Acknowledging discomfort and intuition

The past few months have been some of the most uncomfortable of my life, with the exception of first getting sober. I’ve felt restless. Uncertain. Frustrated. Guilty. Confused. Sometimes these emotions come on one at a time, sometimes all at once in an encompassing rush. Sometimes I feel them looming, and other times they crash over me without warning. And some days, they don’t come at all.

In the past, feeling this way would have thrown me into a downward spiral. Crying would have made me feel weak. Talking through things would have made me feel vulnerable. Admitting to feelings I didn’t want to have would have made me feel out of control.

But whatever has been happening these past few months has been different. Feeling the way I’ve been feeling hasn’t been enjoyable, not by any means. I’ve had conversations in which I could literally feel my heart breaking. I’ve had moments of feeling absolutely, completely, utterly alone, even though I’m anything but. I’ve had fits of tears that were beyond my control.

But through this, I’ve found that for the first time in a long time, I’ve been able to truly sit with these feelings. I don’t have a choice. Not when it comes down to what I do with the rest of my life being at stake.

Through these few months, what I’ve really learned is this: Intuition exists. Intuition matters. Intuition knows.

If something feels off, it probably is. If something feels mostly right, but not 100 percent right, then it probably isn’t right. Sometimes we know there are things we need acknowledge and confront now, rather than months or years down the road. We know these things because that little voice exists.

And that voice inside of us is there for a reason. We can ignore it. We can rationalize it. We can override it with a louder, sterner voice.

But despite our best efforts, we’ll always be aware of its presence until we acknowledge it.

And yes, acknowledging it may be the hardest thing we will ever have to do. It may be the most heartbreaking thing. The scariest thing. The riskiest thing.

Sometimes, we’ll be teetering on the edge of acknowledging it, knowing we need to, but not having the courage to do so. Not today. Not yet. Not quite.

Acknowledging intuition isn’t a linear process, not by any means. Some days we feel on top of everything, like we know what we need to do next. Other days we can’t remember what we’ve already done, let alone what comes next. That’s how it goes. The key is learning to embrace that uncertainty, to realize the process is leading us to the place we need to be.

Amidst all the chaos, here’s what we tend to forget: When we finally do it, acknowledging that voice may be like letting go of something we didn’t even know was weighing us down. It may be like letting out a breath we didn’t know was caught. It may be the most freeing thing of all.