“After a storm comes a calm.” – Matthew Henry
Keeping calm and being calm are two different beings. Keeping calm is basically keeping it cool even when you feel like you are ready to pop, and being calm is literally a state of being – you just are calm. How you get to being calm, is by first keeping calm. This can sometimes be difficult when you are scared, uncomfortable, don’t feel well, don’t get enough to eat, not enough sleep, or just forgot to keep up with your meditation. Everyone blows their lid once and awhile, it’s human, but the trick is to learn from it, clean up your side of the street, get back to basics, and don’t beat yourself up over it.
Emotional Hangover: Be Calm
Ever have an emotional hangover after you lost your cool over a situation? Maybe you snapped at someone, or acted out in an embarrassing way. It’s the heat of the moment where all logic completely escapes you. I notice I go through a few phases when this has happened to me. When someone has hurt me, I first I try to control my feelings, then I start shaking, then I let one angry word out (they respond in the same negative manner) and it usually ends in a screaming scene (sometimes in front of other people just to add on an embarrassing factor for good measure). At this point I was not keeping calm and defiantly not being calm. What happens? I am miserable and feel ever so remorseful, regretful, and when the anger subsides towards the others person, I get angry at myself. I have the tendency of beating myself up because I did not keep calm and I acted out in a behavior that I was not proud of.
The Perfect Storm
As alcoholics and addicts, we are pretty sensitive people, and we tend to take a lot of things very personally – even when they are not directed at us. I have to remember that when I don’t feel good, when I am tired or hungry, when I am off balance, I need to up my meditation and take care of me. When I am fighting with others, it’s not because they are “doing” anything to me, that is just who they are, it’s because I am taking it personally and am just in the firing line. On a day where I am spiritually fit, whatever this situation is, it wouldn’t bother me, but when I am off balance, I know that my reaction comes from being too sensitive and that is when I lash out.
The good news is that this happens less often then when I was drinking; it also means I have an opportunity to grow in my program of recovery and I can share these experiences with others who may be going through it too. The longer we stay sober; we see how we are really not perfect and that we still have so much more growing to do. You can get back to keeping calm and being calm right now if you would like, you just have to do a little work for it.
Written By: Watershed Ashling