I am approaching three years of sobriety. Recently, I have been distracted enough to not consider the convoluted emotions which typically accompany my sobriety date.

Not a day goes by when I am not authentically grateful for the disease of alcoholism; along with the unexpected gifts in recovery.

Lately my world has been in a constant state of cerebral dysfunction, with the long overdue separation of my youngest daughter and the societal expectation of public school.

Meanwhile, I feel I cannot possibly take on another role, yet find myself with three new sponsees. What in THE hell is my HP thinking? Does the universe not SEE that I am falling on my ass on a daily basis? My OWN ass. How do I have the mental capacity to guide three adult-type people through the early stages of recovery?

Seriously.

One night, while lonesome, I found myself momentarily missing a remarkably unhealthy relationship, for the mere fact that it offered companionship. Lost in thought, I found myself romanticizing that toxic union just as I would a glass of merlot; the familiar allure of poison.

Phone rings.

A newcomer calling for guidance. I had just met her at her very first AA meeting.

The triumphant laughter of the universe, cloaked in a shout, when a suggestive whisper didn’t resonate. Jolting me back to reality and out of the very unnecessary abyss of that maladjusted union.

I recently also offered to sponsor another young woman. She shared some thoughts with me that made our short time together completely worthwhile.

We were reading the big book together, accompanied by a few pages of dreaded, yet reliable, homework.  I suggested that she try to settle on a task and with humble willingness, she would start to feel better.

Feel better.

She concurred with insight of a different view, as she woefully spoke:

“I feel fear better.

I feel anger better.

I feel anxiety better.

I feel sadness better.

I feel everything fucking better.”

Truth. This is reality of sobriety.

I shared with this newcomer some of my ongoing struggles, and the recent ebb and flow of grief. Recounted the moment I was crying to my doctor, hoping for some Xanax, admitting to my new naturopath, “I don’t want to feel this…” Prior to hitting my bottom, I had been over-medicated in the care of an over-zealous practitioner with Xanax, Klonopin, and Celexa.

What was my new doctor’s remedy, instead of firing off a cryptic prescription or two?  

She alerted me to my words that day, ” I don’t want to feel…” and reminded me that I haven’t allowed myself to feel anything except detachment for the past 20 years.

She recommended I sit through these damned emotions, wallow through the despair, allow the waves of grief to flow, until I could…

…feel better.

Written by Kellie Ideson from Pure Life Recovery

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