I just started to learn how to feel again. It came out of the blue. All this time I thought I was feeling because I was happy sometimes or sad sometimes or angry or hurt which by definition, are feelings! But due to an experience recently and some thought about this topic of what is a feeling, I came to the conclusion that they were just pre-existing emotional reactions to the things that were going on around me. Emotional reactions are created by feelings, but are they our current feelings or are they simply triggered by old memories which the brain has stored in pathways that will make you react the same way to different stories that bring up these same emotions. Insert a breath here!
I recently made a commitment to myself to stop drinking for 2 months so that I could clear my head in order to make it easier to memorise lines I needed to learn for a stage play I had written and starred in. It worked, I did clear my head but I got so much more out of the experience as well. I got to feel. Every interaction I had with people during this time wasn’t clouded by my body trying to metabolise ethanol from the night before. The interactions then became about being present and having to explore these strange feelings in my body that I was feeling when someone did or said something that might have upset, angered, frustrated, excited or saddened me. Every feeling we have emotionally is felt in our body somewhere. For example, the director of my show was asking me to not Ad Lib my script and to stick 100% to the lines. I felt anger rising up about this as I love to Ad Lib on stage and my thoughts went straight to “she was trying to control me” so I rebelled a bit and answered “not sure if I can do that sorry”. When I got off the phone and had a think about my reaction, I felt into where I was feeling this in my body and what that felt like. I felt it in my throat like a blockage and a tightening in my chest. As soon as I released the tightness in my physical body, I was able to see that she wasn’t trying to control me at all, but to help me give the greatest performance I could.
The more I didn’t drink, the quicker I processed these things and didn’t dwell on them. I actually had more room in my heart and head to understand how I felt, be gentle with myself about it, find a solution and move on. I enjoy drinking so I can’t imagine alcohol not being a part of my life in some way but I must admit that I really enjoyed myself off the alcohol and now feel torn between wanting to get to know myself more off the booze and really wanting to enjoy having a drink with mates.
I have mixed emotions about wanting to properly feel things. Part of me fears letting go of my ethanol princess as I enjoy her and life is short. The other part of me really wants to explore myself feeling things because being vulnerable, which is what I was able to start to access off the booze, is really important for us humans to connect wholly and if we keep responding to new stories with old anger, spite and hurt triggers from our past that is wired deep into our brain pathways, we aren’t doing ourselves any justice at all. I don’t know about you, but my “Groundhog Day” scenarios that keep presenting themselves are getting boring AF!!
It has been said time and time again that balance is the key to a healthy lifestyle. So, now that I have just had a long weekend with booze involved in the story, I’m definitely looking forward to balancing it out with a week off the booze. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it!
Love, Light and Electricity