Thoughts and Feelings

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IMG951046“Thoughts and feelings are just that; thoughts and feelings. You don’t have to act on them.”

I have been diligently focusing on steps 10, 11 and 12 for quite some time now. I believe that the first nine steps prepare us to do steps 10, 11, and 12 for the rest of our lives, and that to live in those steps is to grow on a daily basis. I used to drink and think that I “felt” all kinds of feelings. I’d regularly get drunk and try to kill myself, jokingly referring to my status as a “frequent flyer” at Behavioral Health. I say this in jest now; it was my reality then. But I wasn’t really feeling. I was just drunkenly fueling my misery and trying to take it out on myself with a knife and trying to bring you along with me.

Today, I feel real emotions. In the last week, I have faced several important emotions; devastating disappointment, white hot rage, and a sorrow that rends my heart in two. These, interspersed with an incredible joy for living and a happiness I feel in my gut. How is that possible? Such a wide range of emotions, when I used to only feel misery and want everyone else to share it with me?

And yet, I’m relatively peaceful today. What I have learned is to just feel what I’m feeling. Recognize it. Name it. Experience it. And then move on. I cannot do this on my own. I seek the guidance of my Higher Power. I talk with another alcoholic. I make amends quickly if needed. And then I turn my attention to someone who needs what I have. Bam! And it’s no longer about me, but maximum service to others.

I think of this as a miracle in my life. My selfish, self-centered being is tempered for a moment. Don’t get me wrong. I’m as selfish as the day is long, but I’m starting to recognize what it means to “live” this program on a daily basis. I am shocked by this seemingly new “progress” I am making, but whatever it is, I’m going to keep doing it. My Higher Power is “Doing for me what I could not do for myself.” and that is completely awe inspiring. That I can recover from a “seemingly hopeless state of mind and body” is amazing to me every single time I recognize that is exactly what is happening every moment of the day.

Kate Zimmerman Tallgrass Alumnus #35

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