‘Walking on eggshells’ does not alleviate emotional tension, it makes it worse #alanon #addiction #alcoholism #recovery

May 17, 2015 § Leave a comment

I wonder if I can express how fed up I am with being controlled by other people’s emotional instability. When I sense underlying tension and the capacity for someone else to blow up emotionally I will bend myself into a pretzel to try to avoid triggering the blow up. The fallacy of this response is that I did not cause the other person’s emotional tension, I cannot control it, and I cannot cure it. My belief that I can somehow mitigate their emotional pressure by contorting my own mental, emotional and physical presence causes great harm to my own well-being and results in emotional pressure build up inside me.

I am very familiar with ‘walking on eggshells’. I am so habituated to the practice that I am not conscious of when I am doing it until I am so tired and perturbed I will explode to release the emotional tension. Unfortunately, this pattern does nothing to prevent the damage of 1) living under tension and stress, and 2) relational damage caused by my own blow up. Not only that, but because the patterns of emotional and mental suppression are so firmly entrenched, we never get down to the real, pragmatic issues that need to be addressed. We are always reacting to the emotional condition of our relationship instead of addressing problems relating to finances, household management, or improving the health of our relationship.

I get so angry that there is a huge knot in the middle of my shoulders. My back, neck, shoulders and hip hurt. I am tense, irritable, on edge, defensive, distracted, and anxious.

My mental and emotional condition in turn contribute to the state of health of my marriage. I am angry at my spouse for being angry all the time. It is a self-referential cycle perpetuating a continuous state of mental and emotional unease. With periodic blow ups when the tension becomes unbearable. The only antidote is to stop contributing to the condition of suppressed emotional and mental turmoil. Ha. Easier said than done.

What I can do right now is leash up my dog and get out for a walk. Notice that I am contributing to the condition and stop blaming my spouse for my problem of walking on eggshells. My response to tension does not help to ease the tension. Get angry does not reduce the amount of anger in the family and it does nothing to resolve the underlying problems that are generating frustration that leads to anger in the first place.

It is strange how writing about a mental or emotional condition helps to ease the pressure of that mental or emotional condition. Time to get moving on the day.


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