Irony of coping mechanisms - things i hate, saved me

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johnram

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Irony of coping mechanisms - things i hate, saved me
« on: April 07, 2019, 04:53:29 PM »
As i learn more and more about my cPTSD, and particularly coping mechanisms, i find my anger towards how i have lived my life reducing. 

I get angry at:

- my addictions (various, some stopped and some more managed now)
- time spent zoning out at TV, or the bad food binges
- not being able to express how i was feeling for years
- avoiding dealing with the trauma, not getting better "fast enough"

But as i now come to appreciate that all these methods were my way of coping through a very tough and hard childhood, not getting love and support but being used in many ways, i realise that the full force of the feelings i couldnt have handled before, and as much as i hate the amount of life lost to watching TV, or other addictions, i appreciate they gave me space away and distraction from the enormity of what transpired,

i guess, i am finding some acceptance, finally

sharing, because i hope others can relate



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SharpAndBlunt

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Re: Irony of coping mechanisms - things i hate, saved me
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2019, 10:13:56 PM »
Hi johnram,

Just wanted to say I definitely relate to this. I also get very down on myself for not getting better 'fast enough'. As I'm starting to realise the scale of things I'm giving myself more space to be forgiving for realising I was busy surviving all that time.

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johnram

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Re: Irony of coping mechanisms - things i hate, saved me
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2019, 10:28:52 PM »
sorry to hear that

but glad its a common feeling, i like relating in these stories, however odd that sounds

how are you getting on these days?

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woodsgnome

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Re: Irony of coping mechanisms - things i hate, saved me
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2019, 01:33:25 AM »
This might seem trite or even cliche, but in fact the singular message of everyone who's shared by writing or reading here is -- they (we) survived.

Sometimes it seems as if we've made great strides, none, just some baby steps, or that it seems so painstakingly slow; survival in whatever way it took place still has created that solid starting point which no one can ever take away. It's an easily overlooked achievement to hold to when all seems futile. From there all else proceeds at differing paces for each unique person.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 01:35:40 AM by woodsgnome »

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johnram

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Re: Irony of coping mechanisms - things i hate, saved me
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2019, 05:14:35 AM »
This might seem trite or even cliche, but in fact the singular message of everyone who's shared by writing or reading here is -- they (we) survived.

Sometimes it seems as if we've made great strides, none, just some baby steps, or that it seems so painstakingly slow; survival in whatever way it took place still has created that solid starting point which no one can ever take away. It's an easily overlooked achievement to hold to when all seems futile. From there all else proceeds at differing paces for each unique person.

thank you for that, and its true
its somethign i used to consider, that in many ways, i shouldnt be alive or be able to fix this stuff, that in of itself is something to be grateful for
of course i wish i didnt have to, but it gives me some drive where i dont find it in other matters. 
my wife says i am brave for facing these issues, but to be honest, i dont think i have a choice, and glad i feel that way, as i dont want to live my past again and its consequences

rambling, so will stop

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SharpAndBlunt

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Re: Irony of coping mechanisms - things i hate, saved me
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2019, 09:29:28 AM »


how are you getting on these days?

Well, there is the knowledge that I'm never getting that time back, so there is that.

But, with knowledge, and support from here and another source of support I have found, I'm beginning to learn that things don't have to be that way in the future.

I think woodsgnome is right. Every person will come to terms with their own journey and by definition that journey is different for everyone. I also think your wife is right that you are brave in tackling this. A few people have told me I am brave for doing this work and honestly it is only recently that I am trusting enough to believe them.

Rebuilding is slow and difficult and emotional work but with encouragement and support it is possible. We all have encouragement and support here. So, there is that, too  :)

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: Irony of coping mechanisms - things i hate, saved me
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2019, 04:41:37 PM »
Hi John ram
Ah yes I lived a 30 year span of my life numbing out in addictions.. I knew no better. Very common for trauma survivors to use to cope. Food was my 1st addiction and has been the last one to crack Fa.org (food addicts in recovery anonymous. Let go of drink and drugs via AA 9 yrs ago. So yep I'm left with shopping, TV and Internet as my freeze coping mechs.
All good things are available and I believe and am getting a handle on the other things. Stay in proudness for what has been achieved and for the younger self that didn't know and was just trying to survive... There's still time left to be awake conscious and healing and that is a true gift.. Many arnt so lucky

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johnram

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Re: Irony of coping mechanisms - things i hate, saved me
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2019, 05:34:23 AM »

Well, there is the knowledge that I'm never getting that time back, so there is that.

But, with knowledge, and support from here and another source of support I have found, I'm beginning to learn that things don't have to be that way in the future.


I feel this, and its been a learning for me, as i really want to get to "normal" or "better" fast, but i would rather heal (Period)

I also think your wife is right that you are brave in tackling this. A few people have told me I am brave for doing this work and honestly it is only recently that I am trusting enough to believe them.

Rebuilding is slow and difficult and emotional work but with encouragement and support it is possible. We all have encouragement and support here. So, there is that, too  :)

Its good to hear we are brave, as often times, i dont believe any good said to me about me....thank you for the validation

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johnram

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Re: Irony of coping mechanisms - things i hate, saved me
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2019, 05:40:27 AM »
Hi John ram
Ah yes I lived a 30 year span of my life numbing out in addictions.. I knew no better. Very common for trauma survivors to use to cope. Food was my 1st addiction and has been the last one to crack Fa.org (food addicts in recovery anonymous. Let go of drink and drugs via AA 9 yrs ago. So yep I'm left with shopping, TV and Internet as my freeze coping mechs.
All good things are available and I believe and am getting a handle on the other things. Stay in proudness for what has been achieved and for the younger self that didn't know and was just trying to survive... There's still time left to be awake conscious and healing and that is a true gift.. Many arnt so lucky

Thank you for this, addictions are very tricky, i have gotten over a few, but like you, i still struggle with TV / Internet.  I find a need to get moving in the day and acting, and build up my discipline bit by bit, but i also give in, as i remember, that these are coping mechanisms, and sometimes i need that too.  but its tricky....

pride is something that has also alluded me, but that is also changing i feel.  I get that in the "normal" world, i may not feel pride, but having overcome so much. 

i have my go to addiction story though (not triggering), i was once in discussion with my therapist about addictions, and she sincerly said to me, it was easy, and it was just like "closing a box".  Now i know therapists use certain language to challenge a client, but this, was what she believed.  I am glad i am not with her anymore, but it reminds me how society and those trained dont get the challenges around addictions. 

If you ever feel like it, i recommend reading books by Gabor Mate, wonderful books on addicts, helped me understand it deeper

thank you for sharing, sending you warmth

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: Irony of coping mechanisms - things i hate, saved me
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2019, 09:30:30 AM »
Hi John ram ah yes Gabor Mate is such a source for many. A friend lent me a book but haven't got round to read any of his material yet.
Spending so many days using addiction to numb and cope isn't a complete walk In the park to be free of hey. I'm so grateful to 12 step recovery I have so many supporters... I couldn't be where I am without it I'm sure. Wouldn't it be something to quote 'close the box' completely on all compulsions sort of monk. Like. but in a way I get that because for me I need to work out what my bottom lines are with anything I use addictive ly and close the door on the rest. An example of this is you tube my bottom line is 3 visits a week. I can spend them when I like but that is the bottom line. I feel. Good when I complete a week like this. Saying that this week I said 'I don't care' and I've been on there most days... Why... Well because I re opened the door in that moment and I didn't care. I made a choice to take  an action that would lead to more and more getting me no where but numb out procrastination of the good stuff in my life... Why...? Because I've lived for so long stepping out emotionally of my life... What were the feelings or emotional states that became too much for me to bear? Energy levels os a big factor for me.
What could help? The work I am doing around my all or nothing thinking /behaviours on any given day.. Ie rigid action and goals v less pressure and control of myself.. I'm learning to live a more balanced life its changing but its taking time.
Should I beat myself... No it doesn't help..should I keep trying and manoeuvring within all of it yes absolutly.
I'm no Saint but one day I pray to be saintly in a world that sets up technological addiction perfectly for someone like me who has the disease of addiction.