I respond to situations sometimes with feeling and realise that my feelings have nothing to do with the situation in hand. I’m responding to the current drama with feelings which are still inside me from previous emotional experiences, sometimes so deeply buried that I don’t recognise them when they pop up again.
Then I realise that I’m inappropriately angry, jealous, hurt or confused, etc. I’m learning to stand back when these feelings crop up and I’m certainly learning not to take action in any circumstances based on what my immediate feelings are.
This is something that has become clearer as I recuperate from my liver disease and transplant operation. I need to just breathe in and out quite a few times before I speak or act and when I do this I can feel peace coming over me and a recognition that I am stronger now and these are OLD issues I’m reliving and I can actually let them go – off into the universe in the proverbial pink bubble.
Thinking of these things, I made a list of things (yes, a list) in my life that I really want to let go. Having put it all down on paper, it has been easier not to dwell on old “stuff” and to concentrate on living each moment, being mindful of each moment and dealing with one day at a time.
I’m not saying I’ll never again have inappropriate feelings that are most harmful to me, rather than anyone else. I’m learning to accept them as part of living and being me.
Acknowledging that I’m a lifelong alcoholic in recovery is one very important gift I’ve had along with my new liver. I made a promise to myself that I would honour my anonymous donor family by staying sober and not using alcohol to smother feelings as I’ve done most of my life. I can’t do this alone so I’ve been going to AA meetings and finding the support I need to keep this resolve.
So far, one day at a time, it’s working. I look forward to increased understanding of who I am and where I’m coming from. That’s a very good reason for being alive.
As my health and strength return, I am increasingly grateful to friends and family who’ve kept me going through the difficult days of illness and to the doctors and other hospital staff who’ve made my life disease-free and given me new hope.
Now I can only hope that my healing progresses faster than my aging, but that’s not really in my hands.