Day 24 Check-in: Facts or Feelings?

I once heard a long-timer say that staying sober would be a heck of a lot easier if he didn’t have to deal with people.

There are times I agree and admit that staying sober would be easier still if I didn’t have to deal with my feelings about people. Having people in my life tends to mess with my serenity. Handling my feelings AND my populated world? Please, on those days, can’t I just stay in bed with my cat?

I used to drink because of my feelings and because everyone I knew misused them. I was so sensitive–the artistic types usually are, and are justified in drinking, right? Doesn’t that further the creative process?

In reality, I just thought I was sensitive and easily hurt. I only thought I drank because of my feelings.

Most of the time I drank because I had allowed my feelings to become facts.

I’m still not good with the whole feelings thing. Some days I want to hide–either by running away from a situation or by withdrawing behind a stoic wall of indifference. Stockpiling facts and building a case around why I’m justified to feel however I’m feeling becomes a full-time mission.

On other days, I make a choice to postpone my feelings. I get overwhelmed trying to separate facts from feelings (or is it fiction?). So I avoid the feelings and lose myself in something until (invariably) such time when the feelings erupt in a torrential outpouring of (usually) snot and tears.

I become a sniveling mess and (always) feel better when the crying jag ends.

Yep, that’s me. All or nothing. One extreme or another.

Here’s what I’m learning, though: Regardless of how I deal with my feelings (or don’t), I make things one hundred times worse when I judge them, when I beat myself up over them, or when I assume they are facts.

The bottom line is feelings don’t keep me sober or get me drunk. Ditto for people, facts, situations, destinations, ultimatums, abominations, hybernations or the United Nations.

I stay sober because I don’t take that first drink. I don’t get drunk because I haven’t had a first drink.

Life is messy sometimes. Feelings suck sometimes. And I am often surrounded by lunatics.

Doesn’t matter. There’s another grizzly long-timer who says in every meeting he attends, “Hallelujah, I’m sober today.”

That is what matters.

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