CONTENT WARNING: I AM ALL OVER THE DAMN PLACE ON THIS ONE. As per usual – I’ve got a lot on my mind + feel compelled to get it off my chest as a means of *~working THROUGH things as opposed to the violent opposite: working AGAINST things~* (that are causing severely uncomfortable feelings, emotions, and an-all around sense of PURE TENSION). Anything I say is not directed at any one person, nor am I even vaguely attempting to discredit anyone’s sobriety and/or recovery. I think, for now at least, my desire for understanding ALL THE THINGS *AND* this (borderline unhealthy?) undying longing for connection that WILL NOT die… At this point I’m not even trying to fight it, so fuck it, I’ma write about instead. (Also, shout-out to a select *few* friends + confidantes that’ve already heard some of this song + dance before now.)
I’m reading “Never Enough: The Neuroscience & Experience of Addiction” by Judith Grisel – which has been EYE-OPENING, and deeply necessary at this stage in my recovery – and I can’t seem to research enough on a combination of other inter + intra personal relationships/communication. Until I can fork over my entire exi$$$tence and pay for a thorough mental health assessment, I’m merely trying to process this abundant flow of thoughts, musings, and straight-up curiosities about damn near everything in this maddening world that I can’t help continuously falling in love with.
I’m avidly asking Dr. Google for articles on topics such as our need to constantly/compulsively be connected (which is NOT the same as establishing, building, + nurturing a legit connection w/ another person), as well as WHAT THE FUCK it means to be so energetically sensitive + hyper aware about every facet of almost any environment I’m placed in, but right now… Now? I keep drifting back to two things:
– How/why recovery (and/or healing) is NOT A COMPETITION
– What *my* opposite of addiction is
I’m DONE looking at what others cite as the opposite of their addictions – this commUNITY I love + cherish more than almost anything is driving me INSANE + if it weren’t for my own relentless, ambitious RESILIENCE TO KEEP ON RECOVERING OUT LOUD… I’d be in rough(er) shape.
When I say rougher shape, I mean that as a direct correlation to my intense feelings:
“People who feel more deeply and intensely than others are more aware of subtleties; their brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply. People with emotional intensity are sometimes described as sensitive, caring, and attentive. At their best, they can be exceptionally perceptive, intuitive, and keenly observant of the subtleties of the environment. Yet they are also overwhelmed by the constant waves of social nuances and others’ emotional and psychic energies.
They tend to notice and remember a lot and can be over-stimulated when things are too chaotic or novel for a long time. This ability to feel deeply and intensely often starts from a young age when emotion regulation skills are lacking and can lead to psychological wounding associated with shame and loneliness.”
The article goes on to state that although “psychologists have so far been unable to agree on a single defining attribute,” there are ultimately five components that those who experience emotional intensity all have in common:
1. EMOTIONAL DEPTH, VELOCITY, & COMPLEXITY
2. DEEP EMPATHY AND SENSITIVITY
3. HIGHLY ACUTE PERCEPTIVITY
4. A RICH INNER WORLD WITH SENSUAL, IMAGINARY & INTELLECTUAL EXCITABILITY
5. CREATIVE POTENTIAL AND EXISTENTIAL ANGST
So… Maybe my thought process has some relational organization after all? We’ll just have to agree to disagree, mmkay? I mean, I addressed my earnest + ongoing anger (frustration, mild resentment, etc.) towards the recovery commUNITY as a whole, as it bled over me discussing how aware I am of any and all people/places/things in my immediate (or even afar) environment. As we move forward, I will apologize for my generalized ambiguity, but honestly… if you’ve read to *here*, or any of this really, you’re not who I’m talking about.
Healing, as a whole and in the directly related to social media sense, IS NOT A GODDAMNED COMPETITION. YOUR PINK CLOUD IS A LIAR, JAN, SO COME TALK TO US WHO NO LONGER LIVE IN THAT BUBBLE ABOUT REALITY *AFTER* YOU COME DOWN AND THE REAL WORK AND TRUE HEALING BEGINS. I love me some starry-eyed optimism but the longer I dug around the #recovery section the more I wanted to throw my goddamned laptop at the wall. I’m trying to accurately articulate what my main issues are… Ah, there it is:
There’s an ocean of voices — a literal sea of faces with stories to accompany them — and (again, I AM NOT TRYING TO DISCOUNT ANYBODY’S SOBRIETY AND/OR RECOVERY) but it’s becoming frustrating with the overwhelming amount of novices trying to act like they are gurus and everyone and their mother (floating on their pink clouds, of course) is quoting themselves, watermarking their images, and please don’t get me started on the cliques and “tribes” of “warriors” and eight million other kinds of NOPE… but when I briefly waded through that menagerie of posts under the #recovery… it’s more about the collective validation (shit people “do for the ‘gram”), rife with celebratory posts boasting glittery mylar balloons — and YES, sobriety should be celebrated — but I (personally) am more interested in the RECOVERY side of people’s journeys. My heart breaks for those who obliviously don’t realize that there is a huge difference between sobriety and recovery.
I am trying SO hard to hold back from going off on those who love to (boast with privilege) post these HEAVILY FILTERED AND CURATED AS FUCK photos of the gym, their yoga studio, cold pressed celery juice, avocado toast and/or acai bowls, oat milk lattes, reishi mushroom teas, how long they meditated for, what essential oils they’re pushing that week, blaming XYZ on the placement of some planet’s moon and how it’s fucking with their chakras — I have to stop right now because I honestly get so flustered I can’t make logical thought processes let alone make cohesive sentences.
My beef is this: “When a person focuses only on sobriety in their own personal recovery process, they are setting themselves up for frustration and discouragement. Instead of looking at recovery as simply abstaining from a certain substance, a person should try to think of recovery as a multifaceted process that consists of several different elements.”
I’ll conclude by encouraging you to read this article that addresses what it is to enter into “optimal” recovery:
“Emotional sobriety is finally taking its rightful place in addiction recovery. Reaching this stage pushes sobriety from simply abstaining from an addictive behavior to creating a lifestyle that reaches deeper emotional balance. We have been seeing more and more folks like you and me begin to discover this dimension to their recovery that they never knew existed. Emotional sobriety can be referred to as the missing link in achieving full addiction recovery—or what I like to call optimal recovery. It helps us reach a place in our lives where we truly feel emotionally whole.”
Okay, now that I’ve got that out of my system I can honestly say that it helped me IMMENSELY in my own recovery and it is NOT (nor was it ever) my intention to shame anyone or tear down somebody else’s way of recovery. The part that drew me in the most to the commUNITY I love so much, is how DIVERSE it is — so many beautifully wonderful folx recovering from SO MANY THINGS and ALL OF THEM doing the damn thing in their own uniquely magical ways. It’s the AUTHENTICITY and HONESTY of so many I adore and admire that pushed me to recover the way I currently do — and I look so forward to what their/your/my future holds — but for now? I’ma continue to take this shit ONE STEP, ONE BREATH, ONE DAY AT A TIME.
Until later, lovers. xo