Yesterday was a good day overall. However, as I ended work I had some feelings that I didn’t even realize until later. Here’s the experience:
Beck had mentioned that she was excited for the evening because we didn’t have any commitments and could just relax (at least that’s what I thought she meant). I worked hard during the day, didn’t go to the matinee with everyone else, and felt pretty good about my production.
I did feel a bit of anxiety because the things I’d put on my list to do didn’t end up getting done. Instead I worked on other things, including yesterdays discussion post – getting the information from the writer, formatting it, etc., research for a big project coming up, and a few other things. I wasn’t browsing or wasting time I don’t think, but I did feel like I was procrastinating things that I really need to get done.
Anyway, when I came out of my office, Becky had plans to do work in the back yard: clean up all the construction stuff that’s been there since I started working on the play set, clean up the patio area, get the swing set area more useable, etc.
Although I agreed that it needed to be done, I wasn’t really excited about doing it at all.
What’s interesting, as I think back, is that I didn’t realize that this is what I was feeling at all. Instead, I remember feeling like Becky was bossing me around and telling me that I wasn’t doing things correctly (totally addict behavior).
Gratefully, I didn’t say anything and ended up getting into a good momentum where we got everything done that needed to get done. It feels great, looks great, and Becky was so happy about the results, as was I.
When we talked last night at our check-in, she and I both knew that something was off with me. The truth is, though, that I didn’t really know what it was. I’d told her earlier that I thought it was anxiety about work and all the things I have to do (or things that I didn’t get done). And I think that is true, at least at a surface level.
Here’s the miracle of this story: as we talked things through, I continued to dig and think back on the day, what I was feeling, and what had happened to get me in the funk I was in.
Almost like a light switch, I discovered what it was. I had had expectations that last night was going to be low-key, that we would possibly do something fun like have a camp fire or go on a bike ride, and then maybe watch a movie. I hadn’t consciously thought about this, but when Beck had mentioned a free night, that’s what I expected. Then, when that didn’t happen and we ended up doing something more difficult, I was frustrated, put up my guard, and went into addict behavior mode – at least a little.
Gratefully I didn’t act on that behavior or do or say anything that would be hurtful, and even more gratefully, Becky recognized that things were a bit off and lovingly detached.
But most gratefully was the direction I felt I got as I tried to dig deeper and find the core feelings that had caused me to get where I was. And these core feelings were not something I’d thought of or even recognized in the moment.
As soon as I was able to recognize them and surrender them to Becky and ultimately to God, they went away. My attitude changed, the way I felt changed, and the emotional connection with Becky was right there. It really was a “new normal” for me – a small miracle.
I am so grateful, today, for the desire I have to recognize my emotions and feelings and ask God and others for help in letting them go.
I am so grateful to have a wife who is practicing her own recovery and healing from the pain and trauma I’ve caused.
I am so grateful for recovery and for the opportunities that I’m being given to live in recovery one day at a time. I can honestly say that I’ve never really had that experience before – of digging and digging and ultimately being led to the core feelings I was feeling. (Actually, I did have this once before but it was thanks to my sponsor who kept asking me questions to help me realize what I was feeling.)
With that, I’ll take another 24, get to work, and thank my Heavenly Father, the God of my understanding, for His direction in my life.
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