Sentire, Latin: “to feel.” Re-sentire: “to feel again.”
I’ve been having a tricky period again, where life has got a bit much. I thought this was circumstantial, but after turning my eyes and my heart back to recovery this week, I’ve realised it’s because I haven’t been engaging in any sort of sobriety programme. I thought being sober was enough. I was a bit sick of AA and the notion of “being an alcoholic.” Maybe I was just a human. That my ups and downs were normal and that I could handle them like other people do. That I could let my recovery programme take the backseat, just for a while.
This period of “research” has led to me to one conclusion: life is infinitely better if I put energy into recovery. In recovery i find abundance and joy and of late, all I’ve felt is dis-ease and discomfort. It’s been unpleasant to say the least. I’m not sure quite how I’ve let it happen, apart from the arrogance of thinking that somehow I was ok. That I could go it alone.
One of the feelings I’ve heard so much about in sobriety is resentment. In the steps of AA, dealing with resentment is crucial to a happy sobriety. When I did my steps the first time round, I genuinely didn’t have any resentments I could locate to bring to the table. How that has changed! I’ve been storing them away inside over the past 6 months, letting them fester and grow, until the point where they’ve become so painful I’ve had an outpouring which has compromised one of my closest relationships. I genuinely hadn’t realised I have a lifelong pattern of doing this, until the last fortnight.
And so I turn to the programme afresh. The need to look at my behaviour, tendencies and ability to cause myself endless disease. When I looked into the notion of resentment and alcoholism, I was really struck by the etymology and the significance of that meaning “to feel again.” We drink not to feel and don’t address the very circle of feeling we are trying to block out. We feel too much. We feel the same stab of the knife over and over, twisting it for good measure.
To be consistently sober is to learn, and to see ones flaws afresh. But in the painful process of peeling my hands away from my eyes to stare at myself in the mirror that sobriety holds up to my soul, I find the opportunity to grow and to feel. To feel better.