Why do some folks expect, without thinking this though, to feel happy every single solitary day once they get sober? How reasonable is that? How logical? How likely? Come on folks – it’s not going to happen. No one is happy every day. Okay, maybe Mother Theresa was, but she’s the exception. The small issue here, that we all run into that gets in the way of being happy every single day, is this little thing called LIFE.
Unless you’re a saint or a Buddhist monk of the highest order, you probably haven’t figured out, like I haven’t, how to turn off the desires of the EGO. We want shit. We want shoes, peace, water, toilet paper, a puppy, some salt, a better hair day – yada yada – and when we don’t get them we suffer. That suffering goes by numerous words and one we’re all fairly familiar with is the feeling of DISAPPOINTMENT. That feeling SUCKS.
And for the newly sober person, this feeling of disappointment can be overwhelming. It feels like a real tragedy. Of course it’s not, but our experience of the disappointment would have us believe differently,
I think the thing to do when unwelcome feelings and sensations overcome us – is go back to bed or plop down on the couch with a good book. Tomorrow should eventually come and in the meantime – the best things to do are simple things that don’t stress out our bodies. Don’t OVERDO stuff in an attempt to make the unhappy sensation/feeling go away. Acknowledge it and then do something easy and healthy. Drink some water and go read a book. Color. Take a walk. Write a letter. Easy stuff. Stuff the body can handle without overwhelming it.
Negative emotions in general are hard for the newly sober (and practicing alcoholics for that matter) to face. These feelings feel like Tsunami’s of negativity. They’re like a bad drug that we want out of our bodies like – right now.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned when it comes to staying sober is that I have to accept that I am a human who experiences negative emotions sometimes and these feelings aren’t the end of existence as I know it. I have to face MYSELF and my FEELINGS. They’re extremely powerful and they make me uncomfortable, but they go out the same way they came in – they roll – like a massive wave. When I dive underneath the crashing wave that is disappointment or anger or loneliness or whatever it is – I can look up at it and see it for what it is – it’s temporary and it’s full of life lessons. Because like with any wave – waves of emotions churn up stuff. They expose stuff. And instead of drinking OVER this stuff, I can now look at it and manipulate it with sober decisions and behavior.
It’s sorta cool.