One of the first things I’ve been forced to deal with in my newfound sobriety were my feelings. Although many alcoholics don’t realize it, in most cases their inability to cope with life is what drove them to the bottle in the first place. Therefore, after they decide to walk on the straight and narrow path, they will inevitably be confronted with their past and will have to discover a better way of handling their emotions.
All men do it, so what’s the big deal?
Back in days when my friendship with Jack was pretty strong, I used to feel very uncomfortable in situations that involved expressing emotions. However, I never gave this issue too much thought and put it all on the fact that I was an introvert. Little did I know that my thinking was flawed and that I was confusing introversion with alexithymia.
Alexithymia is a psychological term that refers to a person’s inability to express their emotions in words. Before you dismiss this a ‘true problem’ and say that all men do it, I want to point out that not being able to describe your emotions and feelings can lead to frustration and ultimately depression. In addition, because you can’t express how you feel, it means that you’re going to have a hard time maintaining a normal relationship with other people.
Embarking the emotional roller coaster of early sobriety
The best example I think can illustrate the importance of being able to handle your feelings is early sobriety, a period most recovering alcoholics describe as an emotional roller coaster. If you were like me and did everything in your power to bury your feelings, then I can assure you this is when they’ll be back to haunt you.
Early sobriety was an extremely strange period for me; one minute I was on top of the world and the next I was drowning in despair. All emotions were out of control, bouncing all over the place and the only thing I could do is assist helplessly at the spectacle. This is why it’s so important to start working on your feelings and emotional sobriety as soon as possible.
What happens if you ignore your feelings?
If you choose to continue being a spectator at your emotions’ show, then you might end up feeling threatened by them. Because the normal reaction is to hide when you feel threatened, it means you’re one step away from relapse. Without denying that there could be other reasons to relapse or become an addict, building a successful life away from alcoholism implies learning how to deal with these things. It goes double for people prone to depression.
Make handling your feeling your biggest priority
If you’re serious about your recovery and truly desire a life away from alcohol, then figuring out how to deal with your feelings and life in general should be your main priority. Meeting this objective means you are also working on your emotional maturity. Anyone trying to break loose from alcohol’s chains can confirm that emotional maturity is guaranteed to help you find success in recovery.