Saturday, July 14, 2012

Emotions - A choice to make

I went to a memorial service today for the husband of a designer that use to work with us. It was really nice and I became very emotional even though I didn't really know him.
The former owner of our business was there and he ask me if  I was getting emotional because it made me think of my own losses or because of the music.  I had to think for a moment but answered that I am sensitive to the emotions of other people. I could feel the sadness in the room and it made me cry.

That might sound silly but as I have realized sometimes my emotions are not my own but of someone in the room. I believe we are all connected and if we are willing to be open to emotion you feel what others are feeling.  Most of us have from time to time walked into a room where the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife or a party where the mood is up.

I learned early in my life that it wasn't good to cry or get angry. After my mother died life was much easier without emotions. This is what attracted me to my first alcoholic he was full of emotions and I had none. He said I was cold as ice. He was right I was afraid of my feelings. Who needed the pain of emotions.

It served me well professionally to be shut down. I was a work horse and I expected the same from the people that worked for me. This all changed when I came to the program. Life dealt me a blow that I couldn't push down. I opened my heart to my alcoholic the first person since my mother died and he left me. The only one I had trusted since I was eleven. I was broken in half.

I scrambled to contain my emotions. I worked harder than ever and spent all my waking hours at the office. It worked temporarily and I was promoted twice during a time in my life that I was emotionally at the bottom. I slept in my clothes and got up in the morning and showered and went back to work. Dead woman walking. No one knew. I had no friends. When you live with active alcoholism you don't have friends. That is part of the family disease.

The program saved me from a life of being shutdown. I met someone that never gave up on me. She became my sponsor and twenty years later is still my friend and sometimes still my unofficial sponsor.

It is because of the program that I can live my life more  open emotionally. I have learned it isn't all or nothing and that I can separate my emotions from the emotions of others. I can accept people where they are and I can do the same for myself. Most of the time.

It is harder to live with feelings but more rewarding. I didn't like being stuck in grief so long but this is part of being emotionally alive.

I was emotional today because I knew the family would be beginning their own journey of grief. There no way around it only through and when you get to the other side you are better for it. 


  1. I can sooooo relate to mirroring others' emotions. I grew up like that. I never knew wha I felt but I sure knew how you felt. I'm learning about me now and what to do with anger, fear, and resentments. I'm 50 and grateful that I will have the tools I need the next 50 years!