Emotional Hangovers

Dear Readers,
Lately, I have been re-learning how to deal with all my emotions. 
I never really learned as a child, and got stuck in my teenage years.
Almost like I had teenage glasses that colored how I dealt with the world and people as an adult.
Which doesn’t work so well.

Anger, self-pity, resentments, fear, and jealousy are a few of the emotions I am learning to see though my adult eyes. 
How do I deal with these very strong emotions without drinking?
How do other people deal with them?
I have noticed that the longer I am sober, the better I am able to handle these emotions.
I have a chance to hit the pause button, and not just lash out or react.
Talking through issues calmly really helps, especially with someone who will listen.
Sometimes I even find the best advice on-line.

I am learning to challenge myself when it comes to these feelings.
I am learning to look a little deeper.
What are they telling me?

I know the negative feelings will pass.
I know I have to sit with them just for a minute.
I don’t have to act on them right away, and maybe not at all.
Not drinking means I don’t act out in the drunken e-mails, crying over the phone, and drunken anger.
I might have to take action on something, but only after my calm has returned.

Comparisons make me feel bad about myself. 
I tend to see all that I lack, or wish I was more out-going, or more popular, or a better writer, and on and on. I want people to like me. I know that most of my negative feelings stem from feeling not good enough. I sometimes seek constant reassurance.
On my emotional fragile days, I have a little bit harder time dealing with these feelings.

I come back to gratitude, because that is the one true thing that helps me change my focus from the negative to the positive.
I have so much.
I have a home and a loving husband.
I have a loving family and friends.

Taking positive action is another thing that helps me feel empowered.
If I feel left out by a friend, the best way I feel better is by texting a positive note to another person. Almost instantly, I feel better.
If I find myself always focused on one person, or one situation, it often means I am not living my life. I am living their life. 
Volunteering, reading and commenting on sober blogs, are other positive actions that help me feel better about myself. 

Self-compassion, self-acceptance, love and reaching out, are the hallmarks of my growth.
This is an on-going learning process, just as learning to stay sober is on-going.

This was my third sober Thanksgiving, and it was wonderful.
We went to my sister’s home, and had a yummy dinner with some of my darling nieces and nephews!
There were ten adults, one baby, and five dogs!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The dogs were so funny! They were running around under the tables, popping up once in while, looking for a little snack. 
The really cool thing was, no one talked about political things. 

I love my sister and her children, and this was the feeling I chose to focus on.
There was wine, but there were AF drinks as well.
I had no feelings of wanting a drink and so happy I am not drinking.
I didn’t get that yucky feeling of being tired and hungover.
I was downright perky!!

Today Mr. UT and I went for a walk, as it was another gorgeous day here!

With a Warm Heart,
On Day 814,

35 thoughts on “Emotional Hangovers

  1. Great post Wendy, and I love the photo. The happiness just shines out of you & Mr UT! Happy Thanksgiving, glad to hear you had such a good day. This post is very insightful as usual, I often take things to heart, so I'm going to try and use some of those tactics you mention. Think I'm emotionally stuck at about 16, need to work on growing up sober 😉 Red xx


  2. Lots of great insight there.I find interacting with others a good opportunity to be pleasant. I talk to people in lines. I'm pleasant to cashiers. I say helllo to people on the street.Maybe I sometimes seem crazy, but people almost always respond positively. It's my form of gratitude.


  3. I love this, from reading your blog i feel you have such a great life and are so happy, but it goes to show we all have those feelings. Everyone does, it's normal. Learning to deal with them wisely is great. I need to as well.


  4. Hi Wendy. It's lovely to read this. I have so much respect for the way you deal with the things that trouble you. You have such calm determination to figure out how to live well, and I learn from that every time I read your blog. I'm glad you're finding ways to deal with emotions — tricky stuff that! You and yours certainly do look happy. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! xo


  5. That's such a beautiful picture of the two of you Wendy! Radiant and so happy! Great post too, it's hard to figure out our emotions and where they're coming from and how to react to them all when we're sober! I'm so happy that you had such a great Thanksgiving 😀 Congrats on 814 days! That's fantastic! ❤


  6. That is really interesting Anne as when I was drinking I seemed to only be irritated by other people and I had lost my ability to be sociable. Just within the last month I would say I have noticed I have started to engage with others and make an effort to do just as you say, talk to people in lines and say good morning to other dog walkers. This has been somewhat organic, in that I hadn't made the decision to do it but I have just started it up without much thought.Glad I read this as now with awareness I am going to do it even more.


  7. I LIKE YOU, I LIKE YOU VERY MUCH! I would like to think if we lived closer we could meet for coffee. You are good enough and you should be aware that your kind, thoughtful and generous comments have meant so much to so many. You are a tireless cheerleader of the newly sober and those of us who have been on and off the wagon many times before.I get the comparison to getting stuck in teenage emotions, that is where I think all my reactions come from too. We are a work in progress and your introspection is admirable and obviously with the motivation to 'improve' further but….. you also need to recognise and rejoice in just how far you have come and what a fab lady you are already. If all you ever say on bad days is \”I am enough\” then that is all you need. Like everyone else who has commented, your photograph shines true that you and Mr UT seem genuinely radiant and happy. It's hard to fake that especially in a photo, both of you look like you are walking your talk. Big virtual hug from chilly Cornwall.


  8. Hi, this is such a great post! I deal with lot of emotional issues and I could learn somethings from you!Believe it or not, I'm addicted to Coke ( Diet Coke) and it's been my wish to let it go! Sad, I have never succeeded at it! Hope I can 🙂 you are truly inspiring!


  9. Hi Wendy,I don’t actually think I've gone past toddler phase in my emotional IQ.:)Thank you for the useful and practical ideas. Gratitude, positive action and self-compassion. Going to try work these into my life every day. xxx


  10. If you feel bad about yourself, just think about how many people you care about and inspire through your blog and comments. That is a truly fantastic gift. You were one of the first blogs I came across when I started on my sober mission. Your openness and honesty truly help me try to be a better version of myself. Thank you. KT


  11. I love how you always sign off with your days sober excellent – shows such gratitude.One of the main things I've learnt to look for/work with in my counselling training is – locus of evaluation. External locus of evaluation is where people look outside to compare themselves, to validate and justify whatever. Often said in phrases like \”I should be doing this…\” \”I ought to…. \” etc.Part of the work is to hopefully move people to an internal locus of evaluation – \”Am I happy with where I am?\” – that for me was a massive growth thing as I developed in my sobriety. I often recount this of myself. When I was drinking and in early sobriety I knew every car owned by every house in my near neighbours, not just the car but the model and age and how I compared it with what I was driving – was I above the curve for the area or not? Now… my wife will say \”Have you seen so and so over the road they've a new car?\” me \”Have they?\” not interested. I have an ok five year old car, it starts, it goes, it's more than big enough to cart me, family, shopping and guitars if I need it to. The other one… I used to ask my wife \”Do you love me?\” I stopped – I just say \”I love you\”. Up to her to decide if she loves me back – I can't demand it and if she doesn't does that stop me loving her? No.Keep walking the journey Wendy you'll enjoy the it…


  12. Thank you so much, Graham!I struggle between the inner and outer locus of evaluation.There are times I worry too much about what I am missing, and other times I am content.I will stay on this journey, and I am so happy I no longer drink.xo


  13. Yes! Emotional Hangovers are real! I tell my friends that all the time! 🙂 I can relate to so much of your writing. It's certainly difficult and exhausting dealing with negative emotions, especially having lived much of my life avoiding them, but it is worth it. The good news is that today we realize what a difference 24 hours can make! Thanks for sharing! I love your photos too. You look so happy and healthy. Beautiful! Xoxo Vanessa


  14. Hi Wendy. Reading this post spoke to my heart. Thank you so much for posting. Thank you so much for being vulnerable and showing me that I am not alone.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s