“I SLEEP SO I DON’T HAVE TO FEEL.”
That has actually been one of my lived experiences in my journey through Hell to reach a daily repreive (stability and sobriety) from my Bipolar Disorder, Alcoholism, and Porn Addiction.
In my pre-diagnosis days, I used alcohol to self-medicate, both numbing my feelings and drinking obscene amounts of hard liquor until I blacked out or passed out.
Feelings and emotions were terrifying, as the only means that I had to cope with them were maladaptive coping mechanisms I learned in my family of origin.
My feelings almost always went way beyond their intended, moderated purposes and morphed into boiling cauldrons of toxicity. When I tried to out a lid on them, the cauldron became a pressure cooker, scaulding my inner being and eventually exploding on those around me.
So my M.O. became masking them with a substance or behavior that I used compulsively. But anyone with any knowledge of Addiction knows this means of coping is both doomed to failure and self-destructive.
Finally, in 2010, after striving in a multitude of ways to find consistent stability and sobriety since 1993, I hit my (hopefully) final rock bottom.
I felt so much pain, so defeated, and had such a visceral, burning ball of anxiety in the pit of my stomach, that it was all I could do to get through the work day, come home, take a sedative, and sleep. I slept so I didn’t have to feel. Sleep was my only relief and escape. And it’s about all I lived for for several months.
Thank the Higher Power of my understanding, whom I found in the fellowship of AA, for the additional coping tools from AA, the fellowship of AA, and the spiritual experience of AA. As a result, I have been blessed with a reasonable degree of stability and sobriety. Not bad for someone with a serious mental illness and multiple addictions.
Glory be to God. Some credit to me for my efforts. One day at a time.
And for all of you who sleep so you don’t have to feel, know there is hope. I am living proof that a person can befriend their emotions. Or at least come to a place of detente.