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 Post subject: Feelings???
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 11:00 pm 
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Hi everyone,

I wasn't exactly sure what category to post this in, but thought this one would be as close as any!

Since I have gotten stable on sub, I've been fairly fortunate that I have not had a lot of side effects, although that is sometimes hard to know because I have so many changes, physical and emotional that it is hard to distinguish what is a side effect, and what is just normal after being on opiates for so many years.

The biggest challenge I am facing is just how to deal with "me". All of the sudden I am feeling things whcih again are both physical and emotional butit cna be so overwhelming. I don't want to sound like a whiner, and most of the physical aches and pains I can deal with BUT the "feelings" are driving me crazy so to speak. All the things I've been able to shut down with opiates are all coming to the surface, and I can be fine one minute, and the next think I will go out of my mind, and totally break down. This can happen at any time, which can be totally frustrating as I am a teacher and can't just fall apart in the middle of a class. That actually happened yesterday. We were reading, and in the middle of reading out loud, a girl talked about her friend's mother dying and I kind of froze up, and had to excuse myself, somehow got the teacher across the halls attention that something came up, got to the bathroom and fell apart. now, my mother did die about a year ago, and we were really close, and it was unexpected, and I am sure I never really dealt with it at all since I drowning myself in massive doses of oxycontin at the time. This is just one example though. It's like I don't know how to live any more. I'm 48 years old, and everything seems so new and strange, like i am feeling things for the first time in my life.

I am seeing a therapist, and go to a Celebrate Recovery group, and a Cancer Survivors group, but I don't know.

When I read the thread before this one about everyone being irritated, I could also relate so much to that. Everything and everyone irritates me. I walk in to the staff room full of teachers talking about menus, or whatever and it all seem so stupid and pointless and I can't stand to be in there.

I just wonder if i will ever be "normal" again. I watch people a lot, and wonder if I will ever be happy again.

Maybe this is still too new, or maybe i will never be "normal". Just thought maybe it would help to write this out and see if anyone had any ideas.

I am glad I found this site, you all seem like the most normal people I know!! At least you don't irritate me!

thanks for listening,
Ginger


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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 12:34 am 
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I can relate because my whole life I have worked very hard to shut down all of my feelings. Growing up I was told you weren't supposed to have feelings and was shamed for every feeling I ever had. Once I got on suboxone and got into therapy, we spent a tremendous amount of time just working to get me to acknowledge I have feelings to begin with because I have denied them so long I really didn't even FEEL them. Clearly that didn't work so well since I ended up getting addicted to pain killers. But now, it IS like I am having to feel everything for the first time. All of it. I think that might be why I get annoyed all the time because it is easier to be annoyed for me than to have other feelings. Also, since I tend to think any feeling I have is insignificant and stupid, it has taken an entire process to realize those are the things I am SUPPOSED to be talking about in therapy. I spent my entire last session on my irritation with one human being in my life and this human being isn't that important to me. I thought it was a stupid thing to even bring to therapy but brought it up anyways and it was probably one of the most productive sessions I have ever had.

After my last session in therapy, I just realized I will probably be in therapy a hell of a lot longer than I had originally thought I would be :-) At this rate we will only hit one co-worker every other week and there are 12 of them :-) Just kidding.

I do understand what you are talking about though. I think it just takes time.....and lots of it.

Cherie


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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 9:20 am 
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I understand where you're coming from Ginger and I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. I've been there, too, and I think many if not most of us have been. I'm 44 and have been on suboxone for about 16 months now. Re-establishing contact with my own feelings and who I am was the hardest part of getting "clean". (I hate that word.) It took months to learn how to be comfortable in my own skin and with my long-stuffed feelings. I don't know about everyone else, but I was one of those people who took drugs to intentionally dull my emotions. It was my sole purpose. I didn't want to feel the pain, shame, anger, etc that were normal in life.

I learned to actually be comfortable FEELING my emotions by going to therapy. I've been going to therapy for the pasts 25 years, but after I started suboxone was when the real work started. Seriously, how much work did I think I could get done when I was in an emotional fog literally all the time? My knee-jerk reaction was that it was easier to avoid my feelings, after drugs I had to find a new way to not feel them, right? Wrong - what I had to learn was feelings are normal. And I DID learn that. After months of hard work I can identify my feelings easily and am comfortable being in them and expressing them.

Please give it time and if you don't already have a therapist I would encourage you to get one. If for whatever reason you can't, then the alternative would be to continue writing about it here and I think to start a personal journal. You need an outlet to EXPRESS those feelings. It will be hard at first and you'll probably cry a hell of a lot, but it's the only way. At least as far as I know.

Please keep posting here and realize how you're feeling is normal. I think it's a necessary step in recovery and one of the hardest ones. But I have confidence that you can do it. Talking about it here was a really great first step to dealing with those feelings. So you're on the right path!

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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 9:45 am 
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I don't have any great advice b/c i deal with a lot of the things/feelings you described as well. I think it's totally "normal". The other posters have given you great advice. Just wanted to offer you some encouragement and let you know you are not alone! Keep posting here! I know it helps me a lot!


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 10:02 am 
I've been there, too. When I got off my DOC I would cry at a the drop of a hat. I was an emotional wreck, which is probably what helped lead me to relapse. This time i got clean with the help of Sub and I'm much more stable, to the point where I wonder of Sub is numbing me a little like the drugs were.

I'm not sure how long you've been on Sub, but it took me a good 3 weeks or so to really adjust to it. Also, I think it's OK to be sad when someone tells a tragic story, or to be frustrated when people talk about trivial things. Our culture promotes being "happy" all the time, but that's not real life. You've been through a lot and are continuing to deal with a lot. It's OK to be sad or upset. I don't think you going to feel this way forever. Give yourself time. It's true that people who's drug of choice is painkillers are people who are in pain. Now we have to feel the pain and we're not used to it. I think it's true for all of us opiate addicts. Some are just further along in the healing than others.


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 7:52 pm 
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Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for all of the replies, really, it means so much to have people that actually understand what is going on.

Today, I had the worst day I've had so far. Sometimes i wonder if the sub is actually causing anxiety because for about an hour after I take it I actually feel worse. I seem to do better if I take my sub in the evenings, but if I do that, I'm in a lot of pain all day and I'm not sure what is worse at this point. Has anyone else noticed that sub actually caused more anxiety?

I really wish I could figure this out, because it's when I feel like this that I relapse. I don't want to do that, at all. If sub doesn't work for me I don't know what I will do, it's like it's my last chance to get out of this addiction mess.

I am seeing a therapist, but he has not even heard about sub. I printed out a lot of information for him, but I really think he just wants me to be off everything. It's all so frustrating, I just want to feel normal, whatever that is.

Sticking around this site really helps. I read as much informations as I can. I used to belong to another forum but they are so against sub I can't go back there. As a matter of fact, when a few of them found out I was taking sub, I got all kinds of emails warning me about the dangers of using sub, so I've had to just delete these messages when I get them, it's the last thing I need right now.

Thanks again to everyone that replied here. I just can't thank you enough for understanding and I don't feel quite so alone.

Sincerely
Ginger


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 Post subject: Bodies and brains change
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 8:21 pm 
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Ginger, after thinking every mental issue was related to opiates or suboxone my pdoc figured out I had a bipolar situation , I take Lithium with my 2mg of sub... I feel so much better, us opiate lovers must feel good, we will never be satisfied feeling half ass ok.. Mike


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 Post subject: me again
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 11:32 am 
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Hi again,

Well, after spending most of the night up pacing around crying, I'm at work exhausted. I can't stand to be in my skin right now. I have no idea what Ii'm going to do, reduce my dose, increase my dose??? BUT, I have to do something. I've been snappy with my students, and that has never happened before.

i was going to call my doctor but there is not much point. I"m afraid if I complain too much he will take me off the sub, and then I will really be in trouble.

I have no idea if it's the sub, but whatever is going on is getting worse every day. I've got the craziest, busiest week ahead of me as it is Education Week, so we have vistors every day. I am pretty used to this, so it is not the added stress.

I wish I had the answer. I do see my therapist today after work, so will see if that is helpful. Again, I do not want to even bring up the sub, because my therapist wants me off the sub as it is, calling it a crutch.

UGH!!!!!

I feel like a real whiner and aplogize to anyone that reads the same complaints from me over and over. I have to figure this out though, so if anyone can think of anything PLEASE let me know,
thanks,
Ginger


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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 11:48 am 
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Hi again Ginger,

You really don't have to apologize for venting with us. I don't see it as complaining at all. You're having a rough time and you're turning to this site for support - that's what it and we are here for.

I would encourage you to talk to your therapist about this. You don't have to mention the suboxone at all. Just tell her/him that since you've stopped using you're having trouble dealing with your emotions - emotions you used to self-medicate. Describe how moody you are and maybe s/he can help you get to the bottom of it. Plus it really is true that expressing feelings make their intensity decrease. Do you know what these feelings relate to? Like incidents or specific things in your life that you're upset about? It sounds like whatever you're feeling is getting worse because you're upset with yourself for being upset. (If that made any sense.) Try to take frequent deep breaths and don't be so hard on yourself. Remember, you're used to being numb all the time.

As for your therapist telling you suboxone is a crutch, I'm curious, is s/he a pretty good therapist otherwise? If not, maybe it's time to look for a new one. I know it's a pain in the ass to start over, so to speak, but the better fit you have with your therapist, the more you will get accomplished. Just a thought.

Take care and keep venting, it can only help.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 11:41 am 
Ginger please feel free to post however you are feeling here - nobody thinks you're whining. You're going through a tough time. I wouldn't be afraid to tell the Sub Dr. either. I know they have lots of Sub patients, so maybe you're not the only one who has felt anxiety after dosing. Maybe he/she will have some insight. I don't think it would be reason enougn to take you off of it.

Also, this is some advice that I'm better at giving than taking myself: Keep a journal or record of how you're feeling and what you're taking. Maybe you'll start to see a pattern. Is it always after dosing, or is it when school is more stressful, or after a bad night's slee? It's hard to answer these questions from memory, so it might really help to jot down when you're anxious and maybe share it with your therapist or doctor.
Please hang in there. You will get better. Your body is still going through the adjutment of not having the opiates. Keep posting and we'll keep supporting you.
Lilly


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:50 pm 
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Hey Ginger I'm so happy you found our community. I've been somewhat busy lately and haven't made the time to check the forum regularly and for that I apologize but after reading through your original post I really could relate. I'm not sure how long you've been on Suboxone but about around a year or so into starting Suboxone I realized that the problems I'd been having with feeling depressed and not understanding why people were so happy or what the point of things was anymore that I probably wasn't still "adjusting" to the Suboxone. Don't get me wrong it's done wonders for me in fact over the last few years I've rarely spent more than just a split second or two about using. Most importantly it's kept me alive! I truly believe that but after I finally talked with my doctor about how I'd felt for awhile and how it wasn't going away he started me on a SSRI. Now I'm not sure if you've ever tried anti depressants or if you have a history of depression but at least from what I've read it would seem like it would be worth it to at least discuss what's going on with your doctor. I had a real fear of my doctor taking me off Sub if I said anything about any problems I was having but I think you'd be suprised or at least I was. My doctor and his staff have literally bent over backwards to help me and I'm really hoping you also have a good doctor but if you're continually miserable or feeling hopeless or lost it's definately worth talking to a doctor about, at least in my non-medical proffessional opinion lol :) Also on a side note please don't let your therapist talk you into stopping Suboxone if you're not ready. I certainly don't see it as a "crutch" anymore than hypertension medicine is for those with high blood pressure or insulin is for a diabetic. I'm not trying to scare anyone but I've just seen too many people stop Suboxone for one reason or another and then they're using almost immediately after. One of my best friends from middle/high school recently stopped taking Suboxone and literally within 3 months after she ended up in the Psych ward at a local hospital. Opiate addicts who stop using are the rare exception unfortunately and in my opinion an opiate addict is lucky to be alive and if having a chance at life requires me taking medication even for the rest of my life I'm more than happy to do that. I just stopped listening to people who think medication is a "crutch" if it works and it's prescribed by a doctor. My priorities have changed I guess since the days when I was still using. I choose staying alive first and what other people think about the medication I take is alot further down on my current list of priorites. Hang in there and I really hope to hear back from you. Finding this forum helped me so much and I hope it can do the same for you. I realized that it really helped talking to other people who knew the pain I'd felt and who knew the humiliation and shame I'd delt with both during and after my years of using. I haven't felt like I was being judged here and that really did alot. I'll be thinking about you :) Hang in there things have gotten alot better for me and I'm willing to bet things will get easier for you too :)

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 Post subject: Hang In There
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 7:47 am 
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Hi ginger61,
Please don't feel like a burden You're NOT at ALL... As far as whining Goes you are not whining I have an ex-wife so I know what whining is..... LOL :) On a serious note... Please feel free to vent here because that's one of the great things about this Forum!! One day your doing the VENTING and the next day you are doing the comforting!! That's just the way it works. About you Dr. & Therapist. IMHO I think you should be more comfortable with them than you are? If you are worried about your DR. taking you off your medication AND your Therapist calling it a crutch then I don't think that's the relationship that lets you get the Most out of your visit's? You may want to look into having a better relationship with your Dr.s and counselor's or changing them for someone that is more in tune with your feelings about the medication.... Just a thought, But as fas as sharing your thought's out here PLEASE continue to do so. I hope that you start to feel better SOON and your support system (including us) helps you get thru this tough time.... :D Hang in there better day's are coming!!!! :)

God Bless
TW

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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 9:52 am 
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Hi! I haven't read all the other responses but have you thought about getting on an anti depressant? I think that would help.


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 Post subject: a little better today
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 11:14 am 
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Good morning everyone, :)

Thanks so much for all the awesome responses. I cannot even express how happy and relieved I am to have found this forum and all of you.

I feel a little better today. I went to the health food store and bought some new vitamins and Sunshine in a Bottle. it's full of Vitamin D, and 5htp, and omegas, and other good stuff. I have been taking it for a week now, and feel a little better today, so it's hard to know if it's the added vitamins or if I am just feeling better today.

My doctors appointment went okay, but I am his only SUB patient, so really he is learning from me, so not very helpful. He just writes everything down, and asks me what I would like to do!!!!!! Great!! I am not surprised though as he had never even heard of sub, before I asked him for it. So, I am sticking to the same dose. He wrote me a script for Celexa, and I got it filled but not sure I want to take more pills. He even brought up my ADHD and asked if I wanted to go back on meds for that, which would mean Concerta. I have been through all the ADHD meds, and they are helpful and help me to focus and not feel so scrambly, but again, it's just another pill with more side effects. I really want to get stable on sub for a few months and then see where I am at before adding more meds. Oh, he also offered oxazepam, which I have had before, and he did write a script for that to help me sleep. I got it filled, too but am not goiing to take it unless I don't sleep for several nights in a row.

I am going to try NOT to take anything but my sub for a while. I think I just numbed my feelings for so long, and also made such a mess of things especially financially, that having to finally face these things and deal with them is something I don't even know how to do. It's kind of crazy that at the age of 48, I don't know how to deal with life!!!
Also, my mother died a little over a year ago. It was unexpected and I am the one that found her. I couldn't get ahold of her for three days, which was very unusual as I talked to her every day, so I finally went to her house, and found her in the bathtub, and she had been there for a couple of days so you can imagine the state I found her in. (I am so sorry if that was tmi) I just can't get that image out of my head, it was the worst thing I have ever seen. My mother and I were very close, and she was the only person that I could be honest with about my addiction. I detoxed at her hosue several times, and she always took great care of me and never judged me. When she died, I was a wreck, but I don't think I ever really delt with it. I went back to work the day after her funeral, but my opiate use skyrocketed after that.

The other thing is that my husband in never home during the week as he travels with his work. I only see him on the weekends, and for the last several months he has developed this habit of drinking every Saturday night. it started last summer when he had a beer at a friends. A couple of weeks later he bought a six pack, and that last for a couple of weeks, then it only lasted a weekend. then he started buying 12 packs for the weekend, and now it's 24. After beer #4, I can't stand to be around him. My father is an alcoholic, and he knows how much I detest being around people that are drunk, so I don't know what's going on with him.

So, I guess there is just a lot of things going on. I also feel horrible about going through the inheritance my mother left me, all of it gone, on oxycontin, in one year, and all my savings, gone. I have nothing left. Addiction is such a horrible disease, it really robs you of everything, and at the time I couldn't care less, and now that I am sober, it's really difficult to look at!!

Thanks everyone AGAIN for your replies and all of your support. i so wish all of you lived closer so we could actually have a meeting. I am so grateful that I found all of you, and that you understand this, when sometimes I don't even get it.

Will keep posting, but today, so far, has been good!

Ginger


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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 11:35 am 
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Hi Ginger,

Thanks for keeping us posted and I'm glad you're feeling a bit better. I wanted to tell you about my success on Celexa. I'd tried several other anti-depressants before starting Celexa in December. It has been great for me! I suffer from PMDD, a severe, debilitating form of PMS and Celexa has almost completely evened out my moods. I haven't noticed any side effects whatsoever and as far as I'm concerned I'll stay on it for the long haul. That said, I of course acknowledge that everyone is different and some people won't have the success I've had with it. I've been on anti-depressants most of my adult life (I'm 44) and I've never experienced any numbing of my feelings. The only thing that did that for me was opiates and other drugs. I say all this in the hopes of giving you my perspective. Take it for what it's worth - just my opinion and personal experience. Again, we're all different and react differently to meds.

I'm sorry you're still dealing with past events in your life, including what your addiction did to your life. I completely understand what that means. I've been on suboxone for over 16 months now and my shame has finally subsided (for the most part). I spent so much time grieving over the past and what I did to screw up my life and my husband's life. I finally settled on looking forward instead of backwards. It's not that it's easy to do, because it's not. I've found it was a matter of constantly reminding myself that I can't change the past; all I can do is change today and affect my future.

Take good care of yourself and try to keep looking forward! :)

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 12:31 pm 
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Ginger,
I am so sorry about your Mother. I can't imagine...I am like you in that I have no one that I can really talk to about this so this site has been a good outlet for me. I am going to have to look up some of that Sunshine In A Bottle! Boy could I use that some days..lol.

I too went through a ridiculous amount of money. I have two children that should have benefited but instead it went to my DOC. The money is my biggest regret. It could have been a lot worse, my addiction could have cost me so much more. I had to finally make a firm decision to forgive myself for it. Why is it easier to forgive others than ourselves? Like hatmaker said it wasn't easy, but I can live with it now. You can always get more money, getting your life back is priceless.

You have a lot to deal with right now and I wish I could make it easier for you, I really do. Focus on you and what you are doing right now. Be proud of what you are accomplishing. Soon all your days will be good ones I hope. Keep posting.

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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 1:19 pm 
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I am so sorry about your mother. I lost my father when I was 8 yrs old and it still affects me. You have been through so much, but you are working through it and that is what counts. Celexa also really helped my husband. Good luck with everything, keep us posted.


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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 4:36 pm 
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Thank you for sharing, and for bringing up this very important topic. I will repost something from the STZ blog from a couple years ago:

Feelings, nothing more than feelings….

Opioid addicts, for whatever reason, become very lousy at determining what they are 'feeling'. Ideally, feelings serve to enrich one's life; feelings add the music to the story, add the heat to the dish, add the... heck, I don't know. I'm no poet. But they are good things. They also can guide a person if they are used properly. That last sentence is key-- if they are used properly. To explain a bit more, when people feel 'fear', they recognize that there is danger lurking about and they turn and run, or at least become more cautious. Addicts, of course, are different; to an addict, danger may mean 'excitement', and may cause the addict to close his eyes and just jump right in!

One challenge facing addicts, then, is using feelings and the messages that feelings provide in sensible ways. An even bigger challenge is identifying exactly what the feelings ARE, in the first place! Addicts will have two feelings-- great vs. 'crappy'. Or maybe 'chilled' vs. 'f'ed up'. In my practice addicts tend to call every negative feeling 'anxiety'. They go to work and feel 'anxiety'. They come home and feel 'anxiety'. They sit around all weekend and feel 'anxiety'. I am always working to get them to identify the feelings, and to call them something other than 'anxiety'-- as usually they are not anxiety. Anxiety is 'worry', whereas the feelings most addicts have are more like boredom, irritability, anger, sadness, resentment...

In my own treatment (I was in some type of group for about 5 or 6 years) we always checked in with our name, our disease (like at AA-- I'm Jeff, alcoholic and addict), followed by a statement of the feelings we were having. We picked from 6 feelings, and sometimes I felt one, other times I might feel a little of all of them. The six feelings: sad, glad, mad, afraid, ashamed, and hurt.

I strongly encourage you to always work on your feelings. It takes a great deal of practice, but you will get to know yourself better, and feel more 'grounded'. Get in the habit of 'checking in' every morning, and every night. Try on the six feelings and decide which ones fit. And whenever you feel lousy, try each feeling on and see what is going on. The process takes minutes per day, but will pay off over time in ways that are hard to explain-- but that are certain.


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