Feelings aren't Facts.


one day at a time
This phrase was one of the most confounding to me, and now one of the most important to me, in my work on myself.

I always thought feelings WERE facts. After all, I felt it, so it must be real and true.

I have learned, over the years in Al-Anon and from other study and readings, that while my feelings are real...they are many times not based in reality and fact.

They are just...feelings.

I have learned that feelings are to be felt, welcomed in, processed, waited with, and then, let go. Very often, there is nothing to be done about the feelings---no matter how uncomfortable they are. Everything else I have learned in recovery still stands...even if my feelings are 100 percent in the other direction.

Wow...now that is something to learn, at least for me. I have always given feelings so much credence.

But the real truth is...feelings aren't facts. My experience this past weekend bore that out once again. I "felt" like my son's wedding to his fiancee was not a good thing. I let my feelings consume me for one entire day (and I blocked them out for one other entire day).

Thank goodness, I did not act on my feelings and say or do something stupid. I am so thankful for that.

My work on boundaries, respecting others, realizing that I don't know what is best for other people, and letting adult people make their own decisions, helped me here.

I had a sick, wrong feeling all day long, but I kept close to home, and "tended" to that feeling, without imposing it on others (except for my poor dear husband, who had to deal with me! : ) and without drama. I realized I wasn't good company and anything I was going to say would not be helpful to anybody.

By that evening, at the wedding, I realized my angst was all in my own head.



Well-Known Member
A pastor from my past used to say that all the time - Feelings are not facts.

That was such an amazing eye-opener to me. Who knew??

and, ten years later, I still forget it. How simple to understand and difficult to remember.

I really, really need to start meditating a few minutes each day. I allow feelings to take my steering wheel way more often I allow facts to.



Well-Known Member
Staff member
Great post COM. I am such a 'feeler' so this is my practice too. I practice a lot too. I practice with meditation so my mind clears out. I practice with listening to CD's in the car which remind me daily to stay present, to let go of the past, to not venture into the future and to recognize that my thoughts create how I feel, so in observing my thoughts, I can halt any negative feelings which surface as a result of those thoughts. Sheesh. It's sometimes like an endless loop which I can get stuck in and have to then use all my tools to get myself out. Boy am I grateful for those tools!


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I have learned that feelings are to be felt, welcomed in, processed, waited with, and then, let go.

The "let go" part is key for me. It's so easy to get stuck in those feelings, to examine them over and over, dissect them, analyze them, wallow in them. Ruminate on them. I hadn't fully understood what that word meant until my therapist mentioned to me once, and I looked it up:

"Rumination is the compulsively focused attention on the symptoms of one's distress, and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions."

Letting go is a much healthier way to live.