Monday, June 26, 2017

In response to Jody's post of 6/26 - "I Speak Because I Can"

Jody I think you should be commended for “pushing back” against the stigma and engaging ignorance. When reading the comments my 1st inclination was “don’t even bother trying to talk to someone who doesn’t get ANY of it”. And in all honesty that might have been what I would have chosen to do, were i in your place.

In reality, giving up on trying to explain my issues to people always made me feel WORSE! Kind of like “Never mind” and crawling back into a hole. I have great admiration for your willingness to confront and counter and try to educate.

As far as the attitude you dealt with from this person I would state the obvious to them: Be careful about opening your mouth about things you know little to nothing about. Until you walk in another person’s shoes, blah blah blah…

BUT..here is what I’ve witnessed. There are people who will not understand, but take you and your trauma at face value and TRY to imagine your issues. Then there are people who will (as this person did) attack. The ones who attack are often in denial of their OWN past issues. They THINK they have gotten over whatever is in their pasts, when in fact, it affects them DAILY. Their attitudes, their worldview, their habits and fears, their relationships. Everything. In reality, they may be very much like you, but choose to bury it and live in DENIAL. I know people like this and their view of EVERYTHING is warped. Their spouses, kids and friends suffer because this person refuse to look in the mirror. And they should be! It can be scary. But it can also be necessary.

Often it is not a trauma victim’s actions that are tools for “seeking attention”, but rather the person who attacks them in this manner, who is looking for people to notice them.
The bottom line for me is: Don’t attack Jody for having the GUTS to dig into the past that someone else created for her. She’s looking to heal from it. Don’t feel bad if you don’t have the same fortitude. Most people don’t. Most people won’t look outside themselves for help either, because they THINK they are in control and they know best.

The past is NEVER just the past. It’s the foundation that we had to build our current lives on and we usually don’t choose it. Our coping mechanisms and survival instincts can be faulty because of it. We can make terrible life choices based on our past, that will affect our future if left unchecked.

Bless you, Jody, for having the “balls” to look at it head on and take action most people would run from.

WA

Friday, May 19, 2017

Ya just never know....

This is totally off the cuff, but still.....

I've said in my podcasts before that I've adopted a new rule in life through recovery: If someone says something that touches my heart, I'm gonna tell 'em.

The funny thing is, it's not so much that I have "trained" myself how to do this. I found that it's something within me that I've always WANTED to do! It comes naturally. The reality was that I needed to give myself PERMISSION to do it. I had to understand that doing this isn't "stupid" or "sappy" (well...).

The amazing (also shitty) thing about any combination of mental or emotional issues, along with substance abuse, at least in my opinion, is that our perception of reality is distorted. If we see the world in unhealthy ways, we have a tendency to see ourselves just as inaccurately. We have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others.We think we have to be tougher that we think we are. We have to be smarter, or calmer. More balanced. Sometimes we finally give up and create some type of protective shell to insulate us from that world that we inaccurately see.

We withdraw.

We self-medicate.

We do both.

Again...not giving ourselves permission to just interact to OUR comfort level and get off of our own backs if we don't seem to "measure up" to what others do...or SAY that they do.

We need to move in healthy directions. Note that I didn't say "get there overnight". We need to MOVE TOWARD healthy thoughts and directions. Sometimes those directions come from the most unlikely places. It could be something as simple as people sharing their struggles as opposed to telling you how to fix yours. When you run across these conversations at a party, or on social media, at church or at work, try thinking, "OMG ME TOO!" instead of, "Oh you think THAT'S bad, look at what I've been through!"

We don't have to "one up" another person's pain. Nor do we have to elevate someone else's importance above and beyond our own. We just need to BE. We just need to share. Ya just never know. The other person might need to hear those thoughts today. You might brighten someone's mood. You might be reminding them that they are not alone. You might be telling them that they are necessary.

Share!

Do it in healthy ways. Try not to verbally vomit on people. At first anyway. lol. Get to know them a bit first.

And if someone says something that reaches you..... Resonates with you...... Tell them.

It doesn't have to be earth shattering. Then again, some of the simplest things you share about you, might just be a huge moment for me.

Ya just never know......

Peace,
WA