A Beautiful Mess

A Sexual Abuse and Addiction Recovery Blog

Fighting the Good Fight

Some days are definitely better than others.  My mind is fucking with me today.  My insecurities are shining like a lighthouse.  I feel like a downer to people around me and I’m just not in the greatest place.  There is a strong urgency to numb it all somehow, but I know that’s not the answer.  I know that these feelings are fleeting, but I’ve just been in a negative space in my head this past week.  It has included flash backs to the night my father passed, feeling inadequate, not loved equally, lesser than… a big ol’ ball of my dis-ease talking to me.  I’m fighting back and not giving in to all this amazingly crazy talk inside my head.  I’m giving myself pep talks in the mirror.  I want to cry, I want to laugh… I feel like crying, but I really WANT to laugh.  I don’t want to feel like crying.  I want to feel happiness and contentment and actually believe the affirmations that I recite when I feel like this.  I’m just working on trying to validate myself and not look to the external world to give me my worth.

This week has just been off.  First, it was someone bringing up the night my father died and the shriek I let out when I found out.  Then it was a meeting with a woman who was talking over me with large words and science type shit about a field I had chosen to explore.  On to listening to praise of others from a loved one, when inside I was wishing that they’d think that highly of me.  Did a makeup application when the woman loved it, but then went home for her husband to convince her she looked bad.  I’m not having a bad life, I’m having a really off week.  I just needed to journal to get this shit off my chest, because when I voice it to others, I feel like I’m either a downer or they are telling me I need to let it go, in so many words.

Ugh.

PTSD sucks.  Codependency sucks.  Addiction sucks.

Despite all this, I am choosing recovery.  I am choosing to say no to the demons inside my mind.  I will fight.

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Emotional Challenges

I am being challenged with keeping a stable emotional state of mind.  Most of it is due to things that are out of my control, but I know that certain things are negatively impacting my state of mind.

My significant other is constantly mood swinging and I’m having to detach from how he chooses to feel on a moment to moment basis.  My natural instinct is to fix it, cheer him up, do whatever to make him smile… put my own happiness second to his.  It’s literally going to kill me if I don’t change my ways.  He’s not physically violent, but the emotional instability from all this certainly isn’t good for my recovery.

Codependency sucks.

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Christmas Hangover

When I refer to “Christmas Hangover”, I’m not talking about alcohol or any mind altering substances.  I’m talking about the emotional buildup of hanging out for the obligatory socializing with people I may not normally see or talk to any other time of the year.  It is awkward for me and a painful reminder of childhood circumstances and the damage I’ve caused with addiction and side effects of PTSD.

I do my best to attend and really work on keeping my perspective on the side of feeding the “good” within me.  I can make a heaven out of hell – or – a hell out of heaven.  I did pretty well until I sat down for dinner for day two of festivities and the absence of my father just set in… all at once like someone sat a huge cement block on my chest.  I feel like I did well overall, but I had reached my maximum output.  I could no longer keep the mask on of holiday festivities and the real me starting shining through.  I don’t like to come across as a drama queen.  It’s kind of been my forte over the years and I’ve come to terms with the need for a higher level of emotional maturity.  I succeed most of the time, but man oh man, I could feel a break down bubbling up.  It’s not that I don’t love my family, but I don’t have the relationship with the them that I wish I did.  So… being there, feeling the obligatory invite, and seeing them interact and all that… it just saddens me in a way that I don’t think they could understand without personally experiencing.  I feel like they are doing my stepmother a favor by having me there.

I’m fighting some severe codependency issues.  I was in denial and only recently identified that it’s a severe issue in my life.  Putting myself in the center of my own universe and accepting responsibility for my own happiness is extremely scary and foreign to me.  But I know that it’s intensely affecting my quality of life.

So the day after Christmas is always wonderful for me… it’s the furthest I can get from having to Christmas again.  Today let the celebration commence.  Also, the days are getting longer, as well, so that in itself is another reason to celebrate.

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Disarray

My life has been completely out of control lately and it seems that the only one who really knows this is me.  I have learned how to lie and how to keep things a secret so much more now.  It makes me sad that I’ve gotten so good at keeping those close to me out of my craziness.  Inside I am screaming help me… but no one can hear it.  I nearly broke down in tears today when I saw the proud fathers walking their small children to the bus.  I don’t know what it was, but out of nowhere I could barely breathe from trying to not feel whatever it was that I was feeling.  I’m missing out on life.  I’ve missed out on so much.  There will be a time in my life when I will regret all the time I never had with my family because I was too busy entertaining my addiction.  I’m scared inside.  I’m dying inside.  But no one knows…

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Self Compassion

Been having a couple of weeks that have been emotionally draining.  I’m pretty sure it has something to do with me being off of my medications and also being smack dab and in the midst of winter.  I’m having a hard time accepting that it’s okay to just survive right now.  After all, treading water certainly seems better than drowning.  It’s been difficult for me to truly allow myself to feel how I am feeling.  I keep judging it.  I feel lazy, withdrawn, depressed, zilch for energy.  I am thankful that I have my doctor’s appointment next Monday.  I am happy to know that this feeling will pass.  It’s why I celebrate the good so much.  I know that, too, will pass.

Life.  On life’s terms.

I’m working on not beating myself up, but lately I’ve had some negative thoughts creeping in.  It’s also some people on the outside of my head as well… some not so encouraging words, because I have never seem to deliver before, so why now?  And I feel their frustration, probably more than they will ever truly know.  All I’ve really wanted to do was make certain people in my life proud.  I seem to struggle with the basics sometimes… although other times I feel like I am kicking ass at life.

I don’t know.  I just needed to blog.  Vent.  Since there really isn’t anyone I can talk to about this.  Everyone is so busy with their lives and I, most certainly, hate feeling like a drama queen when discussing this with people who don’t get it.  It’s over their head and overwhelming.  I don’t want to put that on them and ultimately, there is nothing that they could do, but listen.  Sometimes I wish they could listen.  But when they hear the things I say I can see the looks of shock on their face.  I know they can’t handle my truth.  Disclosure is not 100% safe.   I feel like sometimes I have to put on this facade and be who society wants me to be.  When I do this, I feel so fake.  I want to just be able to be me, and not care what the world thinks.  I am moving closer to this, but I’m still quite sensitive to others opinions, particularly when they aren’t very nice.

Mad at myself for letting an old friend back in a door, as well.  Felt completely used and unappreciated after tending to their every need/demand because I felt bad that they were in a predicament.  On the flip side, they didn’t give a hoot about what I had going on and completely took advantage.

I don’t regret helping them.  I do regret that I will not be as quick to go out of my way for them again.  It is what it is.  All I can control is me.

My anxiety attacks have been in full effect.  Partially induced by myself because I keep letting a certain someone back in and within hours I am triggered again.  Practicing self soothing skills.  Trying to just allow myself to do whatever necessary for me to feel safe and not to feel silly about it.

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Riding the Waves

Let me start off with saying that I am truly blessed.  I am so very thankful with where I am in life.  There once was a time when this all seemed to be a fantasy… the family, the friends, the growing stability, the love, the wisdom… the coping skills 😉  But it’s all real now.  I still think about what a miracle occurred in my life.  Definitely some sort of divine intervention.

The relationship I spoke about very briefly in my prior post ended up fizzling.  I had an idea that it was over before it started, but that’s a whole other story for another day.

What’s irking me is Christmas.  Christmas is so flippin’ commercialized these days that it’s caused people to go into frenzies for days, weeks and months on end… they are stressed out, running around crazy, overpreparing, overspending, overindulging… just too much of everything, and not enough of what it’s really supposed to be about.

I want it to end.  And then, to top it off, mother nature decided that now would be a good time to visit.  I’m already irritated enough.  I do believe my coping skills are getting a work out, but I’m thankful that I have them.

Bah Humbug.  Oh, and Happy Holidays 😉

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Respecting the Process

It’s been a while since I blogged.  So many wonderful things have happened.
For one, I am now employed FT and kicking major booty in the performance department.
I actually have health benefits… WHOA!
I have met some wonderful new people at work that I am starting to consider friends.
I am super flippin’ thankful!
Now with all that being said, it doesn’t mean that it’s all peaches and cream.  I’m still struggling.  I’m still fighting a daily battle to love myself unconditionally.  There are times that life is not what I want, but yet what I sadly choose.  I don’t beat myself up for choices that are not good for me, but I do realize that they are indicators.  Red flags that something must be put in check, because I know what a slippery slope things can be.
I am learning to respect the process, though.  I understand, fully, that my transformation into who I was and where I want to be is going to take time.  As they say, Rome wasn’t built overnight…

All in all, though, I’m still surviving and at times… even thriving.

Keep on keeping on and don’t lose patience or understanding of the journey.  It’s not quick and easy.  It’s hard as hell.  But I respect the process and I acknowledge that I am taking steps in the right direction.  Even though I may stumble, it’s that I get the hell back up that matters.
“Illegitimi non carborundum.”

((Don’t let the bastards grind you down.))

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Looking for a Trace…

I studied the mirror to find a trace of you.

I turned to the left, tilted my head, smiled, unsmiled…

I locked on my own eyes and it was there that I found you.

RIP Mom

7/4/2011

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Mourning Losses – And It Continues

Well there were obvious losses during my journey here in this lovely world.  Those were difficult to grieve.  But there are other losses that were not expected.  I was well aware of the ones that I needed to remove, but never gave a thought to the fact that some were looking at me as people they needed to remove, or simply chose to.  Part of me is really angry and upset.  I feel like I am being chastised as an adult for choices that I made as a child.  I was lost and confused.  I needed guidance, not judgment.  These people gave up on me long ago, without my noticing.  Now that I am working on reestablishing ties with my family, I notice that some just are going the other way.  It probably wouldn’t be so bad if they were broke and humbled, but they are not.  Their cutting me off feels more like black sheep of the family, something that they wish they could just sweep under the rug.  I can feel their looks of superiority and their eyes say it all.  Surely, they do know that it’s most certainly not their place to judge and that a little bit of compassion goes a long way?  Too high and mighty, imo.

No good deed goes unpunished.  Well most don’t, but there are a few that do.  Reached out to a friend in need and offered a hand.  Well, basically my hand was bitten and I guess I have to remember that I can’t help anyone that won’t help themselves and some people are just takers.

Positive things:  DAD <3, that man is the best thing I have in my life.  I’m blessed with such an amazing man for a father.

PAT <3, she is an outstanding women for raising me as her own.  I know that she still feels guilty about a lot of things, but you know what, she truly did her best with raising me and I’m truly blessed to have a woman love me like she does when I spent quite a few years dishing out teenage angst and grief.

LIGHT <3, all that was done in the dark was revealed in the light.  The light does not betray me, scare me or misguide me.

How do I put a positive spin on things?  How do I remove the victim within the survivor?  I choose to look at this as a way to see those that are truly there for me and celebrate their presence in my life.  I will not focus energy on attempting to make someone love or care about me.  Love is natural and if it must be pushed or prodded, it’s not the kind of love I seek.  I will be thankful for the breaths that I was given for this day and look at the clouds with wonder instead of yearning for the sun.  Life is a gift.  I just hope that I can allow myself to feel it’s joys instead of focusing on it’s pains.

People choosing not to place me in their life is a practice of my respecting their boundaries.  Boundaries are hard enough when they are our own… lol 🙂  It’s a two way street.

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Coping and Living With Anxiety

Well let’s start with some fun and uplifting news.  Brain chemistry can be changed.  And we can do it ourselves.  It’s scientifically proven.  I’m not blowing smoke up anyone’s butt.

Let me start with also saying that the majority of this blog is material that is quoted or paraphrased from ACT Made Simple – free e-book via Google.

The mind can be a big bully.  It can play tricks on us.  It does play tricks on us.  Our mind is like a great storyteller.  It wants us to listen to it.  It wants our full attention.  And it will say whatever it needs to say to get our attention.  And while some of the stories our mind tells are true, there are times that it’s most definitely not factual.  It’s more like opinions, beliefs, attitudes, ideas, so on and so forth.  We need to learn when the stories are helpful and when they are not.  Close your eyes for 30 seconds and just listen to the stories your mind is telling you right now.

We are not our thoughts.  Thoughts do not create behaviors.  We need to retrain our brains.  Let go of the thoughts that are standing in the way of us doing what we need to do to live a rich, fulfilling and meaningful life.  Negative self talk is so destructive and I am guilty of entertaining it, but I do make a point for the most part, to dispute those thoughts.  My thoughts do manifest the reality I live in.  Sometimes we need to disconnect from our thoughts by practicing some in the moment exercises.  We must escape from our thinking mind from time to time and use our observing mind.

THOUGHTS

Pragmatism

If you go along with that thought, buy into it, and let it control you, where does that leave you?  What do you get for buying into it?  Where do you go from here?  Can you give it a go anyway, even though your mind says it won’t work?

Interested

That’s an interesting thought.

Meditative

Let your thoughts come and go like passing clouds.

Your Mind is Like…

A “don’t get killed” machine, a word machine, radio “gloom and doom”, a masterful salesman, the world’s greatest story teller, a fascist dicator, a judgment factory

Bullying Reframe

What’s it like to be pushed around by that thought/belief/idea?  Do you want it to run your life and tell you what to do all the time?

Problem Solving

You’re in pain, so your mind tries to figure out a way to stop the pain.  Your mind evolved to solve the problems.  This is its job.  It’s not defective; it’s doing what it evolved to do.  But some of those solutions are not very effective.  Your job is to assess whether your mind’s solutions are effective: do they give you a rich and full life in the long run?

Workability

If you let that thought dictate what you do, how does it work in the long run?  Does buying into it help you create a rich, full and meaningful life?

Naming the Story

If all these thoughts and feelings were put into a book or movie, titled “the something something story,” what would you call it?  Each time this story shows up, name it: “Aha, there’s the XYZ story again!”

FEELINGS

Healing Hand

Lay a hand on the part of your body where you feel this most intensely.  Imagine this is a healing hand — the hand of a loving nurse, or parent, or partner.  Send some warmth into this area — not to get rid of the feeling, but to open up around it, make room for it, hold it gently.

Normalizing

This feeling tells you that you’re a normal human being who has a heart and who cares.  This is what humans feel when there’s a gap between what we want and what we’ve got.

Compassion

Hold this feeling gently as if it’s a crying baby or a whimpering puppy.

The Choice to Feel

Suppose I could give you a choice: (a) you never get to have feelin ever again, but it means you lose all capacity to love and care, or (b) you get to love and care, but when there’s a gap between what you want and what you’ve got, feelings like this one show up.  Which do you choose?

CLARIFYING VALUES

Wealth

You inherit a fortune.  What would you do with it?  Who would be there to share those activities or appreciate the things you buy?  How would you act toward all those people who share your new life?

Character Strengths

What personal strenths and qualities do you already have?  Which new ones would you like to develop?  How would you like to apply them?

What Matters?

What do you really want?  What matters to you in the big picture?  What do you want to stand for?  Is there anything in your life right now that gives you a sense of meaning, purpose, vitality?

Missing Out

What important areas of life have you given up or missed out on for lack of willingness?

Artistic Methods

Paint, draw, or sculpt your values

Childhood Dreams

As a child, what sort of life did you imagine for your future?

There are a plethora of other dealing mechanisms for bringing out minds back down to earth, this is just a few.  I suggest visiting here to read Act Made Simple: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy e-book that facilitates and teaches the ACT method.  Retrain the brain.   Change the chemistry!  Because we can.

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