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Dredging the dirt

Old 04-26-2015, 08:09 AM
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Dredging the dirt

I've decided to restart counseling. I'm going to start making calls tomorrow. I realize that there is so much pain going on and it's not going to disappear by itself.

I want sobriety. But I also want recovery. It's time to dredge the dirt. The rape was about 4 years ago and I've done nothing to deal with it. I've stuffed it, pretended I'm okay, journaled and drank. The sad part is that besides being a social worker, I am also a certified Victim's Advocate.

People reach out to me a lot for resources to heal their own pain. But as I learned in school and from my mom, I need to put oxygen on myself.

It feels good knowing I am at the point where I'm going to do whatever it takes to recover. It's also scary. But my desire for a full life outweighs my fear of the pain that is going to come. I guess I'm willing to trade one kind of pain for another. The pain of denial for the pain of healing.

But good grief, why are those of us who help others so unwilling to help ourselves?

Anyway, another step in my recovery. I'm ready and it's time.

I considered going to an addiction counselor but then realized that my addiction is a by-product of other things: abuse and the rape. So I'm going to dig deeper.

I want to cry right now. It's a mix of relief and pain. But at some point, I had to stop letting fear dictate my life. I've learned many times over that the fear of something usually is worse than the actual something.

So, this is what real recovery feels like? That moment when your authentic self shouts, you listen, and start fighting like hell?

Last edited by TennantSmith; 04-26-2015 at 08:11 AM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:14 AM
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I've incorporated counseling as part of my sobriety journey. I have PTSD, depression, anxiety and I also lost my son last year. So counseling is key for me.

Past trauma has to be dealt with, we can't put it on the back burner and hope it goes away. Past trauma and other emotions associated with it feed the addiction monster for sure.

I hope you find a great counselor to help you on your journey to healing and happiness.
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:17 AM
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Well done. Can you get free counselling through a workplace staff well-being scheme? I got six hours through mine, which was (surprisingly) enough to get me talking and thinking enough to then be able to manage it myself through my own AA 12-step work. (I still have one hour left in reserve which I'll go back for in a couple of months or when I need it).

Good luck. You're completely right. Time for you to give YOU some oxygen. xx
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:18 AM
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Congrats on that decision. I have recently started counseling for the first time in my life and I wish I would have long ago. I am certain now that my drinking was in part a failed attempt to self medicate myself out of these underlying issues too, and of course that was not a good solution. Wishing you luck in finding a good match for a counselor and relief from what ails you.
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:22 AM
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Cura te ipsum, right?

I too suffered from abuse -- although at a young age. Getting to the root of it was part of my recovery process. The thing you have to keep in mind though, is that at this point in your life your addiction and your past hurt are like two weeds that have grown so long that their roots are intertwined and inseparable. I don't think you can deal with one without uprooting the other.

However you choose to go about this (addiction counselor, therapist, support group, etc.), I would say that the best approach is an all out attack -- get this thing on all fronts. At the risk of over-stretching an analogy, use the weed-be-gone, the axe, and your brute strength to uproot these weeds in your life.

Although I know nothing of your past beyond what you've shared in this post, I am sorry for your past hurt. Nobody should have to go through what you did. And yes, true recovery can be quite painful at times. Like any good gardener, we need to accept that we might be pricked by the rose bush as we prune it, but in the end the wounds will heal and the flowers will bloom.

Best wishes,
-Josh
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Beccybean View Post
Well done. Can you get free counselling through a workplace staff well-being scheme? I got six hours through mine, which was (surprisingly) enough to get me talking and thinking enough to then be able to manage it myself through my own AA 12-step work. (I still have one hour left in reserve which I'll go back for in a couple of months or when I need it).

Good luck. You're completely right. Time for you to give YOU some oxygen. xx
Beccy, there is a women's resource center that provides free counseling for any woman who has been abused or assaulted. I used them years ago and they are good. I also have insurance that will cover it. So luckily, I have the resources. So, the calls start tomorrow.

Everyone else, thank you for your words and sharing your experiences. I know this is the single most important step I can take.
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:43 AM
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(((((Michelle)))))
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:58 AM
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You've made a great decision, TS. I've treated many people who've suffered abuse and trauma, and it's been the most heartbreaking and also the most gratifying thing for me to be able to be there for them. I've also been able to work with professionals when I've endured my own loss and trauma in life, and all I can say is that doing so made a huge difference for me.

I (re)learned how to cry, how to feel, and how to persevere, and the process itself helped me to work with my patients in ways that I never imagined.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:01 AM
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EndGame, thank you. I've just reached that point where I realized I can only go so far before I'm going to keep bumping into those things that need to be faced and handled. So, it's time.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:11 AM
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Good for you I put my rape in a little black box in the back of my mind for 30 years. I see an addiction therapist but not sure I want to dredge up the past. I think too much time has gone by and I am on the fence about whether for me it will make things better or worse. I wish you all the best on your journey.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:18 AM
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Thank you, Della. For me, the box is overflowing and won't stay closed so I have to do this. Nothing else I'm attempting will work until I deal with this.

I want to cry right now. So much. I'm tired of feeling this pain. I'm tired of it always being there. I'm tired of pretending I'm okay when I'm not.

I'm tired of feeling so paralyzed. I've always been a do'er. And since that day 4 years ago, I've been paralyzed. I remember the day after the break in, sitting on the couch, doors locked, chairs under the doors for another layer of protection, sitting there thinking to myself "Do NOT let this change you"

I let it change me. I stuffed it in a box and thought my education and experience would make it disappear. I forgot to take my own advice.

So tomorrow, I make the call. I admit I'm needing help and I accept it and do whatever it takes to get better.

I can't be paralyzed anymore.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:22 AM
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I understand
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Della1968 View Post
I understand
Thank you. Honestly, those are some of the most powerful words one person can say to another.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:29 AM
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When you do work through all of this, you will be a truly powerful ally to others who suffer.

Through your own healing, you will help the world.

Start where you are.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:34 AM
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I've shared my story in the past at events. It has helped others so far. I mainly focus on the fact that it is a process and healing takes time.

I just realized that I cannot continue to talk to others about doing something I haven't done for myself. I'm on E now and I need to take care of me.

I'm blessed because I have access to quality counseling for free
My daughters are at the age where I have more freedom to really focus on recovery on all fronts
I have family that supports me
I have the background to know what resources are out there

So, it's time to put on the hard hat and get digging.
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:51 AM
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You are very brave Michelle... you have your face on your profile for the whole world to see and you are not afraid to do so. Many victims of abuse what to stay anonymous. So I applaud you! Counseling is really the only way to heal. I have had therapy on and off for years. It can be painful, but that is the cost of uncovering the infection and clearing out the wound.
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:53 AM
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Right, Art. The thought I've been having so often is that we choose our pain. The pain I'm in now paralyzes me. But the pain from counseling and healing moves me forward.

And yeah, I spent a while hiding, so ashamed until I realized I had nothing to be ashamed of. That was a good step for me. One of many it seems.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:04 PM
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I was raped in college at a frat party (back in 1978). I never reported it and acted like nothing happened. Many things have changed in the years since, but back then rape on campus was not acknowledged as it is now. I thought I could simply "put it in a box" like Della said... but it started to spill out when I was about 27. Sought counseling, not for the rape I thought, but it turned out that that was one of many issues I tried to suppress. And I also thought it was my fault because I was drunk and flirty and all that. So, I get what yo are saying.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:06 PM
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((((ArtFriend))))) We truly do take on too much blame. It's a huge part of healing when we stop.

Years ago, I sought counseling as well. That was how I remembered my rape at 15. So I know the process. That's probably why I put it off for 4 years for the most recent assault. But I also know the end result is so so worth it.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:09 PM
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Oh you poor girl!! 2 times? (((hugs)))

So very sorry... wow. We are all in your corner Michelle. Best of luck!! Stay strong!
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