It has come to my attention that I have a “fragile spot” in my recovery. A tender place, that I guard, like someone who has injured an arm or leg, and is trying to get back into the swing of things, but continues to favor, or protect that part of their body, because they are deeply aware of how much it hurt to get injured.
This translates for me in tending toward safety, in staying to well-lit areas of recovery where I know my way and can call for help (and get it quick) if needed. If I stray into “edgy places” where I feel unsafe, my internal self can begin the shut-down process, like it did when I was little. I had a mechanism that protected me as a small person and as a young adult that would shut down, kind of like a safe house. I was a very different person, than I am today. It was pure survival, and somewhere deep inside, that dysfunctional part still lies, waiting in case it is needed to protect me.
Part of me is wanting to dig it out like a pesky weed, or obnoxious rat’s nest. I am an adult, in recovery and I feel as though I have outgrown such rudimentary and dysfunctional “coping” skills. But then, it happened again tonight. I sat in a group that included others who would be sharing in areas that have had a tendency to bring on tremendous anxiety and disturbance for me. Small group share is personal and it can get very detailed. I am glad it is there for everyone seeking recovery. But for me, my PTSD just can’t go there where details are concerned. I am a work in progress, and someday, I may be healed enough to hear some of those details.
Part of recovery is self-care. Knowing where to stretch and grow, and knowing when to stay on the well-lighted path near those we trust. If we are diligently staying plugged into our program, and spending our time in prayer and meditation, God will help us discern what is best for us at this time. Where we are now, is not necessarily where we will be in 6 months, a year or 5 years. But enough future-tripping. For today, I chose to take the group leader aside quietly and tell her why I was leaving, so I could own my behavior and for accountability, come home and spend time writing it out.
That’s the other piece of this puzzle. If something is upsetting or is a tender spot, it needs to be shared, even if it is an ongoing issue for you. Stay accountable to your fellowship circle/accountability team. Don’t go it alone and hide out in fear. It doesn’t matter whether I ever surmount this issue, but is does matter how I conduct myself in the midst of my struggle.
Thank you for being my “group” tonight. Much love, and thanks for letting me share.