Thinking Out Loud: Hiding

A big thank you to Amanda for choosing Thursdays for Thinking Out Loud so that I could bring you this long, rambling masterpiece:

Lately I have felt the urge to write. Not the daily recaps or fitness routines, but the internal pull to write something substantive.  I used to have a lot of these types of posts sprinkled throughout this blog, but lately they haven’t made as much of an appearance.  I would have some kind of emotional revelation and feel the need to share it with the world because otherwise I keep a lot of things close to my chest where I feel like I can hold on to them. When I start to close off to others, I take all sorts of feelings and thoughts and knit them together into a warm blanket that protects me and keeps others at bay.  Then I take a nap with it, which translates to me not being completely present at any given moment.

The problem with my emotions is that they are often delayed.  This is a huge improvement from when I was using and had no emotions at all except for an all encompassing anxiety that led me to perpetuate my behavioral cycle.  I have made great improvements in that arena, however, I am still improving and right now the best I have been able to do is have a delayed understanding of why I am behaving a certain way.

This past month or so has been difficult for me.  I have moved half way across the country, away from family and friends. I have decided to do a 180 with my career and I have been dealing with the kinks, speed bumps, and potholes that come with forming a lifelong bond with another person. It has been hard.  A bustling city is a perfect place to lose yourself.  Who will take the time to look for you? I can put on my blanket of withheld feelings like a cape and maybe no one will see me.

I grew up thinking that feelings made me weaker.  I have never liked admitting that I am struggling with something or that I need help.  I keep going through the motions until I figure it out or I can find a way to transition those feelings into another layer of my blanket.  Since being in recovery, I have learned a lot of tools that help me cope with life on life’s terms, but that doesn’t mean that I always employ them to the best of my ability. I know that feelings don’t make me weaker, they make me a human being, but some days I am better able to accept that than others.

I am excited about this new phase of my life, but I am also scared. Sometimes I am overwhelmed. Sometimes I am sad and miss the people that I used to be in such close proximity to, and it’s ok. It’s what I do with these feelings that determines whether I get through them or let them overwhelm me.  I fear the future and what I don’t know and what I can’t control, but I know that as long as I keep taking the next step it will work out the way it is supposed to and I will always be just fine.

it-is-ok-to-be-nervous

(source)

Yesterday I got mad that using is no longer an option to me. I have been in recovery long enough to know that when people get overwhelmed and stressed out and start using again, it is never better. Oftentimes they return and explain how it has become even worse than before.  I’ve always internalized that, but yesterday it made me mad. When I would experience any of these feelings in the past, the only way I knew to cope with them was to use drugs.  Today I know that doesn’t work for me and I was mad that I had that knowledge.  I can no longer claim ignorance and escape life with a drink or some drugs.  I have to forge ahead.

This trip to VA has been really good. I have been able to reconnect with a lot of people and escape the arctic temperatures of Chicago.  It has helped to remind me that I can’t become complacent in my recovery because it is my lifeline.  It has allowed me to feel freaked out and anxious about life and what comes next, but to also understand that I can only control my part in it.  Everything else that happens is out of my control.

Thank you to everyone who continues to come and follow along and contribute to this journey.  You guys are so awesome and I look forward to sharing the ups, downs, and my blanket with you.

Questions:

  • How do you deal with feelings?
  • What’s one thing that you are feeling today?

 

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15 Comments

  1. January 8, 2015 / 10:06 am

    Thank you for posting this. It couldn’t possibly have been easy. But I think that it is also a huge part of your recovery–and a great way for you to stay accountable to yourself and also for us to help you. You reach out whenever you need anything. Even if it is a 3 word phone call. I’ll be there.
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…New Year New You Fitness Giveaway and other thoughtsMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 9, 2015 / 9:40 am

      Well first Ill need your phone number! Thanks for the support 🙂

  2. January 8, 2015 / 10:47 am

    Beautifully written post, Erin! It sounds like even though things are rough right now, you have a great perspective on things. Sometimes that perspective is really what makes a difference between continuing down the rabbit hole of pain and worry, and finding a way to swim back to the surface. 🙂
    Stephanie @ My Freckled Life recently posted…Why pregnancy weight gain has been a mental struggleMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 9, 2015 / 9:41 am

      Definitely. I have learned a lot about perspective and sometimes I am quicker to adopt a positive one than others. Things seem to be looking up though!

  3. Mudita
    January 8, 2015 / 11:21 am

    So glad you could post about this. I deal with feelings by talking about them with someone that I trust. Sometimes talking about them with a lot of different people, in different ways, until I can start to feel a little less overwhelmed by them. I can see how hard it is to find those trusting friends when you’ve just moved to a new city. But know there are lots of people in your life that love and care for you, and are always there to listen. You are never alone, even when you are hiding under your blanket. 🙂

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 9, 2015 / 9:42 am

      That’s what Ive been trying to do is talk to people I trust. It’s definitely exhausting to go over things again and again, but it seems to be getting easier and I always feel a little better. Thanks for talking!

  4. January 8, 2015 / 11:44 am

    What an awesome post Erin! Can’t imagine it was easy to put in to words. I often times have trouble expressing my feelings and emotions through words. Yesterday acknowledgement should show you how much you have grown and how much stronger you are 🙂

    I always say if I could pay to know what is in store for me the next 5 years I would. I hate the unknown. But I guess that is life. I can’t control everything.

    Hope you are enjoying the rest of your time in VA! When you get back to Chicago we have lots of workout studio to try and coffee!
    Sara @ Lake Shore Runner recently posted…Bye Bye C. Wonder, Hello Lilly #TOLTMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 9, 2015 / 9:43 am

      Definitely all true but sometimes I just want to take control back and that always screws things up haha. Thanks for the support and we do definitely need to get together sometime soon. I’ll try and bring some warmer weather back from VA!

  5. January 8, 2015 / 2:13 pm

    It feels so good to get those feelings out, eh? I used to write more personal posts on Spoons pretty regularly, but somewhere along the way I lost that as well… and ended up feeling super disconnected from my blog as a result. Writing is such an amazing form of therapy, and I think it’s awesome that you’re turning to words instead of alcohol and drugs <3
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. thinking out loud #112 .My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 9, 2015 / 9:44 am

      I totally agree! I was feeling like I was sharing all the surface things, but there were more feelings going on behind the scenes. I always feel more genuine when I write posts like this now and then.

  6. January 8, 2015 / 3:48 pm

    Wow. I wish I could come up with more words but wow seems to be all I can say. I had no idea (although, really, we just met a few months ago so why would I even think to have an idea?). I am blown away by your strength and knowledge of yourself, even if it did make you mad. Being mad can sometimes be a good thing – sometimes it helps you focus on what’s really important. Pretty sure you’ve got that part figured out. Wow. As for Chicago, my cousin loves it there! I’m certain you’ll navigate the newness and come out on the other end with some new friends and awesome experiences. 🙂
    Jennifer @ A Hungry Runner recently posted…Thursdays are now for Thinking Out Loud!My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 9, 2015 / 9:46 am

      Thanks for all the kind words! I often get that response which is good in a way because I feel like I help break the stigma of what an addict looks/acts like. Ive been able to use that to my advantage in giving talks and other such things. As long as I don’t stagnate in my recovery, things will always be alright and I just have to remember that.

      If you’re ever in Chicago let me know and we can hang out!!

  7. Elena
    January 12, 2015 / 8:52 am

    I can relate to this. I moved to a new state this summer and miss my friends. I had relocated before but last time had a job where I met a lot of great people and made some awesome friends. I just started a new job (working from home) so I’m not meeting anyone at work and since my kiddos are teenagers it’s not as easy to meet other parents as it was when they were young. I’m definitely drinking more than I had been and I know it’s due to feeling depressed and lonely. I know I need to set mini goals around meeting people (go to yoga class or join a running group rather than always working out solo). I just need to muster up the mojo to do that!

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 12, 2015 / 12:05 pm

      Moving to a new place is definitely hard, especially when you work from home and don’t have the day to day interactions with other people in the workplace. If you are in a city you can try ClassPass, I know that helped me a lot when I moved here, but also running groups like you said or just classes at a local gym can help you branch out and meet people. You can do it!

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