Zen: (noun) A Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism emphasizing the value of meditation and intuition.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I just want it to go away...

I had an experience last week that kicked my ass.  My boss' boss came to town for his bi-annual visit (he's on the other coast) and in addition to his buying my team dinner (on the company of course) he had set up 1:1 time with each of us.  Situation normal.

Except that I had spent some time on his coast a few weeks ago and, after a series of events, I mistakenly thought his visit to my coast would bring good news about my career.  Instead it brought a great big kick in the ego that left me with hurt feelings and a really bad attitude.  It wasn't so much what he said (I can be told no, I'm a big girl) but the way in which it was said.  Condescending and rude are two of the words the hubs used after I relayed the conversation to him.  I hadn't thought of it that way (because I was too busy thinking that the reason the conversation didn't go the way I wanted it to go was because of ME) but after some time - he was right.  The guys was a real jerk about it.

Anyway, I came home in a very depressed and sour mood.  I was trying very hard not to cry while still trying to "let myself feel the feelings" as we're told to do in recovery but all I could think was "I just want it to go away!"

Ah-ha!  Gotcha!

THAT is exactly the feeling that used to send me running for the wine bottle.  Running to numb the feelings and make them go away.  Knowing full well that it wasn't going to solve anything but that, for a little while, I could escape into that isolated world where everything goes my way and I'm okay and everyone who doesn't think so is a jerk.  What a spoiled brat I was.

I've been through a lot of feelings these last 41 months but I have never, in all that time, stepped back and seen that moment as clearly as I did then.  It was a feeling that you'd do just about anything to stop feeling.  I knew, intellectually, that I just had to sit with it and then sleep on it and it would go away; but that gnawing in my gut kept wanting me to make it go away.  Force the issue.  Just escape. 

It was really fucking with my zen.

So I just sat in my big green chair and pouted.  Then I did some yoga, tried to meditate (unsuccessfully) and finally just gave in and let myself feel like shit.  I even indulged my inner prize fighter and let her beat up on me for a little while.  Then I went to bed.  And when I woke up I felt better.  The feelings hadn't disappeared but they were at least manageable and in better focus.  I could see them for what they were, not my perception of what they were.  Wounded pride.  Bruised ego.  Disappointment.  Anger.  Frustration.

That's all.  Big deal.  They were not insurmountable.  They were not going to kill me.  They did not impact the kind of person I am and were not a result of anything I did or didn't do.  They were not going to kill me.

And most importantly, they were not, under any circumstances, a reason to drink.



  1. Feeling, whatever you may be actually feeling, is the total benefit of being sober. Great post.

  2. Yeah but what the hell is up with your boss? Why did he feel the need to be so condescending and rude? Is it because he's not emotionally formed enough to tell you 'no' without needing to couch it in unfeeling terms. Like he knew you were going to be hurt so he cut off his own feelings (guilt? remorse?) and acted allrude and condescending. There's ways to be a boss and let people down without leaving them feeling really hurt like he did you. Fail boss, fail. This kind of shit is always going to happen, people are always going to fail in their own emotional management and let us down. What a great job you have done of processing that circumstance without letting it dent your own delicate (sober) armour that you have developed. Well done you my friend. You're an inspiration. xxxx

    1. You're very sweet Mrs D...and thanks...I am learning.

      Notice I ever said he was a GOOD boss. ;-)

      Love ya right back.

  3. Sorry to hear about that. There are going to be those who try to rattle our cage, whether we are sober or not. There are going to some real whack jobs out there, whether we are sober or not. And certainly there are going to be some terrible bosses, whether we are sober or not. I think what you did and how you reacted was pretty darned good. you let yourself *feel* and while it wasn't pleasant, you let it happen. And like you said, you didn't die or anything. Imagine if booze was in the mix - it wouldn't have made it any better, that's for sure. you shared with hubby, you did a few things to calm you down, and you wrote about it here. You've survived. And now you have some strength to figure out what next.. You saw things in a new light and in a healthy perspective. And that's pretty damn cool!

    Inspiring, indeed :)