Anger. Frustration. Annoyance. All are feelings I simply suck at. I am so far removed from them I don’t even know where to begin or how to ‘feel’ them. I am working hard right now on getting in touch with these lost feelings and, frankly, I’m feeling annoyed with having to do so. I don’t like not being good at something. That alone frustrates me…but nonetheless, I am plugging along in my therapy homework.
Recently, I had a few encounters that left me disappointed and frankly downright mad at people in my life. But instead of honoring and recognizing these feelings, I turned inward and blamed myself…something I really excel at. I am a National Merit Scholar at blaming and scolding myself. It is truly what I do best. When people disappoint me, I feel I must have done something wrong – I’m the ‘different’ one…I’m the ‘weird’ one. After these recent relationship disappointments, I began to doubt myself and the advocacy work I am doing. (Ironically, my advocacy work is something I’ve never felt more self-assured about.) I turned inward to that ‘little girl’ who was picked on when she was small. Those same kicked-in-the-stomach feelings came rushing back and all I wanted to do was crawl back into a solitary bathroom stall until the lunch period was over with. Unfortunately, there aren’t any bathroom stalls to hide in as an adult and if I want to continue on this recovery path, I need to face these feelings head on. This is hands down one of the most difficult challenges I’ve been handed since entering recovery.
It should be noted that the point of getting in touch with this anger isn’t so I can pull someone’s weave or lash out in another form of relationship rage, the goal is to get to a place of indifference. A place where I accept people, their limitations and their ability to connect with me. Recovery has forced me to do this with various other relationships and this is just another step forward on my path of authenticity. But it is hard! Part of me really wishes that bathroom stall still existed so I could just hide out and cry for a while or that I could just continue to blame myself, but I know better. And I know I deserve better.
So how, after 31 years of self-blame, can I find a way to connect to my emotions of anger? I have NO IDEA. Journal, blog and cry are the only solutions I can come up with. (Any and all advice is welcome.) I went to therapy today determined to get ‘an answer’ as to what to do, but, as always, my awesome therapist does her job well…a little too well. I leave with more questions than I came in with. I also leave with a better understanding that I am on the right path, even though that path is often uncomfortable and uncharted for me. Nonetheless, I plug along…and ‘trust in the process’. What has gotten me the furthest in my recovery process thus far has been trusting in my team. So maybe tonight, I will sleep for the first time in days because will say my prayers and trust what my therapist said today, “You will know the answer when it is time. It will come to you…it is not something I can just magically tell you.”
So until the solution magically appears, I will just journal and blog and cry. And maybe one of these days find the guts to pull a weave or two.