Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lessons Learned, Bridges Burned (part 2)

This last semester was the best one of my life. I know that may seem weird considering I was in treatment, but it's true. I LOVED all of the classes I was taking. I finally had people in my life who I could be myself around and friends who went out and did things together. I loved being around my friends and the teachers wanted us to learn more than focus on a grade. I actually got A's last semester, which is still strange to me because I've been in programs that were so hard and so much work that almost no one got an A. Last semester I did. Last semester I learned more than I have in awhile and got to write papers on topics I was interested in. I found new people to be around and figured out how to have a more balanced life. I thought I was as happy as my life seemed when I looked at it. I didn't understand why my mood would go up and down so fast and why people thought I wasn't ok when I was so completely convinced I was. I decided to stay there until school started just to make sure I was as ok as I thought I was. I really expected people to not know why I was in treatment. I thought I just had to figure out how to explain to people the level of my ok-ness. I never thought I would end up where I am right now. I have wanted recovery for so long. I had recovery and honestly didn't see how far I really had gotten from where I was.

I wasn't really able to let my guard down until I was done with school and sent all of my essays in because I can't do homework well if I'm in too vulnerable of a place emotionally. I worked intensely for only five weeks, but those five weeks have truly changed my life. I worked on the two things I see as the last major aspects of negative energy in my life. I had already done a lot of trauma work and symptoms were able to be controlled once I was more motivated. This time I was able to really look at the reasons parts of me still wanted on some level to eventually die from my addictions. I was able to figure out the aspects of my life that contributed to the belief that ultimately I would never be happy.

I also was able to finally look at the impact my family of origin had on me. I didn't know I needed to work on it. I always thought I had worked through what my parents had not done amazingly well and I was ok knowing they did their best. It surprised me to realize I had a lot of anger toward them still and that it was affecting me more than I thought. I've always known I was trying to protect my parents. I've been trying to my entire life. That's why I tried to fix everything in my family, why I didn't want to tell my parents anything was wrong or that I wasn't completely happy. I know they are upset that I never said anything but I know why I never did. People get hurt so much by each other there is only a certain amount I wanted them to deal with. I thought things were my fault. I thought if I never said anything they would at least not have to deal with what I was going through. I never wanted to hurt them- I think that's the irony in all this. They think I hurt them by keeping things from them. I thought I was protecting them. And now that I know they don't want me to I still can't stop. I can't stop trying to make everything seem ok. I can't stop trying to make them feel better about my situations. And if I can't stop trying to protect them I'm never going to completely recover. So I'm working really hard on that and am very motivated to change my impulse to protect everyone else, especially if it hurts me in the process.

The other main realization I had was the impact my desire to pretty much literally save the world had on me. I have always tried to help people even if it was at the expense of myself. I can't do that anymore but my goals in life are still tied into the belief that helping as many people as possible is the only thing that will make me matter. I know it is still going to take a lot of work because changing a lot of my beliefs will take awhile but I am finally realizing that if I don't do what I want to do and what is best for me I won't be alive long enough to help anyone else anyway. I'm realizing how close my addictions and beliefs have kept me to dying for most of my life. And I don't want to die anymore. I finally don't feel like a part of me knows I will still die from the ED or another addiction eventually. I finally REALLY don't feel like I am going to have to die in order to save or protect other people. I never thought this would happen, but I am so glad I kept letting people push me to figure things out more recently.
I have met amazing people who have changed my life through this process and for only the second time in my life felt like I mattered to others for who I am and not just what I can do. I'm going to expand on this in another post though because this one is getting long...

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