I used to have two setting; Elated or Enraged. There were very few point in between. Not until I was nearly 40 years of age did I learn that there were a whole range of intermediate setting for my emotions. One of which was disappointment.
In my pre-recovering thinking, any let down was cause to switch to the Enraged setting. And manifest this setting by either raging, fearing, depressing, pouting, drinking, or shutting down. Yes, I am talking about during my adulthood.
Disappointment is that setting just a few notches in from “Normal” that I now switch to when something doesn’t turn out like I hoped it would. It involves a little pain, which I accept as part of the setting. But I know now that the pain is never enough to kill me and that it will eventually pass. So I just let it pass through and if need be, talk to someone which always helps. I no longer have to switch all the way to Enraged when little to medium things don’t work out. I have a place to go emotionally that is far safer and becoming very familiar.
In active alcoholism, I wonder how many of us sought to be on the elated side of things, aided by our grandiose thinking and drinking. And when we weren’t in these elated states, we sunk to some form of dark enraged irritability? Did we know that a Normal setting even existed? Or did we bounce back and forth in a bi-polar fashion?
Sobering up limited our options to spend time in what we felt was elation. We are now available to discover and function in many points on the emotional spectrum. Isn’t this what most “normal” people do?