March 28, 2012

Facing feelings

Page 90

"We may fear that being in touch with our feelings will trigger an overwhelming chain reaction of pain and panic."

Basic Text, p. 30

While we were using, many of us were unable or unwilling to feel many emotions. If we were happy, we used to make us happier. If we were angry or depressed, we used to mask those feelings. In continuing this pattern throughout our active addiction, we became so emotionally confused that we weren't sure what normal emotions were anymore.

After being in recovery for some time, we find that the emotions we had suppressed suddenly begin to surface. We may find that we do not know how to identify our feelings. What we may be feeling as rage may only be frustration. What we perceive as suicidal depression may simply be sadness. These are the times when we need to seek the assistance of our sponsor or other members of NA. Going to a meeting and talking about what is happening in our lives can help us to face our feelings instead of running from them in fear.

Just for Today: I will not run from the uncomfortable emotions I may experience. I will use the support of my friends in recovery to help me face my emotions.

Copyright (c) 2012, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Thursday, November 10, 2011


"thirty two flavors" by Ani DiFranco

squint your eyes and look closer
i'm not between you and your ambition
i am a poster girl with no poster
i am thirty-two flavors and then some
and i'm beyond your peripheral vision
so you might want to turn your head
cause someday you're going to get hungry
and eat most of the words you just said

both my parents taught me about good will
and i have done well by their names
just the kindness i've lavished on strangers
is more than i can explain
still there's many who've turned out their porch lights
just so i would think they were not home
and hid in the dark of their windows
till i'd passed and left them alone

and god help you if you are an ugly girl
course too pretty is also your doom
cause everyone harbors a secret hatred
for the prettiest girl in the room
and god help you if you are a phoenix
and you dare to rise up from the ash
a thousand eyes will smolder with jealousy
while you are just flying past

i'm not trying to give my life meaning
by demeaning you
and i would like to state for the record
i did everything that i could do
i'm not saying  that i'm a saint
i just don't want to live that way
no, i will never be a saint
but i will always say

squint your eyes and look closer
i'm not between you and your ambition
i am a poster girl with no poster
i am thirty-two flavors and then some
and i'm beyond your peripheral vision
so you might want to turn your head
cause someday you might find you're starving
and eating all of the words you said

I know it might start to seem like a theme that I use Ani Difranco's lyrics, and yes it is true I LOVE HER! There have been so many times in my life where I am struggling and just listening to her lyrics and her songs can help me so much. This song has always been one of my favorites. I have always thought of myself as a person with many "flavors" if you will :) 

Here is the definition of Identity:

identity i·den·ti·ty (ī-děn'tĭ-tē) n.
  1. The set of behavioral or personal characteristics by whichan individual is recognizable as a member of a group.
  2. The distinct personality of an individual regarded as apersisting entity; individuality

    Before I got sober a year and a half ago I don't think I had a real idea of who I was or what I really wanted from life. It was like I was just drifting through, just getting by. Making the decision to check myself into treatment was the BEST decision I have ever made for myself, it was also one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. I guess the decision was easy but the hard part was actually following through with that decision. Trying to figure out who I was before I got sober was an extremely daunting task. How was I supposed to know who I was when I could not stand being alone with myself. I had to drink or take pain pills to be able to be okay with who I was. I thought I was an honest and trustworthy person, I thought I was someone my daughter, my family, and my friends could count on. That was one of the hardest parts about getting sober, finally being in touch with reality. Realizing how unreliable I had become as a person. My own daughter couldn't even count on me. That was the lowest point of my entire life. Not being able to be there for Lily was the worst feeling I have ever felt. 
    During all the therapy I had to go through in treatment I thought I would never get over the feeling of shame and guilt that I felt. I thought I would never be able to forgive myself for the things that I had done. I would be lying if I said that I am completely over it because there are still days that I think about those times and I get a sick feeling in my stomach. But, knowing that I am doing everything I can to give Lily the best possible life helps a little. Knowing that I am making the right decisions today helps ease that pain and shame. I don't know if I will ever truly get over it completely and honestly I don't know if I really want to. I think that having that memory and remembering where I was over a year ago keeps me focused on what I want from this life. I know how easy it is to lose touch with who you are, so I am determined to keep doing the next right thing. 
    Going to treatment really forced me to take a look at who I was as a person, it gave me the opportunity to decide what kind of person I wanted to be. Treatment gave me the opportunity to start over in my life. Over this past year I have been able to become a person I am proud to be again. Not only can I say that I am proud of who I am I can say that I know who I am. I am someone that my family can count on. Lily will never have to wonder where I am or what I am doing because I will be right there next to her. 
    The assignment also asks us to say how these events changed how I am connected to my culture, my community, and society as a whole. 
    I definitely think that going to treatment and getting sober has made me actually become a person in my community of people that people can trust. I am actually a responsible citizen now. Well as responsible as a twenty five year old can get :)

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