God gave us the freedom to feel a wide range of emotions. Many of us come into recovery after years of attempting to cover up and deny our feelings. We were told as children that many of our emotions are never okay to feel. When we became adults, we only allowed ourselves to experience a limited amount of emotions. We were taught that feelings such as sadness, insecurity, and rejection were indications of weakness. We attempted to hide those feelings from everyone in order to appear strong and confident.
Many of us used alcohol and other drugs to handle years of suppressed emotions. Others of us became addicted to sex or using people instead. When we got into recovery, we were told it was okay to feel everything we needed to feel. We watched as others were able to express a wide range of emotions and saw the relief they experienced from sharing their feelings in a safe place. We learned that recovery is a place to come to share all the emotions that have been weighing us down, as well as the importance of sharing them with someone who is safe.
As people with addictive personalities, we tend to live to extremes. Before coming into recovery, we wouldn’t share anything with anyone. Now, we have discovered that allowing ourselves to experience emotions actually feels good. The danger lies in becoming addicted to our feelings. There are going to be times in recovery that are difficult. We are going to experience sadness, hurt, frustration, and anger. God has given each of us these emotions to freely experience. It’s what we do with these emotions that is important. Is it better to draw closer to God, or to become an emotional junkie? Ultimately, Christ-centered recovery moves us away from denying our feelings or from the other extreme of becoming an emotional junkie. We are learning how to experience our God-given emotions in ways that are healthy and lead us to become more mature.
Written by Jackell.