PREVIOUS: Psych Disorders #6
SOURCE: Composite of many lists, including Amy Morin’s “13 things Mentally Strong people Don’t Do.” – about being in charge of our thoughts, emotions & actions (T.E.A.)
EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY People (EHP):
EHP Don’t Avoid Alone-Time
Many ACoAs are addicted to relationships & to staying busy, no matter how unsatisfying or damaging. They always need to be with or around someone, rescuing others or creating chaos, running away from themselves or desperate to hang on. They never seem to slow down enough to feel emotions, evaluate their motives or stop self-defeating behaviors.
ACoAs in Recovery often say they don’t know what to do with unstructured hours – because it’s for just themselves. They feel depressed, too lonely, can’t decide what to do, aren’t allowed to have fun or relax….. wasting precious weekends or holidays, & then go back to their rat-race. Even those of us who are highly accomplished & talented are motivated by fear, rather than self-esteem.
But EHP treasure time by themselves – to reflect, plan ahead, have fun, be creative, do something not related to their work-life, OR just rest! And there are times when it’s truly necessary to pull back in order to allow internal healing, but it’s not endless.
They don’t need others to give them a direction or make them feel OK. They can be happy with others, but also happy alone. Strong people are comfortable with their thoughts & emotions, & when stressed they know how to comfort themselves. They know that changing their routine or ‘vegging’ is crucial to mental & physical health. They know that play is part of a well-balanced life, so don’t need to be constantly ‘producing’ something to validate their existence.
EHP Don’t Feel Pessimistic
ACoAs are more likely to see themselves (S-H), others & the world from a negative point of view (paranoia & hopelessness). The adults we grew up with either ignored us or were judgmental of everyone & everything, so we took on the same perspective. This meant ignoring all the positive things available in life, including the good things that we have experienced.
EHP generally feel optimistic about their lives & their futures, without ignoring stresses or hoping for magic outcomes. They don’t let temporary difficulties or unimportant annoyances get them down – at least not for long. They know that obstacles are part of life, making an effort to solve whatever they can & accepting what they can’t change (Serenity Prayer – backwards??).
They don’t focus on their weaknesses – while still acknowledging them. No one can be perfect, so they don’t waste time trying. Instead they continue working on improving themselves rather than feeling defeated.
EHP Don’t Feel Sorry for Themselves
There’s a difference between feeling sorry for ourselves & healthy compassion for all we’ve been thru. The Victim’s outlook on life is that they can’t function because of being abused. While their childhood trauma was real, as adults they refuse to work on healing those wounds, which would improve their present & future. Their ‘position’ is that as long as they’re ‘incapacitated’ someone else will have to take care of them. If no one does, they stay helpless.
EHP compassionately acknowledge past distress, while fully accepting the unfair & painful truth that they’re responsible for cleaning up the PMES mess their unhealthy family created. They’re able to emerge from trying circumstances with self-awareness & self-respect, even appreciating lessons learned. When things don’t go well In the present, they find realistic ways to manage, get the support they need, & believe in their worth – no matter what.
They ALSO know OK to feel sorry for one’s self briefly from time to time, especially after an event that’s out of their control. It’s important to lick their wounds & regroup & regain strength, before moving on. EHP have gratitude for their positive qualities & the good thing they already have.
NEXT: EHP – Part 1b