I never thought of myself as an overly emotional person. There were times when I cried or got upset about things (like most people), but for the most part, I didn’t ever think I would be controlled by my emotions. That changed when alcohol shaped me in a way I wasn’t expecting. Many people think that if someone has an issue with alcohol, when they quit drinking, things will automatically get better. I used to think the same thing. However, after I walked out of treatment in 2011, I found out that I was really a walking ball of emotions. I couldn’t understand it at first but then I realized the years of heavy drinking and living in my own world really did a number on me emotionally. I experienced a lot of “head trash”; one day would be completely amazing and the next day would be the low of lows.
I started understanding that alcohol was the way I used to cope with all the issues I’d encountered over my life. What I was doing with alcohol — covering things up — was the real problem. After treatment, I looked at all the things that had happened to me. Moments of heartbreak, my football career ending, and other things along the way. All of these moments pointed to one thing — that my emotions were what needed to be catered to. I could see that I had been struggling with depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. I could see seeds of doubt and fear.When the alcohol left they stayed. I had to re-learn how to not be led by my emotions. Sometimes, how I felt wasn’t an accurate picture of what was happening.Just because I didn’t feel amazing everyday didn’t mean it was a bad day.
I have found that once you get your emotions under control, your day to day activity can be very productive. For me, a lot of it was understanding that I’m responsible for my actions, and no matter what is thrown at me I can choose to respond in a positive way. The healing process is never easy but it’s the only way to be able to progress and move forward in your life. It calls for a lot of self reflection. It calls for looking at the actual pain you have experienced in your life. It calls for a lot of uncomfortable conversations with people. I would highly recommend that those conversations are with people you trust as well as those who have been your shoes.
The main thing healing calls for is action. Taking action is something not many who have had these experiences actually do. Instead, it’s a common practice to bury it deep down. The biggest problem with that is when that person is triggered those emotions come back to the surface, and the issue never gets dealt with. A lot of these are tied to what are I call “generational curses”. Things happen in people’s lives and they never solve the problem. Instead, it just keeps getting passed down the lineage.
Emotions to me are the elephants in the room that nobody want to talk about. Especially in today’s society, if you aren’t cheery and full of positive energy nobody wants to know about it. I believe that if we talk about our emotions, understand things happen in life,and that hurt is something we are going to experience, we can heal. If we have someone that cares about our feelings and helps us to take action to try to heal from those painful experiences, we can change the dynamic of our lives. We can live the future we were created to live in this lifetime. And, we can break the generational curses for our own lineage.
In our lives it is inevitable we will all experience emotional pain at some point, and we all have a choice in how we react to the things that happen to us. I can promise you that if you think about how you will react to situations before they happen, it will create a lot less emotion in the long run.
I will be touching on this topic in future blog posts, because it’s important, and because it can change your life how it has changed mine. Until then, remember that how you feel doesn’t have to determine how you live.