2 min read
19 Jul

  During my active addiction my trauma was swept under the rug through my drinking. I looked at it every day unable to process it. By the end it looked like someone put a rug over a bear and thought nothing of it. The truth is it was always there, and became increasingly more obvious every time I drank. Like many I chose to remain oblivious to what was going on in my head, because I could numb my brain down. That is quite possibly the worst thing I could have done for myself, but I didn’t know any other coping mechanisms. The day I got sober was the day my memories, trauma, pain and past came flooding back. At first it was overwhelming, after all opening the flood gates after a storm is always going to come with a surge.  My saving grace has been the motto one day at a time, and that keeps me rooted in the present. I can't always process everything, heal or work on things, but I can let my emotions be experienced. I can feel what I numbed before, and just allowing them to be felt means I'm growing as a person. 

Day by day I let my emotions play out how they should, and I try not to hold on to any of them longer than necessary. I feel in my anger, let it do its job to protect me and learn from it, then I try to let it be on its way. I have GAD, generalized anxiety disorder, and often times find myself overthinking everything, but I'm learning to question my anxiety now and the narrative that it tries to create in my mind. The other day I found myself in a moment of triggered trauma, unconsciously my anxiety starting putting together the past feelings into a parallel situation in the present. Someone's actions mirrored the actions of someone in my past and it revealed another layer or resentment that was still there. I caught myself in this process having become aware of what I was feeling and brought myself down from what could have been a negative turn of events. I had to remind myself they are not the person who hurt me, they don’t know that this is a trauma of yours, and it's not their intention to do these things.  I ended up having a good lunch with them because I was able to feel those emotions as they happened. I questioned the lies they wanted to tell me and I knew my truth was much bigger than those lies. My higher power told me so, and reminds me I am worthy. In that moment I could have acted out of pain and lashed out, but I didn’t. I am grateful for these moments of growth that God allows me, and I am grateful that I can question the narrative that my anxiety and trauma want to build.

     We have become so conditioned to our way of thinking and dealing with things that we often find ourselves blindsided when these moments occur. In my addiction anything and everything could set me off and I wouldn’t be able to stop myself. Instead of having an honest conversation with myself, I chose to hurt others and walk away from relationships. Now I let them emotions float around in my head and try to make sense of the truth of them. Why am I feeling this? Am I giving myself and the other person enough grace and mercy to have a conversation if I am upset? Is this how I really feel or is this my trauma reacting to a person, place or thing?  

     My truth in this is that often times I did simply react rather than pause and think. God, my higher power, has been teaching me the importance of the pause lately these past few months. Question the narrative, feel the emotions, and then act. We can do better when we take time to understand the subconscious reactions we have to certain things in life. We can find ourselves growing in these moments when we pause rather than react. So, I pray that we find the clarity, and understanding to question the narrative. I pray that we can chose to pause in a moment of pain and find our truths rather than react to the lies.  I pray that you give yourself enough space, grace and mercy when you find yourselves in those overwhelming parts of life. To have an honest conversation with yourself and to choose to grow in these moments.  All it takes is one small step, one day at a time, and showing up in your own life every day. Choose love, growth, and faith as your keys to freedom and not anxiety, fear and pain that keep you shackled. 

With Much Love, 

Mack  

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