One of the gifts that I have received from my daily regimen of mental and spiritual fitness (to get and remain stable) is that I can feel my feelings without running from them or numbing them.

When I was in the throes of untreated Bipolar Disorder and Addictions, my emotions terrified me. I had no idea how to manage them, so rather than recognizing them as a healthy and necessary part of my being, I viewed them as predatory animals to be anesthetized, stopping them in their tracks.

The only things I wanted to feel were chemically or behaviorally “manufactured” ebullience, rage, or numbness. Fear, sadness, loneliness, nervousness, grief, or any other painful emotion was to be avoided like the plague. And love, contentedness, comfort in my own skin, joy, and the like were foreign and “unattainable” for me.

But as I continue to progress along my now 25 year spiritual journey, and continue to do the things I need to do to remain stable and spiritually fit, I am realizing that numbness is worse than sadness (and the other “bad” emotions).

I am also learning to manage my emotions and to experience the full spectrum of them with gratitude. By the grace of the Higher Power of my understanding. One day at a time.

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