record, I am NOT always successful! Sometimes these emotions just suck and I handle myself poorly! I am a work in progress!!! Just ask Mr. Soberat53!!!!
What is in your emotional toolbox?
Sober at 53