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Emotions in Recovery – This is the third and final part of a three-part series about how to manage your emotions in recovery.
In the first two sections of this three-part series, we covered the fact that living with feelings in sobriety is extremely difficult. We recognized that recovery is an emotional rollercoaster ride. We also gave two examples that demonstrated that feelings aren’t facts. Now, let’s delve a little deeper into the realm of emotional management.
Stop Shoulding All Over Yourself
When you first get sober, you will feel as though you aren’t doing as good as you “should” be. Your mind will tell you that you “should” be further along than you are. You will feel like you “shouldn’t” have cravings or that you “should” be more manageable on the inside. You might even think that you “shouldn’t” have to deal with all these blasted feelings. Stop shoulding all over yourself!
When you tell yourself that you “should” or “shouldn’t” feel something, you are setting yourself up for experiencing negative feelings, rather than accepting things as they are. If you are telling yourself that what you are doing isn’t enough, it will cause you to feel shame. If you are believing the lie that being in recovery and putting one foot in front of the other is isn’t enough, it will make you feel guilty. If you are entertaining the notion that you are not enough, it will make you feel self-pity.
Stop the madness!
It is a mistake to think you “should” be any further down the path than you are. You are right where you “should” be! You are right here, right now, in this very moment – and this moment is precious! You “shouldn’t” be any more together than you are. You are clean and sober – and that is a miracle! No matter what you are experiencing, it is part of a plan that is greater than you. All is well, and all is at it “should” be – even if you don’t understand it.
Acceptance Of Your Current State Of Being Is The Answer To Emotional Regulation
To experience some level of peace within and keep some kind of emotional management, you simply need to remind yourself that you are right where you are supposed to be – wherever that may be. Acceptance is the key to emotional regulation.
When you were using drugs or alcohol, you ran away from your feelings. You escaped through the use of chemicals. Now, you are feeling some feelings and you don’t know what to do with them. You are looking for the escape hatch, but you can’t find it because it doesn’t exist. You are stuck inside your own body and you are left to deal with yourself. And, it is uncomfortable. But, guess what…… that’s okay!
Emotions in Recovery – You know what you do with feelings? You just feel them! Just remember that feelings aren’t facts. Keep in mind that feelings pass – and rather quickly. And, stop shoulding all over yourself. Keep these three things in mind and this whole feelings things will get a lot easier.
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