Addiction Recovery: Identifying Feelings

March 20, 2010 — 7 Comments

So you enter into addiction recovery and the promise is that before you know it you will begin to have “feelings” again. It’s not easy dealing with this after going for whatever period of time numbing your feelings and emotions. But you would think after being in recovery since January I would kind of get used to this already!

I have had this feeling that I can’t shake. It’s a feeling of loneliness. If you knew my living situation you would know that this feeling is not due to lack of people being around me. I always have someone around. Not to mention I have a great husband and a five year old son (just turned five yesterday) that I am around.

Maybe loneliness isn’t even the right word to describe how I’m feeling. See I don’t know, like I already have said I have always found a way of anesthetizing myself so that these pesky feelings never felt like they were affecting me. I’ve never really examined my feelings before I only stuffed them away.

So the best way to describe how I’m feeling is loneliness and if it’s not due to me actually being alone then what the fuck is going on. I came to some kind of conclusion on this. I know that for a while in my addiction recovery I was able to connect with what I considered to be a higher power. I even caught myself doing something that resembled praying. All of that kind of gave me a sense of ease. I was feeling connected to something and it was just a great feeling.

Lately, for whatever reason, I have not been feeling that connection to anything. I’m wondering if this is what is causing my sense of loneliness. It seems like for the time being that my spirituality has fizzled out. Why? I have no idea. When? Same thing, I don’t know. I’m actually just realizing it today.

How do you then decide “ok, I’m going to be spiritual again”. I don’t even know how I did it the first time so I can’t try and repeat it to get the same result. I guess I just got to ride this out, be aware of it and hope that something clicks in my brain again.

Sometimes having feelings seems to suck. No longer am I the stone faced girl who doesn’t let anything bother her. I can from time to time, become and emotional wreck. For what reason? None other than having emotions that actually reach my surface.

I guess this is all part of what addiction recovery entails. Not only is it stopping the emotional stuffing but it is then learning how to deal with those feelings and emotions. A feeling is just that, a feeling…some people will say. I hear ya, I do. But when it is you feeling the feeling it becomes kind of difficult to think that way.

I have always been able to empathize with people and truly feel what they were feeling. Somehow that was ok for me to do. But when it comes to me dealing with feelings and emotions that are truly mine, I’m at a loss.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to be functioning emotionally again but I guess I just don’t have this whole thing down pat yet and it kind of throws me for a loop. Every once in a while I get slapped in the face with the realization that I honestly have no idea what the fuck it is I’m doing! Live and learn I guess.

7 responses to Addiction Recovery: Identifying Feelings

  1. I can honestly say that for me that I never did “find” spirituality no matter how hard I looked. In fact, it was long after I quit looking before I slowly came to realize I was actually experiencing it.

    Working my recovery program allowed me to aggressively clear the table of most of my long term stumbling blocks and fears- therefore enabling me to sincerely care about and help others in their own problems. It was in the feeling and personal reward I got from helping others that I eventually identified my own spirituality. Once I had identified it, I began cultivating it in all facets of my life.

    I know it sounds pretty goofy, but I had to clear the weeds of my own shallow selfishness before I ever had the chance to identify with any of my deeper emotions and spirituality.
    You know the saying can”t see the forest for the trees- it”s the same with our day to day troubles blinding us to our greater purpose.

  2. I left you a comment over at The Discovering Alcoholic cause he posted part of this post on his blog.

  3. Hey,

    Thank you so much for your piece. I stumbled across it when Googling ‘addiction withdrawal recovery’, no prizes for guessing how I am doing. While I definitely feel your pain, I am almost relieved to read that someone else somewhere in the world has gone through exactly what I am doing right now. I relate so much to the idea of ‘having’ spirituality, a connection to and trust in God, and then it just disappears after a bout of intense feelings. It really irritates me too when I am like this, wanting that ‘connection’ and peace back but it’s gone, and feels like it will never come back. I keep on here stuff like ‘this too shall pass’ but it honestly feels like it’s gone on forever. Every time I seem to watch a movie, I get choked up and tearful, almost like a squeezing in my chest. This has all really started after having a serious heart to heart with my dad a week ago and bawling my eyes out afterwards.

    This stuff is bloody hard work and scary! I think I like to control and I can’t control this at all. I’m obviously very good at not feeling, at trying to control.

    Be great to hear how you did because I see you wrote that in August, not sure which year.

    Thanks for the help and honesty to relate to.


  4. Well I can definitely relate to what is being said here. My sobriety date is April 15, 2001 It seems like to me that in early recovery the glass is easier to fill because it was so empty. A single drop of hope can do wonders cant it. Anyway As I progressed in my recovery it felt like I had to work harder just to maintain the same level of spirituality. When in reality I had stopped doing the simple things like serving others. I found that when I was serving other people I felt more spiritual and connected to everything. I also found that when I withdraw or I get feeling selfish that my spiritual level does down. I have to continue doing my inventory as a daily routine. I have to go to meetings to recharge my batteries. I don’t go to meetings just for myself today. I do it for the sake of the people that are in my life. Addicts and the Normie’s alike. They help me check my thinking. I can tell a difference when I stop doing the simple things that got me sober in the first place. I try to remember rule 62. Don’t take yourself to damn serious. God bless and good luck.

  5. well.. i find it odd that each post refers to trying to find spiritually, by simply praying to any god and expecting a sense of fulfillment.. to me the only way to create a relationship with jesus christ, and christianity. no to just try to be be spiritual. but through Christianity, have a fulfilling relationship with a spiritual living god. whom gave a whole book of life directions to live by, that can only make all of us better people. i would ask any of you to read any chapter in the new testament in a (NLT) new living translation or english standard version bible and see if you cant apply it to your path… 1 Timothy 2:5 ESV / 7 helpful votes
    For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

  6. The Lord God NEVER changes. So, KNOW that he wants you to come to him with every breath He gives you; Breathe Prayers and thoughts to HIM. His Word says, “I WILL N E V E R leave you or Forsake you.” We look at ourselves and JUDGE what we think we see in ourselves. The Lord God is NEVER Surprised and His Comfort and Guidance is there for ANYONE WHO CALLS ON HIS NAME. We are going to have Trials and Tribulation Due to the SIN of this WORLD. Yet- The Lord God Promises to walk with us thru the Trials. Our Thoughts are not HIS thoughts, Nor our Ways HIS WAYS. Ask HIM into your Heart he TUrns NONE away. Then,Let The Lord God Have All OF YOU. Ask Him For WISDOM,LOVE,JOY,PEACE,UNDERSTANDING, DISCERNMENT+++ EVERY second Breath Prayers to HIM. DId you Know the EVIL one cannot come against THE LORD GOD while you are Praying in the Name OF THE LORD GOD.And the Evil one is against GOOD. So the Evil one telling you Evil thoughts about yourselves; keeps you thinking that way to STEAL your JOY=CONTENMENT. The Longer the evil one keeps your mind and thoughts thinking of your down thoughts: the evil one is in control. Look at the BOOK Of JOHN and PHILLPIPIANS. Find Scripture write it on a card and say it to THE LORD GOD and SEE how the evil one has to FLEE.The evil one is in NO COMMAND OVER THE LORD GOD. Evil one satan master of lies. Comes to Kill,Steal And Destroy. THE LORD GOD “CAME INTO THE WORLD +++NOT +++to Condemn the World for the world was condemned alredy; HE CAME to SAVE the World,while we are yet sinners because of the Sin brought into the World .

  7. To me, religion and spirituality are completely different things:

    Religion: Relationship with a God or Gods

    Metaphysical or Supernatural Reality
    Eternal reward


    Qualities of the Human Spirit

    Sense of Responsibility
    Sense of Harmony
    Things that bring real happiness to ourselves and others

    These things should be a part of religion as well, but obviously aren’t in all cases. On the other hand, it is quite possible to be spiritual without any concept of a god or gods at all. Arguably that might help, but is far from essential.

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