I’ve been reading a fantastic book recently, Mary Karr’s “Lit”. In it, she describes her process of becoming addicted to alcohol and her process of recovery. It’s a poignant, engaging, funny read from which many who come from extremely dysfunctional families will be able to derive hope. She also details the evolution of her spiritual and religious life which resonated with me and helped me strengthen my own.
At one point, she writes of a mentor who told her “when you’re numbing yourself [with alcohol], then you’re behaving based on feelings you think you should have rather than on those feelings you do have.”
This got me thinking. I’ve always struggled with the fact that I don’t seem to fit into any one category for which there is a support group. If there was a “Numbaholics Anonymous”, then that would be the group for me.
Anything can be used to numb feelings, not just alcohol. I have numbed with working, writing, eating, dating, sex, spending money, dissociating and more. I am addicted to numbing and my journey back to my self, my recovery, involves noticing what triggers me to numb, the feelings that are involved and what I am doing to numb myself.
It involves me doing my best to be in my body which is when I can access my feelings and my heart. It involves me noticing when I’m in my head, which takes me away from my self. It involves me being with my self and staying with my self, through pleasant and unpleasant or uncomfortable feelings. When I stay with my feelings, rather than try to numb or avoid them, then my life is my own and I am free.
I’m making progress.