Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published December 2013.

An Emotional Life

In AA, she learned to stop covering up how she really felt

I grew up in a family in which our motto was, "buck up" and "suck it up buttercup." Emotions other than being happy or angry were not an option in our household. Crying, which was perceived as weak, was not acceptable. If you cried, you were shamed for it.

I had no idea how to express emotion or how to turn my thoughts into words. When I came into AA, I was so angry at everything and everyone and I couldn't understand why. I would rather put a hole in a wall then talk about the feelings inside of me. Years of suppressing hurt, anxiety and fear had manifested into anger toward the outside world. Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer. I wanted to jump out of my skin!

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