Before recovery, I would use just about anything not to feel. Drugs, alcohol, relationships, food, TV -- the list was endless. Without tools to deal with my feelings, I was uncomfortable and afraid of them, and they often became overwhelming.

In early recovery my sponsor always used to tell me that feelings were not facts. They were just feelings. It took me a long time to understand that, but now I know that as bad as some of my feeling are, they won't kill me. Recovery has taught me that I can now sit with my feelings and learn what they are trying to teach me.

Today I have come to welcome my feelings rather than run from them. Today my feelings are like little guides that lead me to the depths of who I am, and I am no longer afraid to go there. Today I know that to feel is to heal in a sacred and profound way. Today I am grateful for my feelings.


When I was new in the program, my sponsor would constantly tell me that my feelings were not facts. They were just feelings. "But it's a fact that I'm having these feelings," I'd argue. I paid a steep price for my stubbornness as my feelings would often hit me like a freight train and drag me far down their tracks.

After I got a little recovery, I began to understand that my feelings only became facts when I acted on them. I found that if I felt depressed, that was OK, but if I then stayed in bed all day, then that feeling would definitely be a fact in my life. This taught me that I could have feelings and not act on them, or, even better, I could take contrary action, and this revealed my feelings as just the thoughts that they were.

Now with a little bit of time and experience, when I see the freight train of feelings approaching, I just step aside. Today I sit and watch as the train passes by, and sometimes I can actually feel the wind of them as they whiz by. Today I know my feelings are not facts, they are just feelings, and, if I pause long enough, they will always pass by.

Author's Bio: 

Over a series of years, quietly and anonymously on his own journey of recovery, author Michael Z collected and wrote down the sayings and quotes he heard in the various 12 Step meetings he attended. A little over a year ago, he began sending these quotes via email to a small group of friends. He soon began receiving requests to be added to his Monday morning email list which within just a few months exploded into the thousands worldwide. Astonished by the response to this simple email, Michael Z created As his readership expanded over the following year, Michael Z put his weekly 12 Step quotes and reflections into a new book entitled “The Wisdom of the Rooms: A Year of Weekly Reflections.”