Monday, August 23, 2010

Stinky Shoes, Lightbulb Moments and Mission Impossible

House on the Prairie
August 2010

My blogging - whether it's here on "A Journey", at Facebook or on Twitter - is where I share my journey, the actions I've taken, the "aha" moments of insight that stemmed from learning how to create this change in my life.

Like any writer, inspiration comes from my world, my experiences, my relationships and I very often have these moments of "aha!" and will do a quick post on twitter rather than a lengthly post here or on Facebook.

This week I thought I'd share a few of the "top tweets" from my tweet-stream....these are tweets that others found interesting in recent days and shared with their followeres... so I thought I'd share them here with you today:)

8.19.10 For a long time I hung onto the negative thinking because it was all I knew, it was like an old pair of tennis shoes. Comfy but it stank.

This tweet came from the idea of how we are "creatures of habit" and naturally gravitate back to what's comfortable, what's our "normal".

In the context of trauma survivors - sometimes we aren't even aware that change is a possibility, that we don't have to live in an abusive environment because we've been conditioned to "Tolerate the Intolerable" or that we can learn to find happiness, peace and joy because all we've ever known is the negative and we have no clue that we hold the power to change our lives simply by learning to change our thoughts.

Creating positive change can be something as simple as developing a new "21 day habit" or creating the life change that will set us free from the pain of the past by feeling the feelings and grieving the losses of the past in order to set ourselves free of the torment.

It was way easier to fall back into rumination, being that perpetual victim and the expectation that someone or something will create the needed change than it was to face the pain and fears of the past in order to grow beyond that place of "stuck".

It was easier to stay in the old thinking that felt familiar....but it was the "stinky thinking" that had to go for change to occur.

8.19.10 Complaining about what others were doing became an indicator that I was expecting someone else to change in order for my life to be better.

Boy - this was a huge "lightbulb" moment for me when I realized that the deeply ingrained sense of worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness was connected to the deeply held idea that I truly was powerless; that my health and happiness was dependent on what others did and said and had nothing to do with me.

In fact - I didn't even grasp the idea that I held any power over my own life until I started catching that chronic feeling of irritability and thoughts of what others needed to do. Once I started "seeing" that this was part of my pattern of helplessness - I was able to connect the dots and understand that I could change that sense of helplessness by paying attention to these kinds of thoughts and choosing to take my own action.

8.17.10It is not the traumas we suffer in childhood which make us emotionally ill but the inability to express the trauma..." Alice Miller

Ain't that the truth!

Part of what makes PTSd/C-PTSd so crippling is not that we survived a trauma - it's the avoidance of any situation, circumstance, person, place or thing that could "trigger" a thought that would then trigger that feeling of helplessness and hopelessness that is the trauma experience relived.

I've learned that the "avoidance" tools that survivors use, come in many different shapes, colors and flavours. From the gamut of addictive behaviors to living in a chronic state of dissociation that kicked in when things got stressful, avoidance was the purpose of my self destructive choices....

and it was this awareness that empowered me to begin to gradually choose to create the change that would change my life.

It took some time - but eventually I was able to learn how to connect consciously to my thinking, my emotions and the expression of my thoughts and emotions in my physical self.

It seemed like healing from trauma was "Mission Impossible" but by learning how to go through the natural emotional healing process I was able to tap into infinite possibilities and begin to create the life I wanted - and deserved.

Q: what is one of your own "aha" moments that made an impact on your own healing journey?



Anonymous said...

I've had so many 'aha' moments in my rollercoaster of healing. At this point, I think the most prolific aha moment was learning about PTSD and recognizing all my behavior patterns and how they connected to the traumatic injury. Each and every new discovery grows from this first 'aha' moment. I especially like your tweet about the inability to express the trauma. After all the time that has passed I still find difficulty in expressing the trauma. Like I can talk about it, still having sensations of triggers and hype to get ALL the details out. It's like an obsession with the facts. Hey, another aha moment!

Thank you Susan ~ Mel

Ron Schulz said...

Good post Susan. keep on writing and sharing your wisdom and inspiration with us. Ron

Susan said...

Mel - you bring up some great insights into the trauma journey! "recognizing my behavior patterns were connected to the trauma injury"....Yes! I was not "bad" for having the coping behaviors I'd had....I was "COPING" - not "defective", "broken" or "bad".

And I so agree - each discovery grows from the one before. I've heard it over and over - when we start looking for solutions instead of at the problems we begin to find our answers.

Thanks for sharing your insights - and aha's!

Susan said...

Thank you Ron! Yes I will:) I don't think it would be possible for me to NOT share the light I have found! Thank you for your support and encouragement!