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You can’t always trust how you feel.

It’s taken me the last six years of painful, rewarding, exhausting, exciting, frustrating, confusing, gratifying, work to not only know this truth but to believe it and understand it.

I used to live my life based on how I felt.

I feel like you are against me so I will react to it.

I feel depressed so therefore my life is horrible.

I feel happy so therefore I am cured.

I feel love so therefore I need you to survive.

I feel angry so therefore I must act.

There is only one word that can really describe my life as I lived it in this way: chaotic. Even if people didn’t see the chaos I felt it in my heart, in my soul, in my stomach and in my brain. I never felt safe because  I was a captive to my own emotions. I was being held captive to my own feelings. During this time I could not separate my feelings from truth. Now, I’m not saying that my feelings didn’t exist – because they surly did. But I believed that because I felt it; it was true – and that was simply not.

Today I live my life based on truths

Feelings don’t last forever.

I am okay.

People do the best that they can.

Not everything is as it seems or feels.

I cannot control everything; but I can control what I do right now.

I deserve recovery.

I deserve real healthy relationships.

I never realized how much my feelings were holding me captive in my disease; not until I began re-reading my journals and different emails that I have written to people who have been part of my recovery journey. Looking on the outside in I read my own words; panicked, fearful, lost searching for an anchor something to hold on to during these times of internal chaos.

You are your own anchor.

UnknownFor me, I cling to Jesus, recovery, self-care, my passions, ambitions, helping others, art projects, and writing. Those things I know to be true. Those things I don’t feel. They are not temporary; fleeting; changing; they are pegs or nails for me to grasp.

Realizing that my feelings were working against me in this recovery process from time to time made me realize that I have more control over them than I ever knew. I get to decide how and when my feelings affect me. I get to decide what I allow to send me into chaos. I get to decide how I use my anchor. I get to decide which pegs I grab onto.

You do too.

My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.