Monday, August 1, 2011

Feeling the Feelings

 I have been a bit out of the blogger loop due to traveling to go and meet and travel with my 91 yr. old mom to bring her back here to visit with us at our home in a different state. That was a bit of an adventure since our flight was cancelled in NY and we had to stay overnight and fly out the next day. 

 In the meantime, D was in touch with me and told me what was happening back in his world at his sober living home.  He's been quite troubled about his former housemate, Mark, relapsing, and actually felt "betrayed" by it,....and not even from Mark stealing his money. about taking things personally.   It was a bit of a surprise for me to see D taking it that way.  It just struck me how D was now in the seat that we have been when he'd relapsed. Of course, I told D to think about how much this was Mark's disease and it had no real concern or connection to him personally. Unfortunately(and that's not a strong enough word for what I mean)....Mark did go through the detox where he checked himself into....after having attempted suicide by drinking rubbing alcohol after he'd relapsed : ( ...but what I mean about "unfortunately" was that he then left there and is now out on the streets doing crack again...from what D knows.....which is why D's feeling so bad about's so horrible.  

  D texted me last night after midnight....asking if I was awake.......well, then I was.  (I know...why the hell do I STILL have my cell phone in my bedroom...the boy is states away from us?  He said he was having an "anxiety attack"...and wasn't doing well.  There's a whole other issue now...for he's very attracted to/fallen for a girl that's also living at his house...who's become his best friend there. (this is why D doesn't necessarily need to be in a co-ed house). He always ends up finding some girlfriend wherever he goes.   Anyway...of course, they are not allowed to have a romantic relationship there....and he does respect that..knows and agrees that can't happen...but that's what is also giving him angst. So, between his sadness about Mark and his emotional frustration/upset about the set him off into this whole anxious feeling.  What struck me was what he said to me about his feelings. He said, " I just am having all these feelings and feeling anxious and you know...I'm not used to doing this without drugs."  He went on to say, "Don't get me wrong,...I don't want to get high (can we say HALLELUJAH?!), .."I just want these feelings to go away".

 I thought well...isn't that the real crux of the issue for every addict ?  They really aren't usually willing to just FEEL these shitty feelings...whatever they may be,...without obliterating or numbing them with a drug ?  And ya know...the rest of us have those upsetting feelings for whatever reason during life's ups and downs and we just feel them and live through them and bear it.  But I'm also convinced that our addicts, that we love...just have always felt those shit feelings (and other ones too) more intensely than the rest of us do......therefore, aren't willing to tolerate them, once they've experienced the "wonderful numbness" of what drugs do for them. And you know that it's not actually wonderful, of course,....not in the end result, anyway. 

 He called this morning and was feeling a lot that point anyway.  Haven't heard from him later on today. I did see a facebook post that he said " falling to pieces" ...sigh.  But, tomorrow's another day....and he's going to have to learn to deal with the feelings without we all do each day.    One day at a time. ......


  1. Great post.

    You hit it on the head about feelings. My son could never deal with his feelings. From the day we adopted him, the agency gave us a number for a mental health agency. At 11 months they said ... this kid has shut down.

    So it was no surprise really that later on he, as you so very well state, found the "wonderful numbness" of drugs.

    3+ years sober and I always wonder ... what will he do if he faces a crisis? Actually he came very close to a crisis just last week. He and his partner came very close to splitting up. They worked it out and part of his plan was to get back to meetings.

    Addicts (especially those in recvoery) need support. They need to learn coping skills to the point where they are second nature.

    And, again, like you said taking it "One Day at a Time". That's all any of us can do. And, of course, prayer.

    God Bless

  2. VERY insightful...our addicts are not happy about feeling. If it can be avoided it shall at all costs. I think it is definitely one of the keys to getting clean. A maturity to feel, deal and accept. This is a foreign concept to them. It is a learned skill. Go figure?

  3. Great post. I spoke to a recovered addict a couple of years ago who was about 5 years sober. She did so when she was 36 and said she did anything and everything to "numb" the way she felt. She told me that an addict feels the pain 100 times more than a non addict and it is too much for them.

    I will never forget that and I try to keep that in mind when dealing with B. He has no coping skills at all.

    D sounds like he is doing so much better. I hope and pray he continues.

  4. This sounds so familiar. My daughter had just shy of two years clean when she broke up with last boyfriend, several years ago. I knew she would relapse. I tried to be very encouraging, listen, pray, etc. She went back out - it was a good long run, culminating in prison time. She to this day admits, she could not stand the pain. She desparately needs better coping skills, or at least, a realization that walking through something gets you to the other side of that pain. It's still there, but its power over you and its intensity will lessen. I agree, they feel things very intensely. That may be her bipolar disorder's influence, but she is always hot/cold, extremely cranky, extremely happy, highly motivated, in bed for days, etc.

    I'm praying for your son, as he works on his recovery!

  5. Addicts look to others for validation. They often don't know how to find "themselves" and they need others to make them feel whole. That is why sometimes their whole life hinges on a relationship, and they fall apart when a break up occurs.
    I personally believe the longer they go without a steady relationship after they quit using, the better. Just getting the brain to start firing with it's own dopamine triggers takes a year. ya' gonna keep them away from the girls..You can't!