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#440614 - 07/10/13 11:08 PM Picking yourself up
bey Offline

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 404
Loc: canada
So. I have started doing the thing that I have always done to cope with life and memories of abuse. I had quit for a good long while, was doing pretty good too. But I got really depressed and overwhelmed and the memories without any kind of a buffer became really crushing. Anyway, it's all an excuse. The end result is that I started back with the negative coping stuff, and on one hand I know I need to stop, but on the other it really is easier to cope like this. And I am telling myself ok, I will quit again tomorrow.
My question is, how do you pick yourself up and get back to normal when things are so hard without any way to cope. How do you develop healthy ways to deal with the stress of life and even harder to deal with CSA stuff. How am I gonna be able to deal with this enough to live my life? I have been working really hard in therapy for years and I feel like I am getting no where. I am still as messed up as I've ever been. It's so depressing that the things that actually make me feel better are the things I need to not do. What kind of life is that?

#440644 - 07/11/13 11:55 AM Re: Picking yourself up [Re: bey]
Magellan Offline

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1564
Loc: California
Hey bey,

You're asking exactly the right questions. And you're much further along in your recovery work than you're giving yourself credit for.

The best answer I can give you from personal experience is this - learn how to love yourself as best as you possibly can. Whatever action step that means, take it. For me, it translated into getting a dog, starting improv classes, becoming a Big Brother mentor, and choosing to move forward with a personal project/interest. A result of these things makes me feel much better about myself, and outside disappointments don't hurt as much.

I have a ways to go to get to a point where I love myself so much that it doesn't matter what disappointing experience I have - I still have value.

I haven't conquered all of my coping mechanisms yet, but I am surely conquering them one at a time. It's a long process of relearning how to live life, one revelation and letting-go at a time.

#440647 - 07/11/13 12:53 PM Re: Picking yourself up [Re: bey]
csasurvivor1992 Offline

Registered: 03/25/13
Posts: 132
Loc: Texas
Hey Bey,

I agree with Magellan.

Specifically when you're wanting to engage in known self-medicating behaviors, I would suggest:
1. stop for a second
2. recognize that there is a feeling you're experiencing
3. try to identify that feeling
4. journal about that feeling

That will only work if, as Magellan says, you be easy on yourself and give yourself credit. Those coping mechanisms kept you alive, strong, kept you here. You are a strong man experiencing normal fallout from an abnormal childhood. You are doing normal things for us.

Be easy on yourself, give yourself credit for progress you've made. Take control. There are two parts to you, the part in therapy which kept you alive till now and the part that recognizes you want to reclaim your life. For me, I've begun to realize that my reclaiming part (the 32 year old who grew up in the world around him, even if the 6 year old didn't, the part that is here talking to you) CAN take control. Like Magellan says, engage in activities that show you love for yourself.

Love yourself Bey. We all do. Be easy on yourself, you're a lot stronger than you think you are!
May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground, carry on. ~Fun.

#440653 - 07/11/13 02:20 PM Re: Picking yourself up [Re: bey]
bey Offline

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 404
Loc: canada
thanks for the replies. Ya, I am trying not to be hard on myself but I feel really dumb... or weak... i don't know really how I am feeling, but pretty ashamed I guess about all this. I don't want to tell people, but I guess I have to. I told my partner and he was really upset. And I get it, but I hate disappointing people like that. I don't want to lose anyone because I am being too dumb to not fall back into old habits.
I do need to have something in my life besides sitting on the couch and going to therapy. its hard because i do have dissociation issues that are currently really hindering my ability to have any sort of a normal life, and its hard to think of being able to do much of anything.
i do play on a soccer team, and play in a band, such as it is, with some other guys. its a real challenge to get through those situations and to stay present. i don't always succeed, but I keep trying.
Thanks for the words of encouragement. They actually made me feel a bit better.

#440654 - 07/11/13 02:25 PM Re: Picking yourself up [Re: bey]
bodyguard8367 Offline

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""

Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/27/14 05:30 PM)

#440656 - 07/11/13 02:35 PM Re: Picking yourself up [Re: bey]
bey Offline

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 404
Loc: canada

Yes, i am feeling like I just need a break, just to catch my breath here, and i only know of one way to do that. And it did make me feel a lot better, and that is scary. because I do want to live a normal life. And i can't if I am using.
It is a slow process to change the way i have learned to think. I panic a lot and do things without thinking. I guess therapy is the way out of this. I wish it were easier.
I guess its the old one day at a time thing.


#440672 - 07/11/13 06:46 PM Re: Picking yourself up [Re: bey]
concerned_husky Offline

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 758

Relapse is something I can really relate to, having had (or, I hate to admit it - still having) addictions myself. The more I think about it, the more I realize - everyone's addiction, and his relationship to his object of addiction, is so, so intricate and different. Some might be able to control it, simply reducing consumption/usage. Some may never be able to, and will have to somehow find the means to stop completely. If it's the latter (as it was in my case), the phrase "you'll never stop at one" (I hope you don't know what movie that's from because it's kind of embarrassing smile ) helps. I think abuse destroys your impulse-control and self-soothing abilities to such a destructive extent that it is hard not to depend on something to lift you up. Like I said, addictions are varied and intricate things, so I haven't got much useful advice...but I hope you know you're not alone in your struggles.

#440692 - 07/11/13 11:16 PM Re: Picking yourself up [Re: bey]
bey Offline

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 404
Loc: canada
You are right, it is hard not to depend on something like addictions to cope. I think that even after years of therapy my ability to calm down is just terrible. My heart always feels like its racing, I am always in a bit of a panic.
I cannot be a casual user, it's an all or nothing thing with me. I don't usually do things by halves anyways.
I feel like I am standing on the edge of getting clean again or jumping back into using. I still can decide to go one way or the other. I will give up a lot if I do go back to using, but the lure of peace, of a peaceful mind, of a break from the hard work of this all is alluring. Even if its a lie, maybe i could live with that. i will sleep on it.

#441122 - 07/17/13 02:20 AM . [Re: bey]
JoeSmith Offline

Registered: 05/03/13
Posts: 129

#441129 - 07/17/13 04:33 AM Re: Picking yourself up [Re: bey]
1.healing Offline

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio

Hi Bey,

Not exactly sure of your addiction of choice, but as the other guys have said, addiction is about avoiding and numbing our feelings, so the specifics maybe aren't that important. What is important is how we cope and deal with those things so that life doesn't stay or become harder for us.

You've said that you have the support of a partner and have a therapist, that you have interest and participate in activities that are positive recreations, those things are huge accomplishments! If you haven't already, maybe it could be helpful to add attending a support group, one for the particular addiction you struggle with. It could be really helpful being with others who understand what it's like to struggle and stay clean, especially at times of stress, when we are more vulnerable. You've worked so hard and have obviously had success, maybe you just need to add another tool to help with your next stage of growth. None of us can do our recovery work alone, it sure helps having the support of others who know how to help with our specific problems.

Wishing you well on your healing journey...

Gary / 1.healing
"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

George Elliot

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life."

Virginia Woolf

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