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Fears About How To Handle Your Emotions In Recovery?

Out of the many fears that people face when they step on the recovery journey, some of them are fears around how their life is going to change. They are afraid that they would not know themselves anymore, or that they would not be able to handle their emotions, or that they would get bored. The truth is, for the first time in life, in recovery, you’re actually going to be able to learn how to handle your emotions. So it’s actually an irrational fear.

Fear that you won’t know who you are anymore

This is a fear people have in the healing journey that destroys their transformation. Well, I’ll tell you this. I’m going to give you a newsflash. What if, before your healing journey you have no idea who you were? Let me say that again. What if before you embarked on your healing journey you had no idea who you are anyways? Whenever we experience some type of trauma, whenever we experience some type of abandonment, a loss, whenever we experience some type of abuse, whenever we experience moving from town to town, whenever we experience financial difficulties and challenges when we’re a kid there is a high probability that we already got disconnected from ourselves, that we already lost connection with who and what we are. We go through life wearing these different hats and being these different characters and putting on these different masks, assuming and thinking that we know who we really are. But oftentimes we don’t until we do the deep work and the healing work and get to know ourselves. I told this to our program participants and I’ll tell it to you too, because I don’t see human beings being any different. They just happen to be in the program and you just happen to be at home, but we’re all the same.

The Mirror Experiment

If you just genuinely sat down in front of a mirror, full body, for five to ten minutes straight, no phone, no distractions and you just started looking at yourself, staring in your eyes like you’re looking at a person closely and just observing yourself, looking at your face, looking at your body, looking at yourself, there will be a profound experience. If you haven’t done something like this you will have a profound experience that at some point in that you will realize that you barely know yourself. Some of you will feel like you’re looking at a stranger. So there shouldn’t be any fear that if I go on this healing journey I won’t know who I am anymore. If anything, you should go on the healing journey so you can figure out who you are. That’s why we do this stuff, so we can get to know ourselves and here’s why.

We want to figure out who we are so we can be at peace with ourselves, because when you are at peace with yourself you’re at peace with the world and all of the people and places and things in it.

And that’s a place of empowerment, that’s a place of transformation, that’s a place that you can actually become who it is you’re trying to become in life. You go towards the end of using you don’t dare look inside of a mirror because you’re like, “who the hell is that monster? I don’t want to look at that person.” You’re going to recognize yourself but what if I told you six months down the line in recovery it could be the same process if you don’t do the work.

Fear that you won’t be able to handle your emotions

Many people that come in the healing journey they engaged with negative coping skills, destructive coping skills prior. It could be workaholism, it could be substance abuse, it could be promiscuity, it could be eating disorders, and then they say, “Well, if I go in this recovery thing how am I going to deal with my emotions? I’m not going to be able to handle my emotions.” Well, guess what, you never were able to handle your emotions. If you really break the denial and get honest with it, if you drink to deal with your anxiety you never handled your emotions. If you pop pills to deal with your emotional pain you never handled your emotions. If you shot cocaine to deal with your depression and get some energy you never dealt with your emotions. If you work 20 hours a day you never handled your emotions. If you had multiple partners and you’re always in the chase to get the next high of the relationship you never handled your emotions. If you have to spend money all the time you never handled your emotions. So the thought of the fact that you’re gonna get clean and sober now and you’re not going to be able to handle your emotions it’s actually not reality. It’s because you never were able to. For the first time you’re actually going to be able to learn how to handle your emotions. So it’s an irrational fear.

Fear that you will be bored

Well, the transformation work isn’t boring, it’s just intense, and afterwards it actually frees us, to free ourselves from the feeling of boredom. See, boredom is defined as the inability to sit with oneself. So when someone tells me they’re bored I don’t really see it as like, “oh it’s like a problem. They need to be stimulated.” I see it as this person can’t sit with themselves. Then the question comes, why can’t they sit with themselves? Why is it so uncomfortable to be with their thoughts, to be with themselves? What happened to them at some point in their life that they were so uncomfortable with their surroundings that they needed to do something or distract themselves or go somewhere just to not be with themselves? And if you’re in that case, if you have a hard time sitting with yourself and you think that there’s a lack of stimulation in life the problem isn’t out there. The problem’s in here. And that’s the opportunities that arise for us in the healing journey. They allow us to be able to break through that because once you’re able to achieve peace with yourself you can go out in nature and just go on a walk and experience a freedom that is completely the opposite of boredom. The hyper levels of stimulation we need for those of you again in the program that are dealing with substances, substance abuse, all that kind of stuff, you need constant stimulation. Adrenaline Junkies, this and that, and you think that’s the only way to achieve boredom. That’s just like a coping skill to not be with yourself, like the whole ‘addicted to chaos’ thing. The way you’re addicted to chaos, you love the chaotic life, you’re doing anything and everything you can to just not be with yourself. That’s pretty much all that’s happening. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. So that’s another fear right there.

Have Compassion for the Old You

We don’t want to be our old selves. It’s powerful to decide to change to die to ourselves and become something new. “Have compassion for the old you and create something new. -CJ” Damn right, I love that you wrote, have compassion for the old self because a lot of people that do the healing work, they have this weird distaste or negative connotation or negative feeling towards their past but here’s the thing. You can’t be who you are and you can never be who you’re gonna be without that person. So you better have some compassion and make friends with your past. Make friends with parts of yourself in the past at least and just know that you wouldn’t be here and you won’t be there if it wasn’t for that person. So I always have compassion for my past self and sometimes there are times in my life that I look at my 13, 14, 15 year old self and I am so proud of that person because he was so resilient and that’s so much perseverance and was so tough and dealt with so much anxiety and depression and he still made it. Wow, what a little guy that was! Some of you, by the way you know I can’t really talk on this public forum, but you’ve had some tough upbringings and childhoods and we look back and you’re so annoyed or resentful about it. How about you look at it and say, “wow man, what an awesome person that little kid was!” That kid was so tough, tough as nails, so be grateful for the different selves, the different past selves. Thank you for that CJ.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Today is going to be the best day of your life.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.