This post about un-surrendered emotions was submitted by one of our fellows in recovery. If you would like to submit your thoughts on recovery from addiction or questions you might have, submit them here.
I can’t remember if this is something I made up or if I heard it elsewhere, but in the spirit of recovery I’ll give someone else the credit for the following analogy. 🙂
It seems pretty straight forward – use a mobile device and it drains the battery; plug it into a power source and it charges the battery.
But here’s the thing about charging the battery … if there isn’t a power regulator of some kind then the battery will overcharge and explode (like in the two pics above). Also, if that regulator is damaged in any way then you’ve got the same problem.
Human beings are like batteries—or more like superconductors—and our emotions are the power.
Here’s the tricky part: the power supplies are EVERYWHERE, and they don’t care what kind of charge they transfer, positive or negative. A joyful reunion with friends can be a wonderfully and positively charging experience, but it can also be sandwiched between triggers, sadness, and frustrations of all kinds.
The key is that all of it—the positive, negative, beautiful, and ugly—has a charging effect on the body, and without healthy regulation and release its emotional energy builds up in our being.
Just like those phone batteries, if we become overcharged we too will explode. It doesn’t have to be a fiery eruption that torches relationships, it can be a slow and ever-encroaching lava flow that pushes people away into safer realms.
I’ve thought a lot about this recently, including what methods I employ (as a superconductor of emotion) to try and regulate the in-and-out flow of energy.
I used sex and porn as emotional dampeners, but those were only a toxic façade used to numb myself from the continued effects my increasingly pent up emotions were having on me and others.
I’ve used food, music, video games, and other numbing agents to distract me from my feelings, all to varying degrees of harmfulness.
So, if we are indeed emotional superchargers, how are we supposed to regulate the awesome and often overwhelming power of our emotions?
What, if not the numbing agents, is there for us to use to not freak out on everything and everyone we encounter?
It’s sitting with the emotions as they surface, holding space for them without judgment, and then sharing them with those trusted and safe people in our lives that have earned the right to hear our stories.
Emotions and our existence as emotional batteries have taught me that it’s all about forging connections.
When we allow emotion to flow through us to others in healthy ways, we invite connection.
When we hold onto it, stuff it, or otherwise attempt to diffuse it with any number of numbing agents, we simply become overcharged and prone to dangerous explosions.
I choose surrender.
I choose connection.