Drinking is a great way to “not feel” or to mask feelings. Once we start recovery we need to get rid of that “don’t feel rule”. But it’s not always that easy. I remember the first few weeks of being alcohol free. It seemed like I was bursting at the seams with all the feelings that I had suppressed for so long. I really had no idea what to do with them all, so I once again shut down. In fact I couldn’t even name the feelings that I had. The predominant feeling, however, was anger.
Anger is a symptom of an alcohol addiction, just like craving is a symptom. Once we stop drinking alcohol, these symptoms stay around for awhile tempting us to give in to drinking. Some nice person gave me a list of “feeling” words. Once I could put a name to the feeling and then allowed myself to feel it, the feeling weakened and soon dissipated. Someone once told me that a feeling never killed anybody. And it’s true.
I want to pass some feeling words along to you.