List of Emotions and Feelings
List of emotions that are very normal and serve various purposes, Recovering addicts begin to experience a wide array of emotions once the addictive behaviors are arrested. This list is included to assist recovering addicts to identify individual feelings rather than react to a whole jumble of unidentified feelings and emotions.
Anxiety, good or bad, is the main causes of relapse.
- An addict can go from zero to a gazillion on the anxiety scale in about 3 seconds.. it is helpful to have some assistance when this happens. This is quite normal, but very confusing! Here are some tips that others have used to achieve success when anxiety becomes problematic.
- Have a recovery friend or sponsor read you some recovery material from your 12 step program – often an addict (even after long successful recovery) is so scattered they cannot focus.
- Use the 5 minute rule – Pick a task that will take you less than 5 minutes and do it. It will often break the cycle and allow a return to more sane feelings.
- Make a phone call to another recovering individual. The common mistake is to avoid doing this for any number of reasons.
- The very act of reaching out is the key to recovery and the reason why individuals with long-term recovery relapse. They forget how to use the phone.
- Jot down a ‘feelings list’ on the back of an old envelope, and write down the feelings as they pop up:
- Remember to write how YOU feel… not how your Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Spouse, Children, Pastor, teacher or anyone else would like you to feel.
- Use the “I” word. – eg I feel good about having a toothbrush. I feel angry at my boss for putting me on probation …….. I feel excited about going on a short weekend vacation…. and write all the words so you get used to “owning” your own feelings.
- Most feelings do not require any particular action but a few will strike you as hey — there is something i should do about that – jot down these brainstorms as well.
- A few feelings when jotted will appear to be overstated – write a little reality section at the bottom of the page to correct the obviously incorrect ways of feeling.
- Most importantly, remember that these are today’s feelings not yesterday’s or 15 years ago, and certainly not tomorrows. Put these items on an accomplished list or a wish list
- Write down even conflicting feelings eg: I feel super about putting my resume in for that job….. I feel afraid of what will be asked of me by that job……… I feel afraid to even do an interview about that job.
- You get new feelings every day! Do not be afraid to feel today’s today! Tear up the envelope when you have finished and start over again tomorrow. Used envelopes are cheap and feelings come and go when you let the flow happen.
If you are having any difficulty identifying feelings, many of the 12 step daily reading books have an appendix in the back with feelings listed. Reading a few of the pages on the feeling you think you are having will often clarify things.
- Example: anger, fear and excitement often ‘feel’ the same – as adrenalin is produced – and the bodies reaction to the drug feels the same. I knew a performer who had bad stage fright ( he thought) now he looks at the same feelings as excitement and it actually assists him in his performance rather than demobilize him.
- loved, adored, idolized, alive, wanted, lustful, worthy, pity, respected, empathy, awed, enthusiastic, zealous, courageous
- enchanted, ardor, infatuated, tender, vibrant, independent, capable, happy , proud, gratified, worthy, sympathetic, important, concerned, appreciated, consoled, delighted, eager, optimistic, joyful, courage, hopeful, valiant, brave, brilliant
- liked, cared for, esteemed, affectionate, fond, excited, patient, strong, gay, inspired, anticipating, amused, yearning, popular, peaceful, appealing, determined, pleased, excited, jolly, relieved, glad, adventurous, peaceful, intelligent
- friendly, regarded, benevolent, wide awake, at-ease, relaxed, comfortable, content, keen, amazed, alert, sure, attractive, approved, untroubled, graceful, turned on, warm, amused, daring, comfortable, smart, interested
Feelings that are Confusing
- unpopular, listless, moody, lethargic, gloomy, dismal, discontented, tired, indifferent, unsure, impatient, dependent, unimportant, regretful, bashful, puzzled, self-conscious, edgy, upset, reluctant, timid, mixed-up, sullen, provoked
- suspicious, envious, enmity, aversion, dejected, unhappy, bored, forlorn, disappointed, wearied, inadequate, ineffectual, helpless, resigned, apathetic, shy, uncomfortable, baffled, confused, nervous, tempted, tense, worried, perplexed, troubled, disdainful, contemptuous, alarmed, annoyed, provoked
- disgusted, resentful, bitter, detested, fed-up, frustrated, sad, depressed, sick, dissatisfied, fatigued, worn-out, useless, weak, hopeless, forlorn, rejected, guilty, embarrassed, inhibited, bewildered, frightened, anxious, dismayed, apprehensive, disturbed, antagonistic, vengeful, indignant, mad, torn
- hate, unloved, abhor, despised, angry, hurt, miserable, pain, lonely, cynical, worthless, impotent, futile, accursed, abandoned, estranged, degraded, humiliated, shocked, panicky, trapped, horrified, afraid, scared, terrified, threatened, infuriated, furious, exhausted
All Feelings are scary for recovering or active addicts. Usually a combination of these feelings (positive or otherwise) adds up to the addict experiencing a minestrone feeling of being overwhelmed and not knowing why. The overwhelmed feeling usually paralyses the addict and can often lead to relapse. This is why it is important to break these feelings down and see them individually.
One trick to assist any addicts to sort this overwhelmed state out, before relapsing, is to stop trying to figure out what all is going on at the moment. An older counselor that I know, says it perfectly when she says “Cut your head off and just do the do things”
Stuck Feelings and Emotions
- Blocked energies and stuck feelings are very common among addicts and codependents. These artistic type of feelings are also assisted by the above doing the do things. The energy can start to flow better when some small progresses are made.. even if it is simply taking the trash out.
- Another friend of mine uses what she calls the 5 minute rule. Just do something for 5 minutes. It will usually start a cycle that allows a return to some form of productivity.
The Dean of Addictionz
Working the Solution with Multiple and Addicts of all types
- 36 Years Personal Recovery Experience in several Self Help Programs
- Addiction Recovery Outreach Trustee, NW Region Webmaster, Newsletter Editor and contributor for various Recovery Associations Publications
- Published in several major recovery publications: AA Grapevine, Al-Anon Forum, Overeaters Anonymous “Voices of Recovery” and “Lifeline”, Gamblers Anonymous “Bulletin” &”Toastmaster” Magazine
- This AddictionZ.com website is featured in Melody Beattie’s current “Codependent no More Workbook”
- Over 45 years successful contracting business experience working with over 2000 employees and Penitentiary halfway house temporary staff.
- Sponsoring many recovering multiple addicts with long-term good results
- Recovery weekend workshop leader in Western Canada & US Pacific NW
- Author “You Can’t Unscrew Somebody Workbook” for relationship makeovers
- Author “Sex Inventory Workbook” for sex issues
- Author “Drunk Driving Workbook” for safety
- Author “Breaking The Cycle of Gambling Addiction” arrest the money drain!
- Author “Breaking the Cycle of Compulsive Overeating” get healthy!
Here is a thought!
Why don’t you book your sober recovery style vacation with us in beautiful downtown Victoria BC Canada at our Gingerbread Cottage Bed and Breakfast. Over the years we have had lots of therapists, recovering addicts and health professionals stay at our idyllic B&B steps from the Salish Sea. Oh and we have gourmet breakfasts too! Vanessa makes a fantastic Austrian Apple Strudel! see more on our B&B website…
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Have a great One Day at a Time! Dean 🙂