RECOVERY – What IT IS & IS NOT (Part 3)


SITEs : “What is Mental Health?

“…Stages of Emotional Healing
(scroll down)


IS NOT...❖…‘letting go’ of all behavior & thought patterns quickly, or so completely that we’re permanently free of them.  ALL expectation & demands for perfection or for any extreme (B & W thinking) – comes from damage, & a surefire setup for self-hate!

IS...❧…accepting we’ll always have stuff to work on, ‘til our end – never being completely free of early patterns, ideas & wounds.  Great improvements – YES! Completely cleaned out? NO.

Under stress it’s normal to regress to our earliest default settings. Even when our actions come mostly from the Healthy Adult, our emotions & thoughts can sometimes be from that familiar place of being a victim, from self-hate, fear, envy, impatience, greed…  BUT – they don’t last as long, since we know where they come from, can get support, & help the WIC with love & logic.

IS NOT… ❖…thinking that if only we were well enough we’d never get hurt, upset, over-react or feel crazy WHEN we’re with active, abusive, narcissistic, unavailable people

IS…❧…knowing that with healing we do become less devastated by hurtful behavior from others, because:
• cleaning out large chunks of our hurt makes us less ‘touchy’
• we don’t take things so personally (that’s the kids’ narcissism). Most things others do or say have nothing to do with us – it’s usually their unhealthy parent (PP) or abused kid (WIC) who are expressing themselves
• as our self-hate is diminished, we’re not always trying to figure out what we did wrong or change the impossible
• our shame quotient is lower – because we know who we are, & provide for our needs (review “What is Shame?)

At the same time, the healthier we are, the less we want to put up with abusive &/or unavailable people, no matter who they are.  Being with them is definitely like dodging bullets (Yikes!) or like talking to the wall. Nobody home. Bo-o-ring!
Dysfunction simply becomes unacceptable. Now we know we didn’t cause it, we don’t deserve it AND don’t have to stick around for it. YEAH!

IS NOT...❖…not about never hurting anyone else, ever again – as if Recovery implied attaining sainthood

IS…❧… accepting that occasionally we’ll step on someone’s emotional sore toes – when we’re stressed, when our buttons get pushed & the WIC lashes out, or sometimes accidentally

AND it’s understanding that when we take care of ourselves (in non-narcissistic ways) instead of rescuing others, that may make some people feel angry, scared, resentful, abandoned – & so may accuse us of being selfish, superior or cruel.
ONLY those who are still affected by their raw abandonment pain, & unwilling to take responsibility for their issues – will react this way.
It’s essential to remember we are not responsible for the emotional well-being of other adults. If we know we’re psychologically ‘clean‘, we can be compassionate, but stand firm in our choices.

IS NOT…❖…about fulfilling the expectations of a ‘life’ we hoped for as a kid or keep every promise we may have made to ourselves as adults – to compensate for & cope with the traumas we had to live through

IS…❧…having healthy goals & dreams, but knowing that:
• life can be thought of as an obstacle course, which takes work, practice & perseverance, but is doable
• it’s made up of a series of ups & down, changes & surprises, some of which are out of our control
• some of our attitudes, choices & goal will change in Recovery
• as we peel away the layers of the ‘False Self’ we come to our True core identity. The needs & desires of the Healthy Child & Wise Adult may be very different, which we can honor.
Childhood decisions & beliefs may have been helpful then, but now choices need to be made in the service of our specific personality & growth, knowing that sometimes they’ll go counter to what’s familiar. Developing ‘sane’ thoughts & actions will give us a fuller, happier life, instead of trying to satisfy our family.

IN RECOVERY, we always want to keep the focus on expressing our highest self, for the greatest good.

NEXT: Request of my readers

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