Here we go. Introducing one of the star players to any addict’s recovery right here. What in the world does this wording mean you ask? Well, most addicts or alcoholics in recovery will hear this term on and on throughout the course of their sober lives. This combines two crucial pieces to the puzzle of recovery. Dropping the booze and mind altering substances doesn’t put us program people in the clear completely. There’s a lot of introspection and self awareness that must be done to prevent us from returning to the desolate lives we once knew. It’s almost like a form of rebirth. We start discovering ourselves again upon getting clean. We relearn what makes our inner clocks upstairs tick. This process seems to be going swimmingly once we detoxify from all the garbage in our systems. Then it hits like a brick wall. Our feelings come back, flooding our bodies with all these sensations and expectations. What happens to the majority of us? We become uncomfortable, vulnerable, and unsure how to deal with it. Emotional sobriety has come to stay.
Understanding Our Emotions
Ah, herein lie all of our power- the feels. Emotions are one of the trickiest things in the human body. Most people don’t realize that emotions are one of the strongest cognitive abilities we have. They are something we have the ability to feel mentally AND physically.
You think about a blank white wall- it does nothing for you right? It brings up little to no sentiment. On the other hand, when we think of something that makes us angry or joyful it can be felt inside and out. The anger can give us hot flashes, making us uncomfortable, and nobody really thoroughly enjoys being uncomfortable. Then we act on this emotion because of the way it strikes us. We’re confused and have an aura of unease. That’s why they are called feelings.
When we became sober and rid all the intoxicants from our bodies, the emotions hit us twice as hard. It’s no secret that alcohol and narcotics numb us. We put up this wall of chemicals and stop experiencing things emotionally. This became our norm. Then our bodies almost go into a mental shock when the adulterants exit the picture. All of the sudden, everything becomes a bit overwhelming and we’re reintroduced to this Pandora’s Box of emotion that’s been half asleep in our minds for so long. They never disappeared completely, but were weakened. Of course we felt while we were using. It’s just that our emotions were shadowed to the same degree as owning an animal that is muzzled, caged, and hidden all the time. It’s there, but not really there. Being ignored and not getting the attention they deserve. Sad analogy, I know, but so is the mental anguish we do to ourselves before we learn to deal with ourselves.
So, What Does This All Mean?
Broken down- in my eyes, emotional sobriety is becoming in tune with yourself. It’s a matter of comprehending the emotions that begin to storm the gates of our minds, and learning to be alright with them as they come. It’s a matter of understanding ourselves and dealing healthily with the good, the bad, and the ugly that life curveballs at us. Not losing it and falling into a downward spiral because something unfortunate occurred. Being able to agree with the concentrated mood swings and the spine chilling feels, that’s the idea behind it. It’s acceptance of our emotions in a sense. I see it as taking a step back and seeing both sides to each coin. Life is often about perspective, no? As cliché as it comes over here, but it can always get worse. I mean it kind of goes back to the old saying, “did you wake up on the wrong side of bed this morning”? You see, there is no right or wrong side. We walk into every situation with a pre-conceived expectation, good or bad, about how it will turn out. This can be from eating a piece of chocolate to visiting family to whatever, you name it. The idea is that emotions will sneak up on us and catch us off guard, but it’s all about how they’re channeled.
Learning to cope with life’s stresses and become present in the moment is a tough one. Often times these sensations hit people like a ton of bricks, and their first thoughts are to numb away the pain or the discomfort. Or even the good things, addicts and alcoholics do love more after all. Life is going good? Okay well that’s incentive to get high for some. Positive or negative emotion, it can throw even the wisest off their game. Those in recovery learn the tools to living in that present moment and accepting things for what they are. Not all are so fortunate to really get to understand themselves and dissect their problems like sober alcoholics and addicts do, when they’re working a program of some sort. Many people get clean and continue to live a dirty lifestyle and they become victim to their emotions. It’s a constant conscious effort to deal with life on life’s terms. It’s understandable to an extent, but when you’re a recovering addict/alcoholic- it can be just the smallest thing that sends you into a quick nose dive. It’s truly amazing how keeping a positive outlook on things makes the world of a difference. Keeping in mind that all our emotions are fleeting, feel them and embrace them with warmth. Nothing in life is permanent except for death.
Feeling Emotionally Numb?
Is everything is gray and you feel there is no more color to life anymore? Recovering from chemical dependency will help us to be able to truly feel again. It takes getting clean and sober for our senses and true happiness come back to us. If you or somebody you love are struggling with addiction and miss the sense of feeling whole, please don’t hesitate to call one of our specialists at 866-200-3224. You can also visit us online at www.elevationshealth.com and read more on our blogs and other informal categories of addiction.