POSITIVE Responses to Painful Events (Part 1)

flowers 1


I don’t like the way I’m being treated

PREVIOUS: Negative Reactions (#3)

REVIEW:  Negative version of chart

POST : Emotional  Maturity

This new chart is the correction for the previous one, showing how to deal with stressors in a more appropriate & productive way. The first circle includes the same set of observations as in “Noticing Painful Events”

Lack of Acceptance: Even though ACoAs tend to accurately observe our environment, we often refuse to acknowledge what we see & hear, because:
i. we’ve been taught to repress what we know, developing a built-in forgetter / rose-colored-glasses / horse blinders, to keep us from looking around to see the truth or noticing other options. It’s a definite way to be loyal to the family toxic rules & stay the ‘good kid’ .

we don’t want to deal with the consequences of being awake – otherwise we’d have to make some hard decisions like speaking up for ourselves, having it out with someone, being less involved, or leaving. This prevents us from feeling old or new abandonment pain

EXP: You’ve know your BFF for a long time & have been thru a lot together. You’re in 12-step Recovery, learning to face your issues & own your CDs, she isn’t.  You’ve both had lots of lousy relationships, but now she’s married a young, gold-digging philanderer & she’s hurting – but doesn’t want to face being alone again.
You’re very upset for her & really angry at her denial – why can’t she admit she made a big mistake & dump him? She has blinders on, but so do you in some ways. She has never been willing to look at herself, her choices, her damage…. why do you think she’d start now?

Accurately identifying & acknowledging what we experience is an important part of Recovery, & eventually leads to a better life, because it:
• honors our truth by respecting our cognitive abilities (info from our brains & intuition)
• allows us to make self-caring decisions, choosing what’s best for us
• encourages us to leave bad situations which would add to the original abandonment, causing more mental & emotional stress
Keep repeating: I KNOW WHAT I KNOW – but I can’t know everything!

For our observations to be reliable / valid, we need to (IMPERFECTLY) have:Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 9.30.18 PM
❥ a lot less self-hate
❥ a clear distance from the bad voice (PP)
❥ decent boundaries, so less co-dependence
❥ a loving relationship with the Inner Child
❥ a connection to some kind of spirituality

EVENTs needed to be dealt with can be about:
a. any painful internal thought or emotion, not immediately triggered by a present event, but likely from our damaged past
b. a more immediate upset – having a fight, someone being mean, losing something valuable, a disappointed expectation….

c. a distressing situation of our own – death of a parent, a big break-up, losing a job, being in an accident, a fire…..
d. our reaction to a painful external info – like 911, pictures of people suffering anywhere, news of a death… not directly related to us

HEALTH means:
🌱 being able to quickly catch that we really are effected by something
🌱 acknowledging it withoutOR in spite of feeling shame, guilt, self-hate & anxiety, so we don’t have to deny or repress it
🌱 asking for support from appropriate people when we need help understanding & coping with a painful event
🌱 learning mental & emotional tools, & remembering to use them to take care of ourselves when distressed

EXP: Sam’s younger brother was in a terrible accident, has been in the ICU for some weeks Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 9.30.26 PM& doesn’t have long to live (Event). Sam & all his family are devastated (Es), both by the upcoming loss, & because it reminds them of their own mortality

Some are in various states of denial (Ts) about how serious the brother’s damage is, but Sam is valiantly grappling with his shock & fear (Es). He shares his pain in Recovery & makes shifts in some of his long-help beliefs (Ts). Through the pain he’s using this Event as an opportunity for growth (As).  YOGA man: Grudging Acceptance 🥺

NEXT: Positive Responses – Emotions

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.