I’ve been giving sobriety and recovery a lot of thought these last couple of months.
In the beginning, my sobriety was a complete necessity – it was that or die – not even kidding – my life was completely out of control.
Then, through the years, sobriety became habit…there have been times I have resented the fact that I don’t drink like others. There have been times I tried to convince myself that I was young before and things would be different now. But the fact that I am thinking about it so much should be the first clue that it could still be a problem.
Then while studying Brené Brown, I heard her say:
And I think there’s evidence — and it’s not the only reason this evidence exists, but I think it’s a huge cause — We are the most in-debt … obese … addicted and medicated adult cohort in U.S. history. The problem is — and I learned this from the research — that you cannot selectively numb emotion. You can’t say, here’s the bad stuff. Here’s vulnerability, here’s grief, here’s shame, here’s fear, here’s disappointment. I don’t want to feel these. I’m going to have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin.
You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects, our emotions. You cannot selectively numb. So when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness. And then, we are miserable, and we are looking for purpose and meaning, and then we feel vulnerable, so then we have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. And it becomes this dangerous cycle.
“We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”
You see, I have been given a tremendous gift…as a result of my early struggles and decision to get sober and STAY sober…the gift of LIFE…and while it’s brutiful…I’ve been awake for most of it.
Love this quote by Hip Sobriety –
Sobriety isn’t something that you have to do. Sobriety is something that you get to do.
And now, during this really hard season – absolutely, I’d love to numb down a bit – but then I’d miss some joy. I’d lose my gratitude, my purpose, my faith, and ultimately my life. I’d lose my life as I know it…marriage, family, friends, piece of mind, health, and then finally my beating heart.
In closing, this entry is sooooo not an anti-drinking campaign – quite the contrary – just sharing my journey and experience. What it is, however, is an anti-numbing campaign. I am reminding myself and encouraging you that we cannot selectively numb the bad without numbing the good. And that’s where our bravery comes into play today…to embrace the whole brutiful, perfectly, imperfect, messy life.
Love y’all – DM