Saturday, April 11, 2009


When I lived with active alcoholism, my feelings were just too painful, too much of the time. I learned to shut myself down, and become comfortably numb. I had a little mantra I used to say over and over, in times of pain - "it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter..." I became so proficient at this, it was like flipping a switch - click! all feelings shut down.

This worked to protect me from the pain, but it also stopped me from feeling much else, as one cannot pick and choose when using this form of self-preservation, or at least, I never could. The joyful, positive feelings went, along with the painful ones. I was numb.

Being so good at this, made it possible for me to accept a great deal of unacceptable behavior from the alcoholic - from my vantage point of today, I'm amazed at the verbal and emotional abuse I tolerated. If you don't feel much of anything, nothing does matter.

When I began to work my program, I began to feel my feelings, and it was awful, I'd lost touch with how painful it can be, being human. I'd also lost touch with joy, gratitude, and glee. I had forgotten how much fun being alive can be.

Nowadays, I have times I feel the same way I imagine my dogs do, when they are leaping around with joy on a sunny day - bursting with joy at the sheer pleasure of being alive. I have 12-step to thank for this.

I wish you a gleeful day today.

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