“F**K your feelings” is something I’ve heard more than once in self-help circles. It’s mostly followed by some psych-up talk about how feeling sorry for yourself is what’s holding you back. That by allowing yourself to be vulnerable, you’re making yourself a victim. Victims, by some definitions are losers, and losers never get what they want. The old you is a loser, the new you is a winner.
I’m not in this camp, and I don’t think it’s a good idea to forget your feelings. Your feelings, your emotions are likely what got you where you are now. If you’re like me, you had a feeling something was wrong. You weren’t happy with where your life was at. You were depressed, lonely, frustrated, confused, and you wanted a way out. These are all feelings that I hope brought you to where you are today.
Yes, your emotions can cloud your judgement. Love for an addict is what keeps many people in the cycle of addiction. The emotional trauma associated with abuse, neglect, loss, and other stress can trigger your addiction. These emotions feel negative, but that doesn’t mean they need to be swept under the rug. One person’s stiff upper lip, is another person’s recipe for relapse.
It is not uncommon to find yourself mid-way through this 31-day exercise in sobriety and realize that you’re sad, lonely, frustrated, or worse. That’s why there are support groups, counsellors and online resources like this blog. If at the end of the month you haven’t had a chance to deal with your feelings, you may find that you go immediately back to your old habits.