A Beautiful Mess

A Sexual Abuse and Addiction Recovery Blog

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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Hard to Fathom

I’m still in recovery.  I’ve come to terms that it’s highly likely that I will need to see a therapist and/or still attend meetings for the remainder of my life.

What’s different at this point is… I have forgiven all who have harmed me.  And by doing so, it’s allowed me to move on from my past.  The anger, sadness and resentment were all poisons to my soul and not allowing me to be present in the moment.

I’ve finally found a place in recovery that I can call home.  It’s been a struggle because when I moved back home, the options were rather limited.  And after having the The Healing Center for two years while living in Milwaukee, I was disappointed with what little was available to me.  For me, tough love doesn’t work.  I experienced tough love for many years of my life, particularly my childhood, that it actually drives me to want to use.   I need a more compassionate environment to thrive.

For years, I denounced the idea of NA.  I thought that their approach to God indicated that I’d be sitting in a room with a bunch of people trying to convert me.  That is so far from the truth, it’s ridiculous.  Within the NA circles, God is very personal and the members respect that.  I can only speak on my experiences with the program in the little time I have been participating, but I’m ecstatic.  I need a spiritual awakening.  And to be able to do that on my terms, with people who have been in my shoes and have that guidance is nothing short of a pure recovery decadence.

In addition to going to face-to-face meetings, I have found a wonderful online community.  The people in there are wonderful.  It’s a great alternative to face-to-face meetings although we haven’t figured out how to hug through the internet… lol.  I really do miss the hugs!

I’m on Step One.  I have 15 days clean.  I am feeling excited, scared, thankful, grateful, overwhelmed and relaxed.  Quite the mixture of emotions, but I’m hanging in there.  Just for today.

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No Counseling for My Counseling

I quit my one on one on Friday.  I have been giving her the benefit of the doubt and on Friday, it was the last straw.  She’s had some personal issues and had to cancel two weeks.  Then two other weeks she was running late.  The last session we had together, she kept her hand covering her nose and mouth the whole while.  She was consistently watching the clock.  I just didn’t feel comfortable about us and what we road we were on.  Bad start.  I did call the director of the program to let her know I’d like to be put back on the waiting list for a new person.  I have found some healthy outlets to let off some steam, namely writing and going to the gym.  I will live.  It’s disappointing, but I would rather wait for someone else where I can really feel like I’m not inconveniencing them.  She seemed rather unorganized.  Both days prior to her being late for our appointments, I had reminded her of our scheduled time.  She wanted me to come in and talk about it with her.  I’m sorry, but I just see getting counseling for my counseling being asinine.  I have enough issues to deal with and discuss.  Then the point that really made it unworkable for me is her lack of accountability about running late for our appointments.  She blatantly lied and said we were scheduled at a different time.  I don’t need anyone else in my life denying me my reality.

I’m hopeful that they will find someone more appropriate for me.

Mother nature is kicking my ass.  All the Midol in the world isn’t helping today 😦   C’est la Vie!

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No Love Lost

Bah.  Got a call from “jerkface”.  I’m so not referring to these people by real name, nor will I refer to them as my family.  Tired of perpetuating abuse by seeking the love and validation from people who protect my abusers / perpetrators, what have you.  It’s disgusting that somehow in all of this mess, they try and hide it all so much.  And then to want to have a “secret” relationship with me because they don’t want to rock the boat.  Well, let me help you… I’ll change my number, cut ties and move on.  That way you can sit in your boat with the comfort of all of them and just enjoy “being” ((insert heavy sarcasm)).  I don’t need anyone to support me … “secretly”.  Either you do or you don’t, but no love lost.  Because I’m tired of seeking and searching and trying to make amends with people who hurt me and continue to do so.  Feel free to carry on with your lives and just know that I am no longer silent, but fret not, I do not wish to confront any of my abusers.  Why would I do something like that when they don’t have half a sense in their damn brain anyways and they continuously lie to themselves to stay safe inside this fake ass world they created so that they can cope.  I choose to be enlightened.  Get me the hell out of this dark closet with all of you.  I don’t care anymore.  I throw my hands up and I give up.  I am not interested in seeking validation from any of my abusers anymore.  I was just a very confused child who didn’t know any better.  But now that I am a grown woman and I can see things for what they are… I’m all good.  I forgive every last one of them, but for my own good, I am not pursuing any type of relationship with any of them from this day forward.

It’s bittersweet.

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I Bought a Pencil…

I love to write in pen.  I hate pencils.  But after receiving our “self care project” aka homework, I will be needing it.  We were given a house on a piece of paper, on one side of the house, we are to list the supportive people in our lives at the time of the abuse.  On the other side we are to list those that were not.  I don’t want to live in denial, but it’s going to hurt to write it down in pen and make it permanent.  So I bought a pencil…  Does it take away the permanent’ness of it all for me?  No.  But it is serving as a bit of a coping skill while I do put it in.  It’s really sad to acknowledge it.  Nonetheless, bring the healing on!

In group today, I think what really stood out the most to me was the fact that I still have this inner compulsion to have a need met from my childhood.  I play a part in perpetuating my abuse by seeking the love of those that didn’t protect me.  I don’t know how to separate quite yet, we haven’t gotten that far.  But I am very much looking forward to it, because it has me in limbo about some very important things.  Trusting in the process.  All in due time.

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At This Moment…

At this moment, I have so much to be thankful for.  Another person in my shoes may not feel the same, but I am seeing progress.  And in life, I’ll take some progress anyday over standing still or moving backwards.

My heartaches for a young lady right now.  Preteen and a victim of the same perpetrator that is also mine.  He stole my childhood.  He made me deal with adult issues as a child.  He almost ruined my life.  And knowing that he has struck again… and again… and again, sickens me.  I am so proud of her though.  She’s so strong and as a society, we’ve come a long way with coping mechanisms and helping children work through it.  I will pray for her.  I will be there for her anytime she needs me.  I am truly hurt that she had to endure any moment with him.  God bless.

My open group at The Healing Center is doing amazing things for me.  It’s great to be surrounded by a group of women that are working so hard to put these things in their past and move forward.  Such a strong, courageous and determined group of women.  They inspire me.  Therapy does stir the pot.  I don’t always leave feeling better than when I went in, but it’s all part of the healing process.  I want it to be immediate and I want it all solved now, but I know that it’s a process and not just something I do and poof it’s all good.  It’s gonna hurt.  I’m going to cry.  But at least, I have the shoulder’s of these women and this center to lean on.  I am now in two different groups there.  And I’ve been told I will be receiving my one on one counseling in January – woohoo, moved up on the wait list 🙂  An early Christmas present!  Thank you Jesus!

I know that all in due time, I will be where I want to be.  I just have to remember that this is God’s will and God’s plan, so I must not interject with my own demands.  I need to be patient and flex my faith muscle.

More later, all this blogging has my fingers cramping 🙂  LOL.

Humbled and on the road to recovery!

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Summer, Not What I Expected

So here I sit, kind of feeling like I was sucked into a tornado and spit out.  I’m still dazed from what came to be right after graduation from SATR (recovery) group.  All those tools and information available to me.  I guess I should be grateful for having them, because things could have been incredibly worse.

I moved to 920 because a friend of mine lost their home due to being incarcerated.  This was a blessing, I had thought to myself.  I thought being closer to family and facing my demons of the past would be good for me.  HAH.  Well, not only did I ignorantly move into a former drug house thinking I could turn into a home with no consequence, I also was way too early in my recovery to be “testing” myself.  After four attempted break in’s, I started to really dread being in that house.  It was to the point that I was afraid to be in there and I felt nauseous the minute I walked in.  I would immediately feel relief upon walking out the door.  This ended up causing me a lot of turmoil.  Some of which lead to drug usage.

Another unrealistic expectation I had – my family isn’t going to come running back to me immediately after everything I’ve put them through.  So I was expecting that the minute I graduated from my recovery program, that they would welcome me with open arms and be calling me in their free time to hang out.  That’s not the case.  I sacrificed the trust and open arms of my family by using drugs.  Fifteen years of usage and a 16 week program doesn’t send family rushing in.  They are overtly cautious.  I understand.

I spent a lot of time alone and the people I did know, were nothing more than con artists, manipulators and people who loved my money – masked as friends.  They did a good job of fooling me when I was in the throws of self medicating, but dealing with them in a sober mind and really wanting recovery, I saw another side to these wolves in sheep’s clothing.

I felt like I was running away from my problems.  But I just am not strong enough yet to have to deal like that on a daily basis.  I brought my butt back to 414.

I have enough money to get my apartment.  I’ve been searching.  I know that even my family is being cautious, anyone who looks at my background is probably going to be as well.  I am being patient and having faith that it will happen for me.

Been spending more time on SMART Message Board and I really like the community of it right now.  I’ve been isolating a lot and using food as a comfort.  I’m ready to make some progress changing those things.

I finished my Cost/Benefit Analysis on my alcohol/drug usage.  You can check it out here.

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Grounding ((Coping Skill))

The week’s quote was “No feeling is final.” Rainer Maria Rilke is a 20th-century German poet who was credited with this quote.  I love it.  Basically, to me, it means that with time all wounds can heal and the old adage of, “this, too, shall pass”.

What is Grounding?

Grounding is a simple set of strategies to detach from emotional pain (self harm impulses, anger, sadness, drug/alcohol cravings).  It works by focusing outward on the external world, rather than on what’s going on inside.  Other words or phrases used to describe this coping skill are: distraction, centering, a safe place, looking outward, or healthy detachment.

Why Do Grounding?

It helps when the emotions are too overwhelming to be dealt with at that particular moment.  It helps give control over feels and helps a person stay safe.

Guidelines regarding grounding:

  • Grounding can be done any time, any place, anywhere, and no one has to know.
  • Use grounding when you are faced with a trigger, enraged, dissociating, having a substance craving or whenever your emotional pain goes above 6 (on a 0-10 scale).  Grounding puts healthy distance between you and these negative feelings.
  • Keep your eyes OPEN, scan the room, and turn the light on to stay in touch with the present.
  • Rate your mood before and after grounding, to test whether it worked.  Before grounding, rate your level of emotional pain (0-10, where 10 means “extreme pain”).  The rerate it afterward.  Has it gone down?
  • No talking about negative feelings or journal writing – you want to distract away from negative feelings, not get in touch with them.
  • Stay neutral – avoid the judgment of good vs. bad.  Simply state the facts, like, “the walls are white”, “the floor is hard and cold”, “the lamp is silver”.
  • Focus on the present, not the past or future.
  • Note that grounding is different than a relaxation training.  Grounding is much more involved and focuses on distractions and is supposed to be used when extremely negative feelings arise.

Grounding is believed to be very effective for those with PTSD.

Ways of Grounding

  • Mental: focusing on mind
  • Physical: focusing on your senses
  • Soothing: talk to self in a very kind way

Examples of Mental

Describe environment in detail, describe an everyday activity in great detail, read something backwards (helps focus on the word(s) themselves and not the writing), count to ten or say the alphabet

Examples of Physical

Run cool or warm water over hands, grab tightly to a chair or railing, dig heels into the floor, jump up and down, stretch, eat something and describe it in detail, focus on breathing

Examples of Soothing

Tell yourself kind statements (You are a good person going through hard times.  You’ll get through this.), think of favorite colors, shows, etc., picture people you care about, remember an inspiring song/poem

Grounding works.  For my experience, I enjoy a mixture of all three depending on my mood and how intense it is.  For me, the soothing and physical work best when I’m really wound up, but the mental is good when it’s something that upsets me, but more on a scale of a 6 or 7.

Take from this what you will.  I am very thankful to have the resources available to me and I hope that someone somewhere may find these of good use to them.

Eyes on God.  Humbled.

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Spectacular Weekend

I had an amazing weekend.  I spent time with “S” and it was really great to see her.  She just got out of jail and really seems to have her head screwed on a bit tighter.  I’m so proud of her.  She’s come a long way.  I felt a small victory in life, because at group last Thursday, I went to the survivor speak out and lit a candle to illuminate someone else’s journey.  Well, let’s just say “S” went to church with me on Sunday and it was great to renew baptismal promises.  “S” even spoke on God later that evening which was so amazing and touched my soul, because before that I’ve never really heard her embrace him.  So yay, plus one for the God team 😉

Not much of a manic Monday, more of a relaxing Monday 🙂  Going to blog on the topics from group the past two weeks.  I want to make sure that at least cookie crumbs of what I’m getting are reaching someone, somewhere, somehow.  If it does, then not only does blogging help me, but perhaps someone else!

I love this quote: “And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.” -Erica Jong

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Illuminating the Journey

I went to a survivor speak out and celebration of healing.  It was much needed as I really felt kind of out of body this past week.  I am constantly humbled, even when I think I’m being humble.  I continue to be humbled.  I feel like I’m being broke down, to be built back up and I’m cool with that.  Lord only knows how many times I’ve been built up to be broke down.  So knowing that it’s all for the good, I’m willing to suffer through it and do everything in my power to stay focused.

Back to to survivor speak out, it was so moving.  I’m in the beginning stages of my treatment and it’s all about safety and learning to control myself.  I’m getting comfortable with the fact that a perfect state will not exist.  It is not possible, but I can take the tools I am learning and do my best with them.  They are making an impact in just a short period of time and I’m doing pretty well if I do say so myself 🙂

We lit a candle at the survivor speak out.  It was symbolic of helping bring someone else to light out of darkness.  We spent a moment in time giving thought, prayers and positive energy to those that have yet to seek help.

I’m thankful for the day.  I’m thankful for those that are no longer choosing to associate with me.  I’m thankful for those that are re-emerging.  I’m thankful that I have had one of life’s “aha moments”.

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