Sitting With Your Feelings
Most of us repress our negative feelings in order to function in normal life allowing us to soldier on and “get the job done”. However, when this suppression becomes maladaptive we need to take a closer look at what is really gone inside.
So what does it mean to sit with your feelings? It means just that. When you are feeling triggered by something someone has said or done and you feel like a drink, this is a golden opportunity for you to curiously inquire. Where do I feel this in my body? How big is it? Does it have a shape or colour? Can you sit with the feeling and not judge it? Just be with it and give it some attention rather than trying to escape it.
Don’t label an uncomfortable feeling as bad. Try to resist the natural urge to get away from the feeling. One way of achieving this is to welcome the feeling. It’s trying to tell you something.
Ignoring uncomfortable feelings all these years or even momentarily hasn’t helped and the feeling is there if you like it or not, so facing and embracing it may be the only way to accept it.
When we drink away our pain, it is always still there waiting for us when we sober up. Trying to escape that pain never ever works. When you push down and repress uncomfortable feelings you may not realise it, but you are re-wounding yourself. Sometimes emotions that aren't dealt with can manifest in addiction or illness when it is stored in the body. In Dr Gabor Mate’s book, When The Body Says No, he explains this in depth. We are connected in mind, body and spirit.
Some therapists suggest that a trigger to drink can stem from an emotional flashback.
In Pete Walkers book, Complex PTSD from Surviving to Thriving (which I highly recommend), he lists ways to deal with an emotional flashback. One of the ones I feel is most pertinent is, "Number 12. Figure out what you are flashing back to. Flashbacks/ Triggers are opportunities to discover, validate and heal our wounds."
Click here to read more http://www.pete-walker.com/flashbackManagement.htm
Lastly, if you are finding it unbearable or feel that you need more support during these times, I would recommend seeking further help from a trauma informed therapist that can help you navigate and find healing through these times.
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