For the past month or so I have been trying to do some soul searching. See, over the past few months I have tried to start reaching out socially in new areas (not new-new, but new since I got sober). Like dating. I guess I was expecting to find someone and fall in love, maybe ride off into the sunset? Didn’t happen, but not even for their lack of trying. In fact, more than anything I just felt annoyed and overwhelmed by my perception of the other persons’ desire to be in constant contact. I started to think something was wrong with me.
So, I got a pet turtle. I had pet turtles when I was a kid and I loved them to pieces. I get the turtle, its cute and all but I don’t feel a connection. (Don’t roll your eyes, I know it is just a turtle. But you’ve got to understand – I was the type of person that felt a connection to EVERYTHING.) Then, I find out the turtle is sick. Perfect – because I am the type of person that enjoys nursing things back to health. I like to be needed. The turtle is perfectly healthy now – but still no connection. No overwhelming feeling of love or concern for it.
Don’t get me wrong, he is well cared for – I am simply referring to my emotions here.
So, I concluded that I broke my ‘feeler’ through all my drug and alcohol use. I made myself into a cold-hearted person. Destined to live the rest of my life without drugs, alcohol OR feelings! (Feeling bad for me yet?)
I brought this up to a close friend of mine. I told him that I thought I had become incapable of feeling love. But he brought up a good point – I feel love for my friends and family, right? Yes. Absolutely I do.
So obviously I can still feel love.
Then what is going on?
Today, while sitting with God I came to the realization that it is not a malady that I am experiencing but rather a blessing. A direct result of all of the effort that I have put into my recovery. See, what I am experiencing, or not experiencing is the simple fact that my feelings are no longer overwhelming to me. They don’t run my life. I am more emotionally stable. The reason it feels strange is because I used to have very high emotional peaks and very low emotional bottoms and I could go from one extreme to the next in the matter of a few moments. Circumstances ran my emotions which in turn controlled me. It is not like that anymore. Thank God!
Thanks to God, LIFE Leadership and my Twelve Step Program – I don’t have to live like that anymore.
I used to hang on every action and word of the people around me. If someone didn’t answer my text – I would immediately go into a dark place in my mind wondering why they were mad at me. I was co-dependent at its finest. Relying on other people for my sense of wellbeing. I didn’t love myself – so I constantly needed outside validation.
But today it isn’t like that. Today, I have serenity. But sometimes I have to pause and really evaluate things. I guess I am so used to being unhealthy (emotionally speaking) that at times I think that there is something wrong with me – when in fact what is happening (or not happening) is a sign of progress!
I am so grateful for the life that I have today. Today I have true friends, I have a conscious contact with a God of my own understanding and I can truly say I am happy.
To anyone who is struggling, please know that no matter what it is you are struggling with and no matter how dark things may seem right now, recovery is possible!
Keep moving forward.