There never seems to be a good place to start in my thought processes, so I guess I’ll just jump right in. I’ve felt a “nudge” lately to engage more when it comes to my own issues rather than spending so much time trying to relate to similar problems. Not to say it’s a “bad” or “wrong” thing to explore the many faces of emotional/mental/addiction disorders. In fact, I DO think that a better understanding of the sub-categories (for lack of better term) helps me think. Helps us all push the stigma back. I’ve been aware, for a long time, of how stigma can exist even within the parameters of a specific illness or condition.
What I’ve become more aware of the last few weeks is how much I’ve forgotten, or perhaps never really understood about my own issues. Maybe I should start there. Substance abuse and anxiety issues are what I “major” in. Once the alcohol was gone, I spent some time attacking my anxiety issues from a new angle. Rather than just figure out coping mechanisms (which I still struggle with) I decided to follow a specific set of guidelines and a program to safely explore the underlying cause of my life-long anxiety and fear. My anger is fear-based. My pride is fear-based. My resentments are fear-based. If I don’t deal with them, I see, in my mind’s eye, a huge rug with an every growing lump under it. That is something my hyper-sensitive brain cannot tolerate ;)
Some of it I was born with. I have a biological predisposition for being anxious or uptight as a rule. An alcoholic/enabling family exacerbated that predisposition. Fear was heaped upon fear. Never knowing where I stood emotionally contributed to a chameleon type existence where I was trying to be all things to all people. One of the scariest moments (yet exciting) was realizing that I had NO earthly idea who I was, nor who I was meant to be.
Since there is alcoholism in my immediate family, it’s safe to say I have a predisposed disposition to take booze to the extreme. Yet a fear of alcohol as a teen caused me to avoid drinking or drugs. Like everything I had to fearfully sip my way into that behavior too!
I have found that, for me, this is a mental, but also emotional set of issues. I’m getting better at not being as overly emotional as I have been in the past, but it’s still a work in progress. I’m trying to learn where my emotions benefit me and where they should be tempered. Choosing not to be “run over” by others is a good thing, as long as I don’t use that energy to bulldoze another person. Balance is the key.
So I have backed off of some of my responsibilities this year in order to intentionally create more time to explore ME. If you see me on Twitter (because I don’t say much) it’s probably because you shared something in your own walk/journey that hit me like a brick.
I’m glad you’re there,