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what have you learned, working on yourself?

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cinnamongurl posted 5/7/2013 23:29 PM

It's weird. Since I made the decision to face my demons and past traumas, I've learned how to feel again.

I spent more than half a lifetime hiding from my own emotions, effectively detaching myself from, well, myself. Like I was watching a movie of my life and not living it.

I've allowed myself to go back through my life and learn to attach emotion to the memories. It has given me countless sleepless nights, full of tears and sadness, and just plain grief. But I'm OK with that. I'm OK with owning my thoughts and memories. And through this whole ordeal, I'm taking back my life. I'm still sad and devastated most of the time, but I've learned to allow myself some inner peace. A fairly new concept to me, as I hadn't even realized it was missing.

I have made some terrible, difficult, gut wrenching choices in my life, long before any actual A behavior, and I realize now, that I was just nurturing a cancerous lifestyle that metastasized into the lives of those around me. Basically through them under the bus right along with me.

Now I see it everywhere I look, the foo issues, the denials of pain, the *put my fingers in my ears and squeeze tight my eyes and sing lalala* coping mechanisms that kept me sick all of these years.

Its frustrating to see my mom in that light and to realize just how similar we had become and not be able to "help" her. But I'm learning to let go of the outcomes, and let others make their own choices, no matter how wrong they may seem to me(I think this part is the most difficult for me).

Through this I'm developing (albeit very very slowly) healthy boundaries. I'm learning to say "no". When I experience something that offends me, I no longer run away from it, and for the most part, I don't become stubborn and defensive and angry. I've found a middle ground where I can stick up for myself, and not allow myself to be guilted into things. Instead of getting angry and turning that anger inward, until it becomes so inflated I explode, I'm learning face my feelings, validate them, feel them and move on. I mean really, truly let go of them and move on.

There will always be scars and marks on my life from the choices I've made, but they will remind me of the damage my old, distorted view of myself and the world and how far I've come to change it.

I've found my drive and my inner voice and have chosen the road of healing.

I'm interested to hear what work others have done for yourselves to bring you to a healthier place in your lives?

Unagie posted 5/7/2013 23:39 PM

I've learned to not paste a fake smile on to hide the sadness. To know that its okay to feel sad and angry and express that. I learned that I'm worth more then what people think of my body image. I'm worth more then just sex and my worth is measured by what I think of myself and not what others think of me.

Cinnamongurl how are you hun?

KBeguile posted 5/8/2013 00:00 AM

I've learned what boundaries are, that it's okay to have them, and that so many people do (without being completely open or forward about it). I just assumed that everyone around me had a magical voice that reminded them what to do or what not to do, and I was just broken.

badchoice posted 5/8/2013 00:05 AM

Sounds like you have been working really hard. That is so awesome and something to be proud of.

What have I learned???

A lot - Like you, I have learned to feel again, or maybe even for the first time. I have re-visited FOO issues too, working through them slowly in IC, really understanding how those have been the foundation to lots of issues that I dragged into adulthood.

I learned how to live an authentic life, what integrity means and feels like, how to really take responsibility for the life and world that I created, and create on a minute by minute basis.

I have learned how to really stand in my commitment, not live life based on how I feel in the moment.

I have learned that all the lying and deceit didn't happen in a vacuum. That if I am lying or unauthentic in one area of my life, then I am lying and unauthentic in all areas of my life. A year ago I would have fought that concept to the death.

I still stumble. I realize that the old me will never 'die' and that my shit coping skills will rear their ugly head again and again, and I learned that it is my choice to acknowledge those thoughts, and then choose to live with authenticity and integrity.

rachelc posted 5/8/2013 06:37 AM

that I wish I would have worked on myself much earlier in my life...

growing up the way I did, how could I NOT have FOO issues that affected the way I live my adult life. They probably affected how I raised my children.
I'm not a stupid person, i should have realized this early on... even though my shit childhood happened, I still have the responsibility to live a mature life where I don't hurt other people.

knightsbff posted 5/8/2013 09:22 AM

Hi CG, I've missed you!

I too am learning to feel.

I've learned that most of the time I don't know how I feel about things, that's scary and makes it hard to make wise choices.

I'm building healthy boundaries. It feels good.

I've learned that now that I have to find my feelings and inventory my boundaries constantly it takes me a lot longer to speak or make decisions. I think some people are wondering if I have sustained a brain injury.

I have gained 20 pounds during this mess due to meds, stress or whatever. I'm working it off, but it's ok now. My body or my looks or my fitness level aren't the most important thing about me. I've learned that too.

cinnamongurl posted 5/8/2013 22:34 PM

Hey Unagie and KBFF. I've been around, mostly lurking and absorbing. Been incredibly introspective lately.

Unagie, I struggle with fighting the urge to "paste a fake smile". I think i will for a long time. Old habits die hard. I've always been a people pleaser and learning to stick up for myself has been one of my most difficult struggles, but the fake smile is inauthentic and now I am uncomfortable with not expressing myself in an honest way. Definitely progress just to be able say that!

Hun, feel away! All that anger and sadness, that's you! And you have every right to feel those emotions, just as you deserve to feel joy and happiness as well because you are definitely worthy of it!. ((Unagie)) you're doing great.

KB, boundaries are tough to establish, especially when you realize you never had them! I'm learning how to draw the line with family members. I never realized it was OK to do so before. Its funny how when you open your eyes to where they were lacking in some areas of your life, you can more clearly see where they need to be enforced in others.

BC, I so get the lying now! I used to make up little white lies as excuses for stupid little everyday stuff , and never think twice about it. Now I'm uncomfortable if I hear someone else doing it. Its incredible how something that seemed so insignificant and trivial as a white lie or excuse turned out to be such a devastating force in my life.

Rachel, it sounds like you know what led you here, what steps have/will you take to ensure you won't let your past rob you of your future? You deserve to find some inner peace. Living in the past will hold you back from living an authentic and healthy life. ((Rachel))


cinnamongurl posted 5/8/2013 22:58 PM

(Whoops, hit submit before I was done )
KBFF, I've had the hardest time identifying my feelings. My IC gave me a "feeling wheel" for when I was having trouble pinpointing and identifying what was going on in my scattered and jumbled brain. It was so very helpful to have a visual on where to start figuring it out. Over time I was able to add more and deeper words to describe how I feel. It seemed so simple and childish at first, but it has been an invaluable tool in facing and owning these previously hidden feelings.

I totally get having to slow down verbally. There have been many a time I have wished I'd thought before I spoke or acted. Then I mentally beat myself up for saying/doing such stupid and impulsive things crazy making stuff . But I'm learning(at a snails pace it seems sometimes, but learning none the less) to change. If you have a brain injury, then I must too!

((KBFF)) I know the crazy struggle with meds and their effects on your body and mind, especially when things are so crazy to begin with! But it gets better, I promise! Just keep on being patient and kind to yourself! Keep up with the therapy, and don't fret the 20 lbs. I've fluctuated those same 20 through multiple med changes over the past few years. When I started being honest with myself and my mental health team, I was able to finally get it right! I'm glad you're getting back into shape! Exercise does wonders for mind body and soul!

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