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Post Info TOPIC: How do you let feelings go?


~*Service Worker*~

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How do you let feelings go?


Todays courage to change is a good one for me. Ive never been very good at accepting my feelings and often beat myself up for them confusing them with shortcomings. I like the idea of acknowledging them, accepting them and then letting them pass. I think I get terrified of giving them power over me as I did before Alanon, I kind of became my feelings. 

Does anyone have any practical methods or techniques that they do to help them with this one?



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Veteran Member

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Hi El-cee for me growing up in an alcoholic home we were not really encouraged to express our feelings and if we did we were told we were wrong and shouldn't feel that way. It was all very confusing. My challenge is sorting through them and accepting that they are MY feelings and its  okay to have them. I don't have to act on them, I have a choice on how I handle them. But they are my feelings and no one can tell me not to have them. 



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Ginny Cook


~*Service Worker*~

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Hi LC owning them ,feeling them, sharing about them helps me and then tracing them to the source(within) helps me to let them go



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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

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For a long time I suppressed my feelings and I became rather numb so when I started to feel, and the first feeling was rage, I welcomed that feeling with the idea that yay! I could still feel something and therefore I must be getting better. I felt as if good feelings would follow in due course.

I try not to let my feelings define me or my actions, but welcome them as pointers... I listen, which sometimes I forget to do, and they tell me if I'm heading in the right direction or not and if I've misunderstood something or not.



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~*Service Worker*~

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Hi El-Cee!

I like to name my feelings, literally think "I am feeling upset right now" or "I am feeling angry right now". Then I write about it. I process well in writing, so I just write about how I am feeling, and sometimes I'm surprised to see myself writing about why I am feeling that way.

If I can figure out why I am feeling one way or another, I try to sort out whether the cause of the feelings belongs to me or not me. That helps me focus on what I want to do next. Somewhere along this process, the emotion itself usually dissipates for me, and loses it's power over me.

Sharing how I am feeling with trusted friends really helps, too. I do need to be careful to start by saying that I just need to share how I am feeling, and that I'm not looking for a solution, if that is the case.

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Skorpi

If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. - Lao Tzu

bud


~*Service Worker*~

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For me, it helps to sit with them a while rather than push them away or distract myself from them. The purpose of my doing this is to understand that bad feelings are normal and there are times I can't avoid feeling badly, as well as if there is anything I can do to offer myself support or better perspective. I come to Alanon for additional support. There comes a point where the sharp edges of the feelings become more dull and faded and it is at this point that I do not clutch onto them as dearly. I may or may not let them go, but they do not affect me with as great intensity.... lots of practice, practice, practice!!!

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~*Service Worker*~

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For a variety of reasons, my go-to reaction to most of my feelings was anger before recovery. I have a quick temper and it can raise fast if I am not centered. So, I love what Skorpi writes and I too have to dig deeper than what I 'think' I am feeling and find what's really there. Most of my feelings if I keep peeling back the what am I feeling and why are driven by fear. While fear can be valid, I have to be cautious that I am not projecting, especially because I still tend to project negatively.

Sitting with my feelings is not easy for me. I process best when I am in nature, so a long walk this morning helped me do some peeling related to some things in my life right now. I am rightfully sad, as 3 people I love dearly are terminal. There is a part of me that really wants to isolate and practice pity, but a larger part of me knows deeply that my HP would rather I try to be of service any way that I can.

I have a right to each feeling within me; recovery helps me move forward with healthy responses to my feelings instead of erratic/unhealthy reactions. Action for me after awareness really helps me trust in the process, my path and to let go...

(((Hugs)))

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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



Senior Member

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I didn't learn about feelings till I got here and then had to learn what they were and how to express them.  My VA counselor once asked me how I felt about a situation that made me feel very angry and I answered "Like Sh*t" and he responded "So you feel like a pile of hot steamy dog poop on in the yard"?  I told him "no that's crazy"!! to which he responded, "You're right...that's not a feeling...it's a thing.  Try again".  After more thought and reflection I learned about real feelings.  I let go of the ones I  don't like by choosing to feel the ones I do.    Great Post!!  ((((Hugs)))) aww



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Jerry F
Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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Great topic/question...thanks for posting this.

This is classic step 1, 2, and 3...and in my experience most people don't understand, realize, and follow this...as least when it comes to "feelings". Thus, the feelings linger, dwell, and consume a person. However, I don't think it's not the feelings that linger or dwell -- it's the person who creates that, does that, and with the actual feelings, it's the person who "allows" it to develop, and manifest. No one else controls your thoughts but you. The first three steps don't say anything about dwelling, lingering, etc. They don't say anything about analyzing ad nauseum. They don't say keep it and hold onto it. It's about acceptance...not drowning.

That being said, in my experience, I don't buy into the long, drawn out, analysis, examination over and over and over again, when it comes to feelings. Sit with it, sit with it, sit with it...and they linger, they manifest, they consume, and so on. The longer you do that -- the harder it is to handle them, accept them, surrender to them, and then to let them go. If you are sad, you are sad. Guess what, absent the first three steps...you'll be sad tomorrow! Accept. Surrender. Let go.

Awareness is important. Clutching onto vis a vis analysis is not. JMO and just my experience. When I don't want to feel my feelings -- that's denial. I apply step one, then two, and then three...and for me...the feelings have always gone away. I was able to let them go. Me, I don't fight the feeling -- whatever it is I am feeling. I embrace it. I welcome it. Thus, I feel I am going to understand it and have a better handle on it, quicker, better, faster, and with more integrity. I then surrender to it. I surrender to the fact that I am feeling this. I accept it, I stop fighting it. I stop trying to force it away, or into non-existence. I surrender to it -- as if I was in quicksand, I stay perfectly still and feel it. Perfectly still, with no opposition, no fighting it. And guess what...I do not sink!

Then, I am able to let it go. Letting go, and being able to let go, is a byproduct of complete and absolute acceptance. Thanks again -- great topic!

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Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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BTW, letting go of feelings -- and everything you do that leads up to finally letting go of those feelings -- is a tremendous opportunity to LOOK AT YOURSELF!

When dealing with certain feelings -- fear, anger, resentment, scorned, bitter, and others -- many people run from the opportunity to look at themselves.

This is a great opportunity to do so!!! It is so empowering and enlightening!

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Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



~*Service Worker*~

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 Elcee... I found that deeper breathing- and focussing on breathing bought up feelings- both happy and sad...

             I could not do Step 11 properly- because I was exhausted and just fell asleep. Breathing did help me to buck up... aww ...



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One day at a time.



~*Service Worker*~

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One thing that helped me, at least a few times in the past, was the formal process of letting them go...

Similar to the concept of a God-box, but this was an exercise showing us how to formally/physically let go....  We were asked in a group setting (during some group counseling) to write down many of the feelings/fears/obstacles/blocks that are really getting in the way of our individual recoveries..... these were personal, and not needing to be shared with the anyone else.  At the end of our day session, we went a couple of blocks away to a campsite, and built a fire.  We were given some time to read and contemplate our respective lists, and then, one by one, we dropped our papers into the fire. 

I have to say that I can sometimes by cynical about such actions, but it was a powerful moment in my recovery.....  that feeling of acknowledging, writing, thinking about, and then burning the list was very important to me....

Hope that helps,

Hugs,

Tom



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"He is either gonna drink, or he won't.... what are YOU gonna do?"

"What you think of me is none of my business"

"If you knew the answer to what you are worrying about, would it REALLY change anything?"

 

 

 

 

Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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Good suggestion Tom...thanks!

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Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



~*Service Worker*~

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I have heard from others, about the writing down all the negatives in your life and like Canadian guy said, thinking about them and I guess expressing the feelings, and then burning them. My ex and I did a similar thing when we found books or letters or whatever from my male parent, we took them outside, everything that was evidence of his being my sirer, we took it out and put it in a big metal trash bucket filled with sand first and then charcoals and we just lit a fire waited for it to get really burning good and we chatted about all the things he did to hurt me and one by one we through everything that we found in this house that was attached to him in anyway. I am talking about movies, pictures, books, letters, anything That what is evidence that he was anything remotely in my life. This was back in 1993 and it did feel cleaner, my house, it did have a positive impact on me. But I still needed to get into recovery and really deal with the deep pain and the deep issues which I am but yeah Ive heard about writing down lists, yourself, and sharing it maybe with a trusted other person and then burning up Thanks for the reminder

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Rose:

*** KEEP IT SIMPLE***

a4l


~*Service Worker*~

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I loved the responses to this post. Feeling the feelings and expressing them I do agree allows for the letting go to happen. I know it never helps to bottle it all in, so having someone trusted and loving and wise to talk to really helps. It also depends on the situation.  The deepest pain of grief and loss I had to lock up in a metaphorical box for a long, long time, before opening it bit by bit to process. There are somethings I beleive that our minds and hearts simply can not cope with all in one hit, and that is just the life course.  It is ok. Time takes time.  Sometimes I keep getting the same old feelings ripped open and actually that's what bought me here to the board right now.  I get angry at certain situations but leaving isn't an option (damn it) so I do appreciate this thread right now. Oh boy! I have talked it over with a wise friend, who in their own way has gently but firmly suggested that I focus on that which I have the power to change rather than getting stuck on the things that I absolutely can't control.  This friend has a way of suggesting things without telling me what to do so I think its all my own idea hahaha. Friends are such an important and priceless gift especially when they have experienced similiar occurences. Sending you lots of support. 



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~*Service Worker*~

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I think one thing that ginny specifically said about not being sure if they were my feelings and then being invalidated when I expressed them caused two things to happen .. doubting myself and then in owning them I tend to hold them tightly because of being invalidated even now there are just certain things with certain people I can't talk about specifically my mom and my XMIL .. they both said key trigger things .. I see this now as their way of projecting what they felt uncomfortable about .. however even then .. the issue that the feelings are mine not anyone elses. Being able to work through with someone who understands me and understands that sometimes what I need to hear is .. wow .. that makes total sense that you would feel that way .. something that simple will allow me to let go and move through that thought process where I can let them go. It really is simple validation and what I am currently working on is being able to validate myself so I can more easily identify my own feelings. It really makes a difference in healing.

Nice topic :)

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"I cannot learn other people's lessons for them.  They must do the work for themselves, and they will do it when they are ready." - Louise Hay



~*Service Worker*~

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DEAR A41....Thank you for mentioning that you had to lock up in a "Metaphorical box" for a long time b4 you open it bit by bit......omg...that is me....My pain "box" is so big and bad, if I were to have dealt with it in one big "hit" I would have collapsed and perhaps not made it.....my mind could not cope with "step 4ing" THAT thing all at once...I STILL work steps 4,5,6,7 on that particular trauma....I see progress but like you said, "time takes time" and i relate to "getting the same old feelings ripped open" I have had it happen to me, via triggers, a relative slagging me "why can't you get over it???" or i get the "pull youself up by your bootstraps" GOD i hate that saying because don't they think I WOULD if I COULD??? do they think I LIKE being in grief??? anger???? grieving????? oh yea, "Love that crap" NOT!!!!! so I have my good days re: that and my bad days, re: that...good days are better....bad days can come at me hard, the anger, the anger at ME for self sabotaging, oh yea, but I see PROGRESS!!! slow, but progress none the same

THANK U, dear fellow traveler for letting me know that I am not unique in this, I am not hopeless in this, that people CAN understand/relate to me...........THANK U...I Needed to read your share and "digest" it in my heart...U just made me feel a bit better about myself....

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Rose:

*** KEEP IT SIMPLE***



Senior Member

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Im powerless over my feelings. If Im feeling uncomfortable it probably means I need to align myself with program principles and ultimately HPs will for me. I believe feelings are meant to be used to measure where Im at, however living in the insanity of alcoholism, I learned to react to my feelings in destructive ways. Alanon has taught me that I have choices. I dont need to sit in my feelings and shame myself for having them anymore. Im human and they are a part of me, its what I do with them that matters. If Im feeling guilt I can examine it, talk about it, journal about it and see where maybe an amends needs to be made to myself or others. Then Im free to let it go, similar to holding something hot in my hand, I wouldnt hold onto it I was getting burned, I would drop it. I appreciate this topic, thank you for sharing xoxo

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- Carrie

Stress is caused by being 'here' but wanting to be 'there'. Eckhart Tolle

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