Bipolar Disorder, traumatic indoctrination, and my addictions kept me imprisoned in my mind for years. And escaping has been an arduous, slow, and ongoing process.
My Recovery journey started in 1993 and it wasn’t until 2010 that I found the spiritual component (through AA) that has enabled me to live a relatively happy, joyous, and free life. By the grace of God. One day at a time.
For years my familial conditioning to “never let them see you sweat,” that emotions are obstacles to achievement, and that fear and sadness are weaknesses led me to spend most of my time intellectualizing and trapped in my head. My bedrock belief was that emotions were for the weak. The reality was that I was terrified to be vulnerable.
Because of Biopolar Disorder and self-medicating, when my stuffed emotions did emerge, they were skewed and toxic. Bouts of Mania. Melancholy and Depression. Explosive rage. Hatred and resentment. Anxiety. Things got so twisted and painful that I would retreat back into the “comfort” of my mental prison.
Especially in early Recovery, when I had medication and CBT that helped calm the raging torrent of emotional intensity. That made avoiding my emotions much easier.
As time has passed, I have acquired experience. Exhaustive practice has almost made it second nature for me to leave the “safety” of my mind frequently so that I can emote, embrace my feelings, and share them with others.
I FEEL so much more human and connected. And I am free from the prison of my mind…