There’s no … us and them … when it comes to the desire to numb off emotion. Human beings hit overwhelm often, it’s a fact.
We all crave to be able to “take the edge off” or divert having to be present to our own heart’s pain from time to time, the real question is … to what degree? And what is our weapon of choice???
For some of us its … alcohol, work, care taking, shopping, food, drugs, sex, the internet, gaming, gambling, drama, perfectionism, dieting, busyness, affairs or hyper criticism of self or others.
It’s so important to remember we can’t selectively numb off emotion. If we try to take the edge of anxiety, pain, fear, shame, disappointment, jealousy etc., we are simultaneously also numbing off joy, love, delight, desire and self respect … all the vital emotions that give our lives value and purpose.
So today I want to unpack just one of these weapons of mass distraction with you, one I am personally and professionally very experienced in addressing and that’s booze.
It’s a myth that ALCOHOL helps relax and builds quality relationship potential by loosening us up.
It actually harms relationships and slows down our nervous system, numbing our heart’s truth. Any sense of improved relaxation is anesthetised anxiety that’s hidden.
I’m a recovering alcoholic who has been clean and sober since 1995.
That means nothing to drink, no alcohol at all, not one drop. Diddliesquat since October 12th, 1995 to be exact.
Let’s remember that anxiety is our heart’s friend, ALCOHOL isn’t.
I’m often told I look healthy for my age.
My heart is emotionally robust.
I consider myself a spiritual athlete. I train myself to reduce fatty fears and work on managing my anxiety and self-doubt with love every day. However, the hardest part of my sobriety journey has not been no booze.
It’s been learning to not be anxious about feelings of anxiety.
Riding over the social speed bump as a proud introvert without the aid of ALCOHOL in social occasions still stakes deliberate effort for me.
Only 10% of the human population on this earth are biological alcoholics like me. And it’s worth noting that most alcoholics are very high achievers and 70% of them are employed Aussies.
I wouldn’t wish the sobriety journey on anyone, it’s emotionally demanding, bloody tough in fact. So tough that it is estimated that only 3-5% of us ALCOHOLICS ever manage to sustain their sobriety long-term.
However, the character-building skills required to do love and life sober are assets I do wish so many more people would learn as a priceless gift for themselves.
Some of my clients are emotionally dependent drinkers that hit the booze hard because it is an efficient emotional anesthetic and social lubricant, not because they are ALCOHOLIC.
The key for many when it comes to reducing ALCOHOL intake and building emotional and physical health is in learning how to deliberately rest and relax.
This skill helps diminish anxiety and the domino effect is less ALCOHOL as an emotional anesthetic we then require.
Anxiety acts as our heart’s healthy and necessary yellow light of caution, alerting us to slow everything down and check we feel safe to proceed.
ALCOHOL disconnects our heart’s yellow light, rendering us unable to wait or be emotionally cautious and keep our heart safe.
ALCOHOL magnifies our ego’s desire for instant gratification, no matter what the cost.
Booze is a very emotionally expensive and destructive way to manage the everyday anxiety we all experience.
Rituals of daily relaxation (emotional exercise) improve our heart’s fitness, burning off stress and anxiety like unwanted fat around our heart.
Dawn and dusk are the intimate times of day where the heart boots up for the day and then unwinds. Quiet, restful time with ourselves is as important as eating well and physical exercise.
For this recovering ALCOHOLIC (now in remission) my time spent here with you in my PJ’s as I write with a cup of tea is one of my anxiety-reducing, restful and calming rituals.
If we don’t rest our heart, our heart becomes restless.
Let’s remember that when anxiety presents itself deliberate relaxation skills and caution are our solution, not ALCOHOL.
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
This Word Vitamin is an excerpt from my latest bookset “The Four Seasons of the Heart”. If you would like to order your own full set of Daily Word Vitamins one for each day of the year, in book form for yourself or as a gift for someone you care about just click on the SHOP tab and place your order.
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™