Quiet Sunday

Today I’ve stayed at home on this cloudy and humid Sunday. Even though I feel sad when I stay home, I’m just running by going out all the time.

There is lots to do here but I don’t do it, beyond laundry and fixing myself a salad (hurrah, health). I feel sad and I keep wanting to lie down. I think the therapy process doesn’t magically stop just because I’m not going for a few weeks. Sadness about the past keeps coming up and clobbering me anyways.

At first I was glad I didn’t have therapy on Friday, because it meant my weekend wouldn’t be full of the therapy hangover feelings. And it’s true, feelings are a lot easier to push away without the input of a therapist. And I’ve had an awful lot of practice in pushing everything down and pretending it isn’t there. The pushing down is exhausting me. So if I can stay home and spend time staring out at my tree, and feeling how I feel, that’s what I’m going to do for a while. Maybe I’m lazy. So what. No one is harmed but myself.

Friday I went to my EA meetings, which was good. The real meeting happens afterwards though at coffee, where we can actually talk back and forth to each other. I was telling one fellow that I wondered how effective the steps were when you’re not dealing with an addiction per se, or a behaviour you want to stop. I can see how the steps can stabilize a person who is trying to quit an addiction – they maybe function as a stand-in for whatever the addiction is. But for emotional problems….how do they help?

There’s also the difference between talking about your feelings or problems, versus actually experiencing the emotions behind them.

He is a true believer in the steps, and had tried therapy and didn’t find it that helpful to him. I’m thinking therapy is where I really feel things and so that is what is going to help me. I just wouldn’t be able to deal with memories that I half remember in these meetings, and that’s not what they are for.

But I still like the meetings. I like the people, and the support, and the tea time afterwards. I like the ideal of acceptance of everyone. I’m just not a true believer in the steps at the moment.

I was thinking though after talking to this guy that I might share more of what I’m actually going through in a meeting. I completely gloss over things there, talk about work problems or a problem with depression, but don’t mention any actual details of how things are. I don’t know. He said I could share this stuff if I wanted to. Maybe it would be good to share more of it and just have it be accepted.

  1. I've had a quiet Sunday. I've dealt with some emotional stuff and my own limits this week. Sunday I've just felt wiped and just mooched around the house and garden and read some books.I thought about going out for the day or going to the movies ut felt that being wiped was ok so why fight it. Maybe my body just needed to slow down, so why not let it?Sometimes I think I'm doing well – and I am. Sometimes I'm forced to remember how much there is still to reclaim. Some of my goals seem so trivial, so ordinary, but they require so much. Sometimes rest is what's required, a day off from everything.This week I had to choose whether to tell someone a whole or partial truth, whether to point to recovery from PTSD or to misdirect. I didn't think they could handle the truth or that I wanted to tell them and so I chose misdirection.Sometimes it seems like recovery is all about choosing from hard choices.the easy choice is to quit and to live in a half-life world that would just get smaller. Sometimes I have to remember how much strength I have. I forget that after this everyday life is easy in comparison. Who to tell and who not and how much and what narrative is a difficult one. I never know the answer. Some I feel instinctively yes, but mainly it's no. Sometimes I'm wiling to be wrong because sometimes not trying is worse.

  2. Paula said:

    There was a time where I went to Al Anon weekly. No obvious addiction on my side. It has helped and even during Trauma Therapy I sometimes felt I had the "advantage" of relying on slogans such as Easy does it or THINK or Halt which I had habitualized in Al Anon. We all have our unique way in dealing with these steps meetings. I didnt talk for 6 months, you gloss it over. Yet the times comes where you consider to open up a bit. The time seems right for you. And you stubbornly went there even when you glossed over. You got yourself through the dry period… maybe now it starts ripening… you are not the first and the last who needed this time. I am a believer of integrating the steps into life and see how therapy and steps compliment each other. Much love to you.

  3. inamaze said:

    I struggle a lot with sadness as well. In fact one of my goals when I first started therapy was to try to lessen the sadness or at least try to figure out why it was. It does take much energy to try and push it all away. I think it's good to take a break from that. I agree with you in that the therapy process doesn't stop, it is still going on with me even though I'm not seeing a therapist right now. There is always something to process it seems.

  4. You know, you don't have to believe in the steps to benefit from a 12 Step group. They say, bring the body and the mind will follow. I have been going to Al-anon for over 10 years and the support is really wonderful. It has helped me tremendously with anxiety and depression. It is a safe place to share with people who won't judge you. 🙂

  5. Ellen said:

    @ Mike – So we had similar Sundays then…sometimes you just need to be quiet and alone. The 'telling' issue is huge for me too. I cannot be real about my life without mentioning my struggles…but it's just not right to share this usually. That decision on sharing does have to be made over and over again. I don't want to be a fake person, and yet most people do not want to know I fear. Always a judgment call as you say. Take care@ Paula – interesting that you also went to meetings, also without obvious addiction issues. Maybe I'm 'ripening' as you say. I do get something from the meetings. Take care now@ maze – Sorry that you too have the 'sadness problem'. I figure I need to learn to stay in it so it's not chasing me down all the time. thanks for the comment@ Jill – thanks for sharing about your 12-step experience! I also find the group helpful.

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