We all have the demons that haunt us from our experiences with mental health challenges and the recovery process. We all have certain things that stick with us, that affected us deeply, and we hold on to that feeling as we venture out into life after recovery. Whether it be a person, a memory, or a specific location, we can feel scared to encounter those things again. It could be a fear of relapsing or it could be anger from blaming that thing for what happened; regardless of what it is, it can be a hindrance in our lives. We don’t think it is out of the ordinary or wrong to feel that way. A lot of us have been in that same situation and have those same kinds of associations. When you leave recovery, you are already so on edge and afraid of what life will look like for you, that it is easy to just chalk these things up as dangerous to you and wipe them away from your life completely. It makes sense to do and we don’t blame anyone for doing so. But we do want you to know that you have power over those things. Our associations, our emotions towards them, they are a projection of us. Because of this, we have control of the power they have in our life, and thus, we have the power to change their meaning.
It is a difficult thing to realize, that we have this power. Humans all fear so many things for so many reasons, and it just seems natural for things to have a certain power over us and that’s just the end of the story. But it doesn’t have to be. We know that a lot of the emotions you may feel towards these things comes from a place of pain, deep pain. We are not here to minimize that pain or tell you that it wasn’t that bad. It was and we know that. We know that you went through something terrible and that you have some trauma from that. We all have that trauma. Don’t feel like that trauma is wrong or misplaced. But know that through hard work, you can overcome that trauma and not let it be ingrained in certain aspects of your life. There are so many different ways that you can conquer these emotions. You can speak with your therapist about those places specifically. Talk about why they hold this emotional toll on you, why they affect you the way they do. Through these conversations, you can learn more about yourself and what role they really play in your life. If it is a specific location, maybe spend some small amounts of time there. Don’t force yourself to be in there more than you want to, but a little bit so that you can start to create new associations to take over. If it is a person, spend time with them in a group. With the buffer of other people there with you, you may find that you are able to begin to see past the emotions you feel towards them and see them for who they really are. Nothing has to be accomplished in an instant.
Rebuilding the Bridges
Of course, you may find that these things just don’t have a role in your life or that you just can’t have them in it. If that’s the case, then that is also perfectly fine. Sometimes you just don’t gel with certain things, some stuff just isn’t agreeable with who you are and what kind of life you want to live. You have every right to make that decision. There is nothing wrong with knowing that something just isn’t going to work. That is perfectly natural and right part of life.
We all have far more power than we give ourselves credit for. The things that bother us, irritate us, anger us, affect us in any way are all things that we have control over. Do we have to always practice that control? No, we can always just accept that we feel a certain way and move on from there. But in the case where we want to improve those feelings and our ideas around these things, then that is when we can begin to work. We can reach out to people to help us, we can begin to slowly work towards exposing ourselves to these things, and we can begin to see how we are in control. Our mental illness may have been out of our control, but this doesn’t have to be. This doesn’t have to be something that looms over us and brings us down. They don’t have to be things that keep us from living our best lives. We can stand up and know that we are in control of how we feel about them, and we can make the change. We have that power.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us today at (866) 399-6528.