A Beautiful Mess

A Sexual Abuse and Addiction Recovery Blog

Letting Go and Letting God ((Part 1))

I was browsing my Facebook today and looking at updates from old friends.  I came across a recent picture of a family photo taken of a friend’s family.  It really touched me and I loved seeing the legacy.  But it brought me a bit of sadness.  I haven’t been to a family get together in years because I detached from my family while using and abusing myself.  My family has been supportive of my changes lately and it’s my dream to be in a picture with them all.  ((I just wrote I’m so lost but deleted it, because through God all things are possible, so I’m not completely lost.))  I know that in due time dreams of spending time with all of my family are possible, but I must stay diligent in my sobriety and my change of lifestyle.  I don’t care about the things that fall away from me because if it means that I fall closer to God and family, I will deal.  My priorities have been rearranged by keeping my eyes on Him.  A random thought first thing in the morning, but it’s the little things that bring me to thoughts like this that will help me become the person that God created me to be.

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Compassion ((Love Thyself))

So they say that with sexual abuse there is a level of PTSD that comes along with it.  It’s important to view the symptoms of PTSD as an attempt by your mind and body to survive overwhelming trauma.  Symptoms may help me tune out my trauma and protect myself from further harm, or even make me feel safer.  The problem is that with some of the seemingly good things that PTSD, there are some darker sides to it.  The suicidal thinking and relationship problems.  During all of this, it’s important to allow myself to feel the pain and not to beat myself up when I’m not at my best.  I need to treat the child within with compassion and allow her to heal.  How can I do that if I’m talking to her worse than some of my enemies?

But just because I know that I self medicate because of things that happened to me that were beyond my control, it doesn’t give me the right to use unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Life on life’s terms.

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Write Your Own Story. Be the Hero.

Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” – Helen Keller (20th-century American writer)

The first week in sexual abuse recovery we discussed safety.  My entire treatment is revolving around a central idea of the need for safety.  We were given a list of about 100 coping skills from the book “Seeking Safety”, by Lisa M. Najavits.  The list contains quite a few different coping skills, but the first one that stood out to me before we really started delving into the list was:

“Write your own story.  Be the hero who overcomes adversity.”

This is my life and I have a choice to be happy or continue down a destructive path and make excuses for my behavior.  The latter just compounds the problem for me and denies me my chance to fulfill God’s plan for me.  It’s being willful against the divine plan that has been laid out for me.  Self sabotage.

My coping skills right now are to trust in the process and to choose self respect.  I want to like me in the morning.  I do a lot of self talking lately.  But I talk to myself as if I was a child and with compassion.  I need to nurture my heart and soul and allow myself to heal.  I can’t do that if I am constantly criticizing me.  I have to forgive me and realize that a lot of what I have done in life is a natural reaction to all of the sexual abuse I have encountered.  I’ve been pretty much experiencing sexual trauma from the age of seven on up. 

I can think of many times I self medicated for hours, days and even weeks to come out of a foggy drug/alcohol induced stage to only feel exponentially worse than if I would have just dealt with my problem head on.  I hated myself.  I couldn’t get past the fact that I was broken.  I was deathly afraid that I was destined to stay a coke head or lush.  I began to wonder if my life was a “do not” example for those around me.  That I was destined to live my life in pain.  I began to wish for death.  The drugs only numbed the pain for so long.  And I was in a vicious cycle that would never end until I seeked professional help.  The problem was that I was in denial for so long about what was going on that I couldn’t figure out the infamous question of WHY?  I had pushed the memories out of my mind as a way to not deal with them and created quite the conundrum for myself.  It wasn’t until the most recent trauma that I decided to seek help that I realized just how deep the waters ran with the issues that I had from the age of seven.  But it took God to chastise me and my behaviors, because I was not living right.  I didn’t have my eyes on him.  But it is my gift from suffering.  I made it out alive from a rape and kidnapping.  I thought death was in my face and that it was inevitable and that it was only a matter of time.  He gave me a way out.  He brought me to it and dragged me through it, but I do believe that it’s one heckuva testimony to pass on someday.  I know that God is gracious and I know that by faith in Him and the process, I will become the person that I was meant to be.

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Mind States

There are three primary states of mind:

  • Reasonable Mind
  • Emotion Mind
  • Wise Mind

When using reasonable minds, we are thinking logically and not emotional in our approach to solve our problems.

Example of reasonable mind is calling to order a pizza, getting directions online, following a recipe, asking for more information about a product, etc.

When using our emotional minds, we are thinking and behaving in a way that is somewhat ruled by our emotions more so than anything.

Some examples of using our emotional minds are cuddling with a pet, making love, going on a vacation impulsively (without any planning), fighting with a loved one, etc.

Our wise mind is a combination of the two above, plus add in intuition.  It’s the feeling of knowing what’s right, a felt sense.  We just know the right thing to do at that moment just because we know.  We’ve often heard of woman’s intuition, but it is definitely not reserved just for women.  All humans have this capability.

For me, my wise mind tells me that recovery is exactly what I need right at this moment.  My wise mind tells me that this blog is an important step to my recovery.  My wise mind tells me that through all the pain of the process, there is something so beautiful at the end that it’s all worthwhile.  I don’t need any rhyme or reason behind these things, because I just know.

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Mindfulness

Not sure where to start so I am going to just jump right in.  This week in my sexual abuse recovery group, we discussed the importance of mindfulness.  It’s funny how so many of us fail to live in the moment.  We are wrapped up with our yesterdays and so busy planning our tomorrows that we forget about the right now.  It’s funny because yesterday is nothing more than a reference point and a lesson, a guide of where to go from there.  The only time we can honestly be “for sure” about is the right here, right now.  Our recollections from the past change as time goes on and our feelings about the past can too.  It’s simply a tool to guide us for right now.  Tomorrow isn’t promised to us.  It’s important to be mindful of what we are doing right now.

Right now, I can feel the breeze against my skin.  I can hear the keys clicking as I type.  I can hear the television in the background.  I feel my hair tickling my arm as I write this.  Perhaps I should put it up so that it doesn’t distract me.  BAM.  I am being mindful of the moment.  It’s all the little things in life that we take for granted, that we never bother to notice because we are too consumed with yesterday and tomorrow.

Mindfulness is so important that it has been incorporated into many different religions and lifestyles.  It’s all about enjoying the moment and taking life’s simple morsels and learning to trust in direct experience – learn from it.

Mindfulness is something that I lacked my whole life.  I can’t recall ever just sitting for minutes or hours taking in what is going on at that very moment without the thoughts of tomorrow or the yesterdays.  Mindfulness helps me partake in life right now.  But while being mindful, it’s best to not judge what is going on.

If I find myself judging the moment, I need to be careful not to judge myself that I’m judging.  Feelings about feelings about feelings about feelings is a slippery slope and can lead to negative feelings and/or depression.

It’s the process of accepting things as they are.  On life’s terms.

“It is what it is.”

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