I’ve really struggled to allow myself to feel during my recovery. Feelings are hard. They are scary. Sometimes I really don’t like them. But they are so important to work through if you want to become whole again.
Throughout my experience in recovery, I have felt the following (and more): physical pain – real heartache, muscle cramping, back and neck pressure, dizziness, and nausea; emotional pain – hurt, sadness, betrayal, anguish, fear, denial, depression, and guilt. I’ve felt each of those in varying degrees.
So. Not. Fun.
Thus, feeling is scary – actually, terrifying. Whenever my husband relapses or I suspect relapses, my heart just stops. I don’t want to acknowledge my feelings, though, because that means I’m actually living in this mess. And who wants that? As a result, I sometimes suppress my feelings. There are many reasons why I, or anyone, would suppress those horrible feelings. Sometimes it’s fear. Sometimes it’s denial. Sometimes it’s just plain painful. And more. But suppression is harmful. It almost always makes things worse, and later comes an explosion of emotions that tends to be more damaging than the initial feelings.
Sometimes this addiction makes you feel rotten and crazy. Sometimes you want to rant and rage, throw things, burn things, break things, scream, kick, or punch. Sometimes you want to yell in your dog’s face because you don’t know what else to do. That’s okay (um, I did that once). Let it out. There is no rule that says you have to be in complete control at all times. Let it out, and then pick yourself up and move to the next part of healing.
You have to feel. You have to. If you constantly push your emotions away, for whatever reason (because there are tons of reasons you might push the emotions back), you won’t fully heal. You have to acknowledge the pains. You have to face them and embrace them. You have to process and trudge through them. After you’ve processed them, then you can let them go. And then you can allow yourself to fully heal.
Feeling is not easy. It’s never easy, but it’s the only way I’ve found to work. Whenever I’ve shoved, stuffed, or suppressed my feelings, I’ve fallen into depression. Sometimes that depression has been so thick, I didn’t think I would find a way out.
When I’ve allowed myself to feel, it has been then, and only then, that I’ve been able to work through this battle enough for healing to take place.
Allow yourself to feel. Feeling is part of healing.
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