Faith · Lifestyle · Mental Health

My Tribe; My Joy

Now Playing :: Tea Dance – 1920s, 1930s, 1940s Vintage Tea Party 

When I decided to take on the challenge of getting help for past and present trauma…
…I never imagined experiencing so much discomfort.

Like, duh!
I knew there’d be a point in my recovery journey where I’d feel so uncomfortable that I’d just want to duck and cover, like, forever…

…but I didn’t think to ask myself what it would cost me if I chose to fully immerse myself into the process of recovery.

Sometimes you think something will look one way and it turns out to be the complete opposite of what you thought it might be. This has been my personal experience as I’ve sought help/counseling/therapy for my PTSD and other symptoms stemming from trauma.

If I wanted to have a healthier and happier quality of life, the cost would be heavy. What that meant for me was… I’d have to let go of the ‘Me, Myself, and I.’

So how’d that turn out?

Well…

I’ve gone from trying to be independent to being dependent on others in ways I never EVER hoped I would be.

I’ve gone from trying to figure things out on my own to telling others I can no longer help myself because I don’t know what I am doing- a humbling, and sometimes embarrassing, experience.

I’ve gone from internalizing the pain and holding back the tears to crying till my face was red and snot was running down my nose. Some people would refer to this as ‘ugly cry.’ I call it the ‘naked cry.’ When I sit there in front of someone else, whether it be my therapist or friend or mentor, sobbing uncontrollably and sharing what has been weighing me down, I am naked, emotionally.

I’ve had to remind myself to be teachable. I’ve had to tell myself to pay attention to what others are saying instead of brushing off their words of counsel/wisdom. I’ve had to give myself a dose of reality many a times by asking myself if I truly believe that doing recovery my way would work.

The sobering reality of my circumstances was a slap to my own face… I really didn’t have it all figured out, no matter how hard I tried believing I did.

There were times, and still are times, when I tell myself I want the truth, only to realize that I truly don’t. And having people who tell you things you don’t want to hear can often feel like a curse more than a blessing.

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I’ve had to let go of certain traditional theories/beliefs I’d labeled as truth. The false belief I’d been holding onto was the belief that I didn’t need anyone but myself to get better. What I really didn’t want was to be held accountable nor to be held and told I was loved and cared for. My excuse for needing myself and myself only was stemming from the fear of being known.

‘Everyone has a dark side,’ I’ve heard. Yet it takes a great deal of courage to reveal that darkness to another individual. It also takes a great deal of courage to tell someone what’s hurting you, what you feel ashamed about, and what you’re REALLY, TRULY afraid of.

Having a tribe/a support system/a group of people who care for me has been one of the scariest realities for me. Scary because I’ve exposed myself to them; Scary because I have been embraced and loved and supported in spite of what they know; Scary because I’ve seen glimpses of God’s GREAT Love for me through the actions of these ordinary people.

This tribe… these friends… these people who are walking this journey with me… they’ve been my lifeline. They’ve brought so much encouragement to my weary soul.

I’ve been refreshed because of their presence. I’ve been corrected because of their honesty. I’ve continued fighting for my recovery because of their support.

And for that I am grateful.

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