Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tangled Emotions

Sometimes clients in new recovery are dealing with such confusing emotions that they're just a mess.

They bounce from being sad and tearful to smiling and happy. All in a matter of minutes.

When I ask what's going on they don't know. And I believe them. Because they haven't learned how to deal with their feelings and emotions. Before recovery they covered emotions with drugs or alcohol.

To get to a solution I'll ask them to list what's going on. What has them in turmoil?

And the list is sometimes lengthy. Family. Job. Health. Money. Children. Fear. Sadness. Grief. On and on.

And they've stirred these together into an unidentifiable glob. Life is one big bleeping mess.

To help, I ask them to take things one at a time. And when they see them in the light of day they start to understand.

They begin to realize they can't deal with most of their issues at this moment. And some things they must simply accept.

But many times it's difficult to get them to stick around long enough to get this far.  They sometimes run.

But if they do stay and deal with their problems they'll find there's a solution to most everything in their lives. But they can only deal with them one at a a time.

If we tangle all our issues together it's no wonder life is unmanageable and depressing.