Why Feelings Aren’t Always Facts

But aren’t they? I always thought that feelings were facts, because they felt real. I mean isn’t love a fact? Or anger? Or happiness or joy? I think so! But then I discovered that I had many feelings that were really negative and I believed them all to be true.

Feelings

I have learned that although feelings feel real, most feelings are based on fear, fear based on our old ideas, fear based on things we believed for years and carried them in from previous experiences. I believed that I was a lousy human being because I was often told so as a child. Because I believed this, I felt like a lousy human being. This feeling was very real but it was not a fact at all! The fact was that the person saying this to me was trying to hurt me and the fact was that I was not a lousy human being. I gave the feelings power because I didn’t know any better. Then I carried them into my adulthood until I got sober and realized that my belief was not based on facts.

But how do you get rid of these feelings when you have created them yourself? My destructive drinking not only made my life unmanageable but it skewed my own perception of me. My alcoholism caused behavior, made me I feel like I was a bad daughter, a bad friend, a bad employee.  I felt like I was a bad person because I could not control my drinking. I felt so much guilt and shame for things that I did while drinking that once again I believed that I was a lousy human being!

Recently, I have been going thru a rough patch and it just dawned on me that I have been placing those feelings on myself again! Then I remembered what I learned a while back:

Thoughts are not feelings and feelings are not facts; they only have the power we give them.

I gave my feelings and thoughts the power! The truth is that I am not a lousy human being, I am an alcoholic. And Alcoholism is a disease, and it’s not based on lack of morals or poor upbringing, and it most definitely was not something I chose. I did not have a dream to become an alcoholic when I grew up! NO, that was not my dream EVER! And the pain that I have inflicted on me and others was driven by my addiction – addiction which consumed me and progressively got worse and even more damaging. That was not who I really was or who I wanted to be! And this is not who I am today.

My dream was to be happy and live a good life. My dream was to be a good human being and sobriety gave me that! Sobriety allowed me not live based on negative feelings about me or negative feelings placed on me by others. Living a good, honest and clean life allows me to be confident, kind and thoughtful. And when I, sometimes still place negative feelings on myself I have to stop and ask:

Are these feelings facts?

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar, and always feel free to contact me anytime at sobercourage@gmail.com.

You may also find some great inspiration and support from all the awesome sober bloggers listed in the side bar under POSTS I LIKE and RECOVERY BLOGGERS, as well as Sober Courage page on Facebook and Sober Courage on Twitter.

Advertisements

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Great food for thought!! My feelings are my perception (and I have this magical mind that can warp almost anything) And when I explore the components that brought about my feelings, sometimes my feelings change. It’s important for me to remind myself that I can choose to be happy. Whether my feelings are valid or not I can choose happiness. No one ever told me that until I got sober. So I’m spreading the word 🙂

    Like

    1. I completely agree! We can always choose happiness 🙂 But being negative by default, it is hard for me to chose happiness sometimes, but I know that it’s a choice that I need to remember to make 🙂 thanks for the great comment!

      Like

  2. jamilynaz says:

    This is so true! I know it, yet I have to constantly remind myself of it. When negative feelings come up, I try to remind myself to be grateful that I am able to feel them now, and that I don’t have to drink them away. But I also have to remind myself not to believe everything I think.
    Great post! Thanks for the reminder.
    ~Jami

    Like

    1. Hi Jami! I am so grateful for feelings too, because without them I wouldn’t feel all the goods stuff either! But the old thinking patterns creep in at times and yes I have to remind myself that what goes on between my ears is sometimes a mess! Lol! This is my reminder too 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  3. I love posts like this that pose fantastic questions…this is something that can go deep. Or not. ha ha. I have to look at the difference between emotions and feelings. My emotions are in the base of my core, my body. So anger, love, fear, etc. are base emotions. It’s how I interpret them that is the feeling. And in that regard, feelings are just mental processes. That I can change. Like you said, I can choose to feel happy. It’s my reaction to the base emotion that is in my realm of shifting. So if I have the emotion of sadness, let’s say, I can experience it as demoralizing self-pity, or I might see it as a passing thing where I know I will pass through on the other side. In other words, I can have the feeling of uselessness, or I can have the feeling of being introspective. It’s different for everyone, and I continue to learn that like thoughts, feelings are how I interpret my own body’s signals. It’s not perfect, but getting to a place where i can direct it in a positive way…well, that’s progress 🙂

    Love the post. Thanks!

    Paul

    Like

    1. Hi Paul! Yes this definitely can be a debate! LOL! And you do bring out a good point, I do I agree that emotions and feelings can be seperate. I was writing this from the perspective of the negative feelings that I take on either from me or others. My dad used to say that if one personal hates you than it’s them, if ten people hate you than it is you. I suppose that could be interpreted any way, but to me there was like two people that hated me (and I am talking about what I thought back in high school) so that meant they all hated me and it was me. I took that on and believed it. And then of course it went as far as everyone hates me. So now in adult hood I find myself sometimes having the same thoughts – that person was mean to me, so they hate me, so everyone hates me. I have to remind myself often – what other people do is because of them not me and my very favorite – what other people think of me is none of my business!

      Thanks Paul! Always love hearing your insights, and always learn more!

      Like

  4. Jenny says:

    I read your blog for the first time. I love this post and your blog. I am currently doing this not drinking thing ….again. Feeling good today and I know complete sobriety is the best thing for me for a happy healthy life and mostly the way I feel about myself each morning and day! Thank you for this blog and I will add it to my favorites. The support I find in this sober blogging world is incredible and helped me stay Sober Friday night for sure…and Saturday. Jenny G.

    Like

    1. Thank you Jenny! I am very grateful that you have found my blog and others, this is indeed an amazing community! We all help each other stay sober and offer support in many ways. Beginnings can be hard but there is nothing that we can’t do together! Keep moving forward, it only gets better! Nice to meet you. Hugs!

      Like

  5. Reblogged this on Sober Courage and commented:

    Looks like I am taking another week off, but I wanted to share this blog post with you! I have lots going on right now, and it is a real good reminder that feelings constantly change, and develop, and come and go! They are often fleeting yet feel intense, and they are not always the reality.

    I have recently heard this saying:

    Never make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings.

    I have been repeating it daily. The power of it has hit me to the core – I have always had almost a knee-jerk reaction to everything in life. When I was drinking, the knee-jerk reaction was to get trashed. Now it’s other things like eating, smoking, isolating. But I know that if I stop and let some time pass, my perception will change and so will my feelings.

    Like

Share your Sober Courage here!

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s