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