Updated: Jan 26
How to Handle Energy Vampires for the Holidays in Your Sobriety- (Part I).
When you are on the Sober Journey, you find yourself ascending in Consciousness. Getting sober, and rising up into the the higher levels of spirituality or consciousness is a natural progression. (The levels of Consciousness as discovered by David R. Hawkins) We expand in our thinking, gain clarity, productivity, purpose, and drive. We become more spirit filled and connected. Awareness increases exponentially, and new revelations come as the time in sobriety lengthens.
For my personal journey into the world of sobriety, I've read and practiced my own form of spirituality through prayer and meditation. I'm studying Consciousness, Buddhism Concepts, Law of Attraction, Learning about Intuition at a deeper level, and researching bits of various sacred texts. I've been actively working on being a better version of myself for all of my life I would say, and even more so since I decided to quit drinking.
I felt like I was in relatively good shape to go to Thanksgiving with a reasonable amount of ease, even though I had some anxieties about going over to my parents condominium. Knowing that being over at my parents is triggering, I discussed some anxieties beforehand with my husband. I have two brothers, and they are 8 years and 12 years younger than myself. We had all planned to bring different dishes and the turkey to my parents condo since my mother is not traveling out of the home for many trips due to immobility challenges.
What happened on Thanksgiving, was unexpected to say the least. The energy of the home from the beginning was anxiety ridden. My parents have a tight space in the kitchen and a small oven. My youngest brother was nervous and agitated that there was not enough space in the oven to heat everything up at the same time.
I tried my best to sit in the living room after we collectively decided to put the side dishes in the oven to heat up, and planned to put the turkey in after them. Someone mentioned that the table wasn't set (I do not remember which brother made this comment) so after sitting in the living room for a short time, I offered to set the table.
I was in the kitchen when I offered to set the table, and it was there that I had what I would call an 'out of body' experience. I don't remember exactly what was said, just fragments and how I felt. My middle brother started saying things to me in angry tones, (from my perspective) and I could feel the beginnings of the attack inside of my body at an energetic level. I felt like my body was throbbing from the inside out.
There is of course a long history of these types of interactions with this brother that has gone on for many years. The gist of these interactions is that he gets very angry when he feels I am judging, or bossing anyone around. (I do not see it this way, but that is how I am described.) I have felt in the past is that I have to 'walk on eggshells' around him, and his outbursts are not limited to me, as everyone in the family has felt and experienced these attacks, however, with me, he seems to have the shortest fuse, and the level of the attack is more intense. I honestly feel hated by him, and feel that he is jealous. I would never at this point in my life be able to have any conversation with him where I would trust him with deeper thoughts, so our conversations, even in good times are superficial and safe. I watch my boundaries very closely with him.
It seems to me, that I asked to set the table, and a fight ensued. I didn't know what hit me. I spoke back to him, and told him I really just meant to set the table. The harsh words escalated in record time, and I almost instantly went into the lower levels. It felt like a fight or flight situation, and I yelled back, with terrible words which included profanity. I yelled very loud too, and felt complete and total anger and anxiety emerge. It seemed to happen so fast.
I perceived being taken over, and I felt like I needed to stand up for myself, looking back. I don't feel like my brother would have hit me physically, but the way he yells and uses his energy language is worse than a physical attack. He has great power with his energy which seems to shake you to your core, and evaporate the good feelings from the room.
On Energy Vampires:
There is a famous monk named Dandapani, who is an expert on teaching entrepreneurs how to manage energy. In the video, "Do You Have Energy Vampires in Your Life', Dandapani asks, have you ever had a 10 minute conversation with someone, walk away and say 'Oh my God that was exhausting...' this is an Energy Vampire. Dandapani describes this energetic transfer as I experienced on Thanksgiving in many of his lectures. If you have someone in your life that manages to exhaust you every time you are with them, I would recommend listening to at least one or two of these insightful videos.
How do we identify an Energy Vampire?
Dandapani explains that there are people who can temporarily be Energy Vampires. People who are temporary vampires are ones who have had a loss of some sort, such as a death of loved one, or have had traumatic experience- physical or otherwise, (crippling injury, divorce, cancer, etc.) and they are energetically draining for a short time, perhaps months to 2 years. In this case Dandapani says it is good to be understanding and this is a situation we can tolerate for this short period of time because we love them.
People who are inherent Energy Vampires are people who you have known to exhaust you most of the time when you are around them. You can ask yourself after having conversations with anyone in question, does this person drain you or uplift you? After you walk away from a person you will know in an instant if they are energetically draining. If you have interactions with a person 20 times a year, and 19 of these times, you are drained from the interactions, this is an inherent Energy Vampire.
What do we do with Energy Vampires?
We practice the art of being affectionately detached. We are supposed to be kind, gentle, and loving towards them. How does this translate to real life? To be affectionately detached is not to engage with someone you have evaluated and considered to be an inherent Energy Vampire. Furthermore, Dandapani often speaks about energy as being a finite resource which we have to be wise about. If we want to use our energy to create what we want in our lives we cannot give it to Energy Vampires.
My Real Life Experience and the Spiritual Fail:
In Sobriety, we respect our boundaries more, and we become more careful with our energy (in the form of time and resources), so we find ourselves being very selective with the people we hang out with and the places we go. A holiday however, is tricky territory. In my case I was in a situation where all family members get together to give thanks and enjoy the holiday.
Initially I felt my experience was a big spiritual fail. As I noted above, I came down (and came down quickly) into the lower levels. I used harsh language, and I engaged in a fight that escalated to embarrassing proportions.
I did leave quickly though when I realized that the situation was only going to get worse. This was probably the best thing I did after a horrible situation. No meal is worth getting beaten up energetically, even if it is one of the biggest holidays of the year.
If we reference the Law of Attraction, this was contrast. Law of attraction uses the word 'contrast' to describe situations where we clearly see what we do not want, so we can make clear decisions about what we do want. We are in a continual state of this siphon process throughout our lives, according the the Law of Attraction. If I am using the Law of Attraction, then I decide what I want in the future for these types of situations.
I continue to work on these situations, to the best of my ability as I grow and cultivate mindfulness, and 'tapping in' to my inner being or 'guidance system'.
A few small tips that may help in these types of situations if you also have an Energy Vampire in your life:
Limited Contact/Limited interaction.
Any decisions that need to be made, put the ball in their court. We do not always need to 'drive the bus'. (A term coined by my good friend Lisette Chinn, @lisettechinn.com)
Plan ahead. In my case, I already told my husband my wishes for Christmas. Considering the situation was so bad, I do not want to even have Christmas with my extended family on the horizon. I would prefer for everyone to know my plans in advance so there is no guessing as to what will happen for Christmas. I just won’t be there, and that is final.
I do however, have kids that may be disappointed if they do not see their uncle, so I have planned that my husband can visit my family with the kids on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve- it is up to my husband and the kids however on the logistics.
Plan Ahead. I plan to visit my parents for Christmas a day or two in advance - December, 23rd in order to avoid seeing my brother. (see number '1'.)
I want to make a follow up to this post which will be about how I actually attracted this experience. This is application of the 'Law of Attraction', however, this has been tricky to write, and is still in progress. Obviously, this is a tough one due to the emotional nature of the circumstances. I hope you will stay tuned for the Part II which I'm hoping will be coming very soon.
If you are interested in self-inquiry into your sobriety, please check out my original journal that I created for your Sober Journey right here... (The Sunrise Today Journal for Sobriety).
With love from the Midwest,