Tag Archives: recovery

Thoughtful Thursday #267 – Resistance

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In psychology resistance is the push me pull me effect of dealing with uncomfortable and sometimes buried fears of change.

This can happen as a reaction to the therapeutic process or irritating situation that we just don’t want to deal with.

Resistance can show up in many forms, inner oppression, focusing on outside events, over eating, too much social media, self criticism, social withdrawal, trying to be perfect, you can add to the list.

A common reason for resistance is shame, that burning feeling of humiliation, of being wrong, or like a fool, regret, self hate.

“Family secrets can go back for generations. They can be about suicides, homicides, incest, abortions, addictions, public loss of face, financial disaster, etc. All the secrets get acted out. This is the power of toxic shame. The pain and suffering of shame generate automatic and unconscious defenses. Freud called these defenses by various names: denial, idealization of parents, repression of emotions and dissociation from emotions. What is important to note is that we can’t know what we don’t know. Denial, idealization, repression and dissociation are unconscious survival mechanisms. Because they are unconscious, we lose touch with the shame, hurt and pain they cover up. We cannot heal what we cannot feel. So without recovery, our toxic shame gets carried for generations.”
― John Bradshaw, Healing the Shame that Binds You

John Bradshaw sums it up, “all secrets get acted out”, and “we cannot heal what we cannot feel”, it is in your best interest to get into some kind of recovery program. You owe it to your wonderful self. You are deserving of every good thing in life, you are important and are strong enough to heal.

Start now, go in baby steps, read books about good mental health, go to therapy, join support groups, start your own support group, start a diary and write everything you think down on paper to give your feelings life and validity.

Don’t give up, there is massive healing possible, just keep trying. I know you can do it.

 

 

Thoughtful Thursday #264 – What Do You Believe.

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“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” — C.G. Jung

We must become conscious of our beliefs and feelings going on in our minds or we cannot change or transform ourselves and our lives. If something said is repeated over and over it becomes real, but in many cases what was said is either outdated at this point.

If we want to live with meaning and purpose we must make a list of these beliefs and feelings and examine them and tear them apart and eliminate those that don’t resonate with our values.

When we act from outmoded beliefs and feelings we stay stuck and can’t do the necessary letting go so we can move on.

In my case, both my caregivers were mentally ill so I had many bizarre beliefs and feelings that did not make sense even at a young age, I was not self-aware for a long time until I was much older and could be a bit objective about those beliefs and worked with therapists.

Many beliefs we pick up during our lives are dysfunctional. They make us limited.

On a regular basis we must update our beliefs, what was true in the past may not apply now. We must find those very deep beliefs that are not very conscious and rip them out by the roots. This is not easy, it requires, courage, sticking with a therapist, and a commitment to your own self-care.

This uncovering is all about finding the truth, your truth, so you can live the best life that is unique to you. We want to be whole, we want our inner parts integrated, we want to be happy.

None is possible unless we care deeply for ourselves on a regular basis. You are so worth the effort and with this loving effort for yourself the transformation of your life is permanent.

Thoughtful Thursday #261 – I Get It

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I Get It

 

I get the unspeakable shame and emotional pain and trauma of child abuse as a child and adult child. I get how you want to hurt yourself just to stop the pain and self-sabotage because you have no healthy sense of direction. I get it. Let’s talk about what creates trauma. Let’s talk about it without judgement. Let’s talk about how trauma and it’s buddies that keep you stuck.

Let’s talk about mental health, alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness. As we speak openly about these struggles of ours and those we know, the power of alcoholism, drug addiction and mental illness become manageable. Talk to everyone about how important mental health is and that ending the suffering is possible, talk to therapists, go to 12 step programs, and go to groups that are struggling with what you are struggling with, find your supporters, show up for your own recovery.

You may not be validated as you speak out and that is OK, keep looking for those who are supportive of you. Go no contact with those who are actively self-destructive. It is perfectly OK to protect yourself. It’s OK to search for what you need; it’s OK to search for meaning and making sense of your life. It’s OK to heal; it’s OK to take your time in recovery.

Recovery is not quick and most clichés that suggest quick fixes are victim blaming and not realistic. It takes a long time to relearn trust and un-blend the destructive false beliefs from your thinking.

Start now, start when you are ready, start when you are scared and unsure, just start, you are so worthy of a wonderful life.

Thoughtful Thursday #260 – Recovery

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Any recovery journey is really about taking care of yourself – you can’t take care of others without taking care of yourself first. You can’t make sense of your circumstances until you take the step to be good to yourself and examine what is going on.

Recovery from anything is to look at yourself without judgement or criticism but rather with curiosity and compassion.

We must learn about those deeply hidden secrets we keep from ourselves, and uncover their origin.

Recovery is about looking at yourself and comforting yourself as you cry buckets of tears, as you express anger, as you throw your fists up a the incredible injustices you have endured.

After all this expression, over and over, you come out on the other side-instead of crying there’s compassion, instead of anger there is peace, instead of raging at injustice you are living a life of justice.

In my life I get why my high functioning father became so cruel and hateful and addicted to drugs and alcohol – his childhood was horrible – males and females were addicts and alcoholics and he was illegitimate. I get that my mother was a high functioning schizophrenic and so was her mother, my mother was a mess.

She and my father were ill equipped to be parents or decent human beings.  They lived their lives enjoying cruelty and being surrounded with those who were the same. They died without ever recovering and no acknowledgement of their disgusting display of hatred towards me or anyone else. I was the scapegoat until their very last breath.

I get it. I don’t condone it – it was not OK on any level and sadly there was no changing them.

So as painful as it was I had to journey alone and for a very long time in my own trauma recovery. My message to you is recovery is very possible.

Recovery will require that you commit to creating a better life for yourself. You will have to show up to therapy, groups of like minded folks, crying, writing, grounding your emotions, all one day at a time. Sometimes it’s one breath at a time.

You deserve a wonderful life, you deserve to be cared about. You deserve to be safe, You deserve to be heard. You deserve to be respected. You deserve to be loved and don’t let any negative person or internal false belief tell you otherwise.

 

Thoughtful Thursday #237 – Bad News Good News

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Bad News : trauma recovery work never ends. Trauma stays in your DNA, in your subconscious, in your dreams, in your worries, in your decision-making, in your choices. Trauma is embedded in your cells.

Good News : trauma recovery is indeed possible, trauma recovery is uncomfortable and our defenses will throw many distractions at us because they think it’s dangerous to feel. When we are ready and can sit with being uncomfortable without running away something happens. We become healed, because we didn’t run away, we allowed and trusted the organic process of feeling what we have avoided for so long and allowed the experience to fade away. Is recovery a simple linear process, not at all. The results are worth the effort.

Thoughtful Thursday #229 – Step Away From The Mess

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Step away from generational family dysfunction.

Step away from emotionally dangerous and perverted people.

Step away from escaping the way you feel.

Step away from codependency.

Step away from tolerating the unacceptable.

Step away from self-doubt and sabotage.

 

Step Towards Yourself, Your Recovery, Your Self Acceptance, Your Wholeness, Your Healing, Your Opportunities, Your Wonderful Life.

Celebrate your success and know you have come very far already.

Solitude Is Great Until It Turns To Isolation.

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I cherish alone time, lots of it, but I can take it to the extreme until it becomes isolation.

We are social creatures by nature and without being social we can lose self-esteem, and self-confidence.

Isolation has a way of creeping up on us and separating us from friends, real world interactions, causes anxiety, you feel like you are in captivity in a cage, and detached from any healthy interactions.

Social media does not help, it lends itself into isolating us even more, plus it encourages the feelings of exclusion and an unrealistic idea that others lives are better than yours. Isolation also causes social anxiety. There is hope. Change is always possible.

Here are some suggestions to cure isolation:

Talk to everyone you meet.

Accept invitations even if you don’t think you want to go.

Build relationships.

Spend less time on social media.

Reach out and have an actual phone conversation instead of just social media.

Leave the house.

With a little bit of discipline and investment of your time you can get out of isolation and back into life. And if life is too much you can always go back to solitude but this time without the isolation.

 

Abandonment

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Here’s a list of what abandonment is from Susan Anderson’s book “The Journey from Abandonment to Healing” Pages 5 and 6. Susan Anderson has a blog with tons of information on the serious subject of “Abandonment”.

What is abandonment?

A feeling

A feeling of isolation within a relationship

An intense feeling of devastation when a relationship ends.

A primal fear – the raw element that makes going through heartbreak, divorce, separation or bereavement cut so deep

An aloneness not by choice

An experience from childhood

A baby left on a doorstep

A divorce

A woman left by her husband of twenty years for another woman

A man being left by his fiancée for some “more successful”

A mother leaving her children

A father leaving his children

A friend feeling deserted by a friend

A child whose pet dies

A little girl grieving over the death of her mother

A little boy wanting his mommy to come pick him up from nursery school

A child who feels replaced by the birth of another sibling

A child feeling restless because of his parents emotional unavailability

A boy realizing that he is gay and anticipating the reaction of his parents

A teenager feeling that her heart is actually broken

A teenage boy afraid to approach the girl he loves

A woman who has raised now grown children feeling empty as if she has been deserted

A child stricken with a serious illness watching his friends play while he must use a wheelchair or remain in bed

A woman who has lost her job and with it her professional identity, financial security and status

A man who has been put out to pasture by his company as if he is obsolete

A dying woman who fears being abandoned by loved one as much as or more that she fears pain and death

Abandonment is all of this and more. It’s wound is at the heart of human experience.

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You could add to the list but I think you get the message, the important thing here is to name what the feeling is.

Abandonment is so very painful, it is a feeling we have all experienced at one time or another. There is a PTSD component to abandonment which leaves it victims with shame, low self-esteem, and fear just to name a few of abandonment influences.

There is hope for survival and recovery, it will not be easy, you will have to do the important work of reaching deep within yourself and uncover the pain that is just below the surface of your awareness. Most of the time this work is not done alone. Counseling, or writing or exercising, read books on the subject, mindfulness and finding some way of getting to  the trauma that abandonment left behind.

You have to help yourself just enough to lift you. You are worth the effort. Don’t give up.

Recovery and Resiliency

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If there is one thing wonderful about being human it’s the ability to change. When we experience trauma or other upsetting situations we can recover and bounce back and end up thriving. However, the journey is not an easy one. Even though there is no one path to healing there are some guiding principles to recovery.

  1. there are many pathways to recover.
  2. recovery is self-directed and empowering.
  3. recovery involves a personal recognition of the need for change and transformation.
  4. recovery has cultural dimensions.
  5. recovery is holistic.
  6. recovery exists on a continuum of improved health and wellness.
  7. recovery emerges from hope and gratitude.
  8. recovery involves a process of healing and self redefinition.
  9. recovery is supported by peers and allies.
  10. recovery involves (re)joining and (re)building a life in the community
  11. recovery is reality.

The idea here is to find your way to recover. There is no right or wrong way to recover and it is your journey with lots of helpers along the way. Don’t give up.

Helpful Resources

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry http://www.aacap.org

Child Welfare Information Gateway http://www.childwelfare.gov

American Psychiatric Association Answer Center – 1-888-357-7924

American Psychological Association Public Education Line – 1-800-964-2000

 

This list is from Page 19 of Mental Health First Aid USA – for adults assisting young people. ISBN:  978-0-9885176-0-8.

 

Codependents Avoidance Patterns

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Codependents often…………………

 

. act in ways that invite others to reject, shame, or express anger toward them

. judge harshly what others thin, say or do

. avoid emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy as a way to maintain distance

. allow addictions to people, places and things to distract them from achieving intimacy in relationship

. use indirect or evasive communication to avoid conflict or confrontation

. diminish their capacity to have healthy relationship by declining to use the tool of recovery

. suppress their feelings or needs to avoid feeling vulnerable

. pull people toward them, but when others get close, push them away

. refuse to give up their self-will to avoid surrendering to a power greater thatn themselves

. believe displays to emotion are a sign of weakness

. withhold expressions of appreciation

From CODA.org