"Hurt people hurt people." And, "if you never heal from what hurt you, you'll bleed on people who didn't cut you." I have witnessed and experienced these truths time and again throughout my 51 years. Having had my fragile, developing psyche pummeled with years of both overt verbal and emotional attacks and covert, passive aggressive … Continue reading “Hurt people hurt people.”
THE MUTUALISTIC GIFT OF LIFE A hallmark character trait, or at least temporary state of being, for those of us with a mental illness or addiction is self-centeredness. In fact, we addicts can become so self-absorbed that secondary sociopathy can be an additional diagnosis when we are deep in our addiction. When I was in … Continue reading THE MUTUALISTIC GIFT OF LIFE
One of the most crucial pieces of recovery from mental illness, addiction, or deeply rooted shame is to learn to love yourself. Not in a Narcissistic, self-absorbed way. But in a healthy, "I give myself the same love that I give my children, spouse, and/or sibling" way. Authentic love of a human being, whether it … Continue reading Love Yourself
Those of us with a mental illness, addictions, or unresolved trauma struggle with feeling safe with other people and with building meaningful connections-when we aren't in some form of recovery. For 26 years of untreated Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism, I felt isolated, lonely, fearful, anxious, and ashamed nearly every time I was around others, particularly … Continue reading Those of us with a mental illness, addictions, or unresolved trauma struggle with feeling safe with other people and with building meaningful connections-when we aren’t in some form of recovery. For 26 years of untreated Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism, I felt isolated, lonely, fearful, anxious, and ashamed nearly every time I was around others, particularly strangers. And I had no clue how to enter into relationships that weren’t toxic. This excerpt from Women Suffer Too, a personal testimony from AA’s Big Book, resonates powerfully with me: “My inability to accept the harsh realities of life had resulted in a disillusioned cynic, clothed in a protective armor against the world’s misunderstanding. That armor had turned into prison walls, locking me in loneliness—and fear. All I had left was an iron determination to live my own life in spite of the alien world—and here I was, an inwardly frightened, outwardly defiant woman, who desperately needed a prop to keep going. Alcohol was that prop, and I didn’t see how I could live without it.” THAT WAS ME! By the grace of God, I found a Recovery regimen that works for me. It has enabled me to have a life rather than waking up every day facing a grueling struggle to survive. And God willing, one day at a time, I will continue doing what I need to do to keep experiencing comfort in my skin and meaningful, loving relationships
"When the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind." I have experienced the reality behind this metaphor in a very powerful way. For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with Bipolar Disorder, though I didn't know what it was for many years. Impulsivity, distorted thinking, obsessions, ruminations, compulsions, … Continue reading And the wind that used to terrify me rarely causes me fear anymore
For many years, it felt better for me not to talk. At all. About anything. To anyone. Between my undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder, my deeply embedded toxic shame, and my indoctrination from my family of origin, it felt "natural" AND "comfortable" to stuff my feelings, keep my thoughts to myself, refrain from expressing my needs or … Continue reading Stay connected! Even if it’s uncomfortable until you get adjusted to it!
I can still remember years ago (when I was in the throes of my untreated Bipolar Disorder exacerbated by the trauma of frequent verbal and emotional abuse) that when I walked into a room full of people, it was like preparing to wade into a swamp of predatory crocodiles. My toxic shame would envelope me … Continue reading The perceived crocodiles are gone. And the real ones don’t matter.
"Don't believe everything you think " Thoughts come to us spontaneously, unbidden, and sometimes unwanted. One of the essential lessons that I have learned over my 25 years of recovery from Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism is that my first thought is usually distorted, inaccurate, or misguided in some way, as it is usually viscerally driven … Continue reading Don’t believe everything you think
"You will emerge from this nightmare like the powerful, beautiful, resilient person who you are." Powerful and true words of encouragement for those who have been thrust into the nightmare of Clinical Depression. Depression is a a truly hellish experience. It has its own distinct flavor of (emotional) torture in the sense that it robs … Continue reading You may not see it or believe it now, but you can and will overcome this
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." THAT is one of the biggest lies ever told. Words are powerful. Words matter. Words can encourage and convey love or they can gash the psyche, convey hate, and plant the seeds of shame. If we are pummeled with cruel words frequently … Continue reading LIE: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”