February 4th’s “Just For Today” meditation offers a profound insight into the nature of recovery, challenging the misconception that the goal of recovery is merely to feel good. It delves into the complex relationship between our emotions and our journey in Narcotics Anonymous (NA), emphasizing the importance of understanding and dealing with our feelings as they come.
During our active addiction, our days were often dictated by the pursuit of a singular goal: to feel good. This pursuit was predictably managed by the substances we used, giving us an illusion of control over our emotional state. We believed that planning our feelings through the use of drugs or alcohol was the key to happiness, not realizing that we were actually trapping ourselves in a cycle of dependency and emotional stagnation.
In contrast, recovery introduces us to the full spectrum of human emotion, often in unpredictable waves. The feelings we experience in recovery can be intense, fluctuating, and sometimes inconvenient. We might find ourselves energized one moment and overwhelmed the next. This unpredictability is not a drawback of recovery; rather, it’s a sign of our reawakening to the natural state of human emotion, free from the artificial control of substances.
The key to navigating this newfound emotional landscape is not to seek out only those feelings that are pleasant or comfortable but to learn to accept and understand our emotions, whatever they may be. Recovery teaches us that feeling good isn’t the point—rather, it’s about developing the ability to live with our feelings, to learn from them, and to grow through them.
The Twelve Steps of NA provide us with a framework for understanding and dealing with our emotions. By working the steps, we learn to face our feelings, to examine the underlying issues, and to find healthy ways to process and express our emotions. Sharing our feelings with our sponsor, in meetings, or with trusted fellow members allows us to experience the strength and support of the NA fellowship, reminding us that we are not alone in our journey.
Today, let us embrace the full range of our emotions as a natural and necessary part of our recovery. Instead of striving to feel good at every moment, let’s focus on understanding our feelings and learning to live with them. By accepting our emotions just as they are and practicing the principles of the program, we can navigate the complexities of recovery with grace and resilience.
Recovery is not about the absence of discomfort but about the presence of growth, connection, and authenticity. As we continue to walk the path of recovery, let us cherish the depth and richness of our emotional experiences, recognizing them as integral to our journey toward healing and wholeness.