Lately, I’ve found myself under attack. I even called up my old therapist and booked an appointment with her because I needed to make sense of the chaos going on inside my mind (BTW – don’t ever feel that needing to meet with your therapist post-recovery is a step backwards – it’s really just you realizing when you need a hand in continuing to move forward and live the life you want for yourself).
She gave me some tips and resources regarding how to handle the anxiety I was feeling and how to put a stop to the lies that were beginning to control my mind. Since meeting with her, I’ve read through the articles she gave and reflected on the things she said.
But that’s all I have done – though about them.
So often when I find myself overcome with stress or anxiety or one of my many other emotions (and there are a lot of them!), I know the exact tools to use in order to bring myself back to a state of peace and stability, yet I don’t actually utilize them.
Sometimes it’s laziness, sometimes in my emotional state I choose to ‘rebel’ against reason, and sometimes, I am afraid to say, I simply prefer to exist in a state of turmoil.
In recovery we tend to know all the ‘right’ things to do – we learn about them in therapy, from books, tv shows, friends & family, mentors, and even blogs.
However, knowing what to do is only part of it – you have to take it the next step and actually start doing.
It’s been nearly a week since I sat down with my therapist, and yet this morning I still found myself overcome by emotions and feelings of anxiety. And the whole time I knew exactly what to do about it – I had every tool I needed – and yet I still gave in to the emotions and lies.
After several hours of distress, I made the conscious decision that I didn’t want to carry on in this state any longer and I decided to pick up my tools and start using them. And it worked. I’m not saying it was an instant fix, but I am moving in the right direction once again, rather than remaining stagnant in despair.
I know that sometimes being proactive in recovery is hard to do, it is a conscious decision you have to make each day.
I encourage you to start using the tools that you have. Otherwise, they are just as useful as a hammer that you keep in the toolkit as you try to pound the nail in with your fist.
Recovery is about this: acknowledging you have a problem > deciding you want help > getting help > and then using the help that you get.
In the ever-tender words of Cristina Yang (Grey’s Anatomy): “Being aware of your crap, and actually dealing with it are two very different things.”
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