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Big realization about myself re: Woundology...but now what?

Old 04-30-2010, 05:57 PM
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Big realization about myself re: Woundology...but now what?

Many of you here probably read LTD's recent thread linking to the Woundology article. I just read it the other other day, and thought, "Hmmm...interesting. Makes sense. But how do you NOT do that?" And I just kind of went about my business.

Today, I came across a local group for adult adoptees, and I thought, "Hm...maybe I should join that," and then I immediately thought, "Like I need anymore support groups in my life."

And it kind of hit me harder than before that for a really long time, as long as I can remember, I have defined myself as my wounds. I've sought camaraderie in my wounds. As a teenager, I sought out misfits because I felt like a misfit. As an adult, I've sought out friendships and support from people who fit the bill based on what my wounds were at the time.

I have been in support groups (mostly online) for being adopted, being a survivor of extreme fundamentalism, being married to an alcoholic, being a single mother, being someone whose spouse had an affair, being someone with radical ideas about parenting and schooling (more misfit stuff?)...etc.

I'm always a victim, even though I'm pretty sure I've said before, "I'm not a victim! Oh hail no!" I'm always surviving something. And I'm really tired of it. I don't want to do it anymore. Like, I'm literally exhausted from it.

But I feel more confused than ever. How do I know when I need support? Can I just choose to be over it all? Can I just choose to say, "Yeah, that happened to me, but I'm a little tired of defining myself that way and I just want to spend my time being happy with my kids and enjoying all the beauty that life has to offer and working to build my business into something awesome?"

I'm confused about whether quitting all of my support groups (which I am really feeling an urge to do) is a form of denial, or whether it is just time for me to do that and free up that space for the things I really want to do.

Maybe I'm just confused because I feel like this is a really big epiphany, but it hasn't had long to sit with me? Maybe I should keep thinking on this and not make any grand exits yet?

What do you think about this?
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:17 PM
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When I first got into recovery in 1986 (from alcoholism/addiction), that was the only way I could define myself...as a recovering alcoholic/addict.

I remember times feeling much as you do, like I was over-saturated, that was all my life consisted of.

It came to be a matter of balance, and the continuing journey of discovering who I was besides a recovering alcoholic/addict.

I have a wonderful support group. I talk to my sponsor often. I sponsor other women on the rare occasions we get them in our group.

I also have a life outside of that, yet it's a direct result of my recovery. I am able to live the good productive life that I do because of my recovery. Does that make any sense?

I make 2 meetings a week. That's maybe 4 hours total out of my week. Talking to my sponsor might equal 1-2 hours a week.

The rest of the time I am living outside the rooms of recovery.

Today being a recovering alcoholic/addict is just a part of who I am, it is not the total sum of who I am.

Today I am a mother, grandmother, sister, and daughter who is fully present in life.

I am a full-time college student at the age of 51, soon to be 52. I love a challenge!

I am funny, caring, artistic, and a lover of animals.

I am passionate, creative, stubborn, and persistent.

I have discovered/experienced these things because I have a solid base in recovery.

I am many things!

Make any sense? (clear as mud, I bet)
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:44 PM
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Wanting, you are not the only who has had this blossoming epiphany dancing about the cranium. I've been trying to post a thread about this same thing only I've deleted mine before submitting it a dozen times because I just can't seem to put it to words.

You've done it so beautifully, might I say!

I find myself thinking the sames things and I'm just not sure what to do about it. The only conclusion I have come is to have faith that the answers will come in their own due time.

Just as there was a reason I sought recovery when I did, and there was a reason I left when I did, and a reason I am where I am now.....there is a reason this hazy idea has not become clear. Kind of like a dream you feel so vividly asleep but you can't grasp hold of a clear image of it in your mind upon awakening.

I have posted the concept on my thinking wall (really just a gathering of post-its with quotes and ideas on them) and I am waiting for it to find its natural place in my life. I know it has one, I just haven't made room for it yet. I'm actually excited about the concept of my life growing and expanding beyond the wounds that right now seem to encompass it.

Thanks for posting this and putting words where I couldn't!!

Much love,
Alice
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Old 05-01-2010, 06:13 AM
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Being a person who has led a book group on this topic, I think there are a few points to make. First of all, there is nothing that says we shouldn't seek support - in fact we need it. Second, we are supposed to use support to move forward - not stay stuck in defining ourselves in the wounding. Third, the support should be moving us away from the support group's immediate focus onto perhaps the next place in our path. That would mean a lessening of involvement in the topical support group and increasing involvement in a new group or place that is healthy. One option when remaining with the topical support group is to give back to others and help them through.

I think the stages we go through might look like this: One- I need to know how to survive and overcome this wound. Two-understand how it has changed you, what else has changed in your life. Three -make needed adjustments in your life as a result of what you learn. Three - learn what tools will help me maintain that position. Four- prepare to move on to the next phase of our lives. Five - moving into that next stage and keeping what you need to sustain those changes and letting go of the things no longer need.

For example, yesterday presented me with an old challenge and my response was different after being here. Through out the day I noticed how well I was functioning beyond the wound level. I was able to recall how I would have responded last year but didn' t b/c I have grown. So my need for support has gone from intensive to occassional so far. I actually posted how well I responded vs the need to know how to respond.
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Old 05-01-2010, 09:41 AM
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A thinking wall. I'm copying you, Alice.

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Old 05-01-2010, 10:19 AM
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I have a thinking folder on my computer!

I copy and paste every response that lights my bulb... and I refer to it when and as often as needed.... feels like a security blanket.

As for moving on... I had many of the same thoughts on the Woundology article (very enlightening and life altering for me)... and I thought to myself... now that I'm divorced from my AH... do I move on... not visit SR?

For me the answer is "Heck no... not til I'm ready".

I vaguely recall Oprah saying something like we will relive our lessons until we learn them... and the lessons WILL reoccur until we do learn them... and once we learn them... they will continue to test us from time to time.... but then we will also be faced with a whole new set of lessons.

So I figure that my lightbulb has many more flickers just waiting to happen...

To move forward with an updated filter for viewing past, present and future events.... and not see them as wounds... but as spiritual gifts of enlightenment... that is my greatest hope.
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
To move forward with an updated filter for viewing past, present and future events.... and not see them as wounds... but as spiritual gifts of enlightenment... that is my greatest hope.
Mine, too. What a nice way to put it.

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Old 05-01-2010, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
To move forward with an updated filter for viewing past, present and future events.... and not see them as wounds... but as spiritual gifts of enlightenment... that is my greatest hope.
That was so beautifully put! I can honestly say that is where I am today.
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Old 05-01-2010, 04:22 PM
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Thank you for the input. I'm still mulling things over. I guess some of the big things that I'm taking away from this right now are 1) that the epiphany alone may help me to move forward without any drastic action like quitting all support groups; 2) that I can look at the balance between support-group type stuff and living-my-life stuff and gauge how I'm doing; 3) that I do need to step out of my box and find common ground with people based on things I enjoy and not based on things I've experienced.

I really appreciated the poster who pointed out that we will keep reliving things until they are healed, and so having a support network is good. Eventually, I'd just fall back from it a bit, when my life is more full of the things I want to put in it. And I do appreciate the idea of being there to support others.

Anyway, still sorting it out, but really appreciate all the thoughts!
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Old 05-01-2010, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by wanting View Post
Thank you for the input. I'm still mulling things over.
It's good to process information... for me...it's when I stop thinking that I tend to get into trouble
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Old 05-01-2010, 05:07 PM
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This was really insightful. My aha was this quote:

"Many people describe their "soul mate" as the person they have finally found who understands the emotional pain they had experienced as children. Such a bond can certainly feel romantic in the early stages of a relationship, but its foundation is actually injury, pain, and fear. In this paradigm, pain becomes a prerequisite for remaining close to and needing one another, and healing can be seen as a positive threat to the bond. The partnership is inevitably threatened when one of them decides the time has come to release the past and move on."
That's how my AH and I are... it's uncanny how our lives were parallel--notably, we both lost fathers at the age of 12 due to complications from alcoholism. There were other things, but this idea that we base our relationship on our painful experiences was really important for me to hear. I have always considered AH my soulmate, which makes it harder to do the moving on when the time is right.

Thanks for this!

Last edited by SoloMio; 05-01-2010 at 05:08 PM. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:57 PM
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3) that I do need to step out of my box and find common ground with people based on things I enjoy and not based on things I've experienced.


I am all over this one. Yes, yes, yes! Exactly what I'd like to see myself doing.
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:37 PM
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I wouldn't use the word "victim", it is much too harsh. How about someone trying to repair the damage? In any event, being a part of several support groups doe not define who we are. If the original label doesn't apply any more, change it. If you don't need as much support as you once did, give back to the newbies.


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Big realization about myself re: Woundology...but now what?
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