Recovery motivation

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Laynelove

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Recovery motivation
« on: November 01, 2015, 03:53:15 PM »
Hi guys,

I am finding I struggle with motivation for recovery because I get overwhelmed at the sheer amount of issues I have to deal with. I also struggle to figure out which order I should be fixing things in.

I am thinking a good step for me at the moment would be inner child journalling. I am currently doing schema therapy while also trying to put some of pete walkers advice into practise like shrinking the inner critic and practising self compassion. I'm just wondering how much work is too much when it comes to working on yourself? Also, for the people who have made quite a substantial amount of recovery, what order worked for you? What did you start with?

The next question is quite depressing so please stop reading if you are easily triggered:

So there is no cure for cptsd. I feel like I could be looking at 5 plus years of intensive therapy just to 'recover'. So when you have to do so so much work to NOT cure your disorder, how do you guys find the strength to keep going? I quite often get sucked I to this why me, victim mentality and I find it really hard to pull myself out of this mindset. I feel like the 'reward' at the end of all this hard work isn't really that great...I'm still going to be mentally ill. I know it's negative but hope is being pretty elusive for me.

I am also really up and down all the time. Even my posts on here, some are really hopeful and encouraging...then others are like 'I'm done just shoot me now'. I need some consistency it's exhausting swinging between the 2 states all the time.

Thanks for your help

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Dyess

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Re: Recovery motivation
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2015, 08:07:28 PM »
Hi Laynelove, I too find it hard to find a place to start. There are so many loose ends , which one will benefit me most to find and heal? Right? I've heard that healing is not linear, that it's a series of ups and downs. So knowing that, I feel like when I go through those periods it's part of healing and normal, just hang in there with it. But if the ups and downs are getting to intense you need to talk to your counselor. You talk about being Mentally Ill as a bad thing.....I disagree with that. Most people have some type of issues and do just fine in life. Yes, they may have to have counseling or medication to balance the chemicals out but then they can lead a productive life. So mental illness is like having back pain, migraines, things that give you some trouble but you learn to deal with them and live your life. I've been happy before and enjoyed life and I have had PTSD for a long time, so I have learned. Funny thing is ..is that I bounced back quicker before I knew there was a name for my illness. Now that I know what it is it occupies my mind way too much and that's what I want to get out of. Where I control the thoughts....they don't control me. So hang in there...we will figure this out.

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tired

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Re: Recovery motivation
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2015, 08:10:01 AM »
First of all it depends on what recovery means to you. No human being can expect to be completely rid of all their mind patterns. And no one can be free of any emotional anguish. To me a cure means the ability to separate what is past and what is now. That's what I work on and struggle with and I have made progress. 

The order of things- I am obsessed with doing things in the right order because when I don't it's a problem. 

I think of things in terms of balance between long term and short term strategies.  It's like housework; from one day to the next there are daily chores that must be done to stay comfortable and functional. But to truly grow you need to make it a priority to do projects like organizing your art supplies or setting up a sewing room ( examples of my life). The same is true for internal housekeeping.  The daily chores are like the behavioral therapy that is urgent and has to be in place and helps keep you grounded in the present.  That has to be in place otherwise if you go into analysis which is long term problem solving your life will sort of fall apart. That's what happened to me.  Analysis was a cure but I had to stop halfway because I couldn't handle it. 

I did start with a lot of behavioral therapy and I was doing well taking care of my kids but when I went into analysis I stopped doing those.  I thought , ok time to try a different approach because I've learned all I can from behavioral strategies. That was a problem. 

I think going no contact would have been better to do sooner.  Like 20 years ago . 

I also think relationships should have come after other things.


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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Recovery motivation
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2015, 09:12:09 AM »
I think going no contact would have been better to do sooner.  Like 20 years ago . 
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
The second best time is now.
(supposed) Chinese Proverb

It helps me to remind myself of it.
So in the context of this thread I'd say, for myself:
My recovery motivation is to plant the trees that are best planted now. And see them bear fruit 20 years from now.

As I type this, I realize there is a firm underlying personal truth in this.
My parents are both in their 80's now, and I see so clearly now that the dysfunctional coping mechanisms (in my opinion  ;) ) they have used since my childhood are so detrimental to their functioning now, that I actually, a few years back, consciously decided: "Uncle, you are 50 now and still 'strong'. This is the time to weed out your 'garden', and become a more functional adult. When you are as old as they are now, you're stuck with the routines you have. This is still an age where you can turn things around, discard trash and sow seeds that will serve you well, now and many years after.
I guess that's why the Proverb is so appealing to me, that it stuck.

Perhaps the realization I just shared was my 'lightbulb' moment. "Do it now, uncle, this is the time to get started with it."

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tired

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Re: Recovery motivation
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2015, 10:11:23 AM »
 :thumbup:

also would like to add:

journaling didn't help me when i was blocked .  when you're not ready you're not ready so i would say, do the next thing you're ready for. just take some action.

also, when i get down about it, i think to myself, i might die in the next couple of hours so this is my life. right now.  that's when i do something enjoyable and accept it as my life.  if i get upset that i don' t have more, i think about how much i have that many people don't.  i also have the opportunity to get better, which is also something many people don't have. 

i wonder how many people have cptsd, and i would imagine it's a lot.  in some countries you would think everyone has it considering what's going on there.  i don't know what this means as far as the meaning of life goes and that's a depressing thought in a different way of course. but it helps to feel like i'm not at some kind of disadvantage.  then it just makes me mad at life being unfair to me.  that "no fair" rage has more to do with my family and how i stand in that world but in the greater world i can't complain.  it's not something i say to minimize anything and if you were here in person i wouldn't say oh it's not so bad, don't complain.  what i'm saying is that this kind of thinking is the only thing that makes me feel better sometimes.  i have to say it to myself though; if someone else says it i get pretty mad!

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Laynelove

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Re: Recovery motivation
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2016, 09:56:30 AM »
So I've been gone from this forum for a while trying to focus more on recovery but I have hit a block. I was just about to post about motivation and then saw that I had posted the exact same thing a few months ago.

I've been doing some work on toxic shame and have started to see some benefits. Unfortunately the pattern that has repeated through out my life is that as soon as my life improves or I start seeing some success eg. At work, in the gym, with dieting, creative work etc. I get scared and stop.

I know it's a fear of success, probably because I don't know how I would handle the responsibility of actually being good at something. I feel like being a failure is my identity and it's hard to move forward into the unknown. Failure is sadly my comfort zone.

I know what the problem is, I know where it comes from. But the question is how do I keep going without the sabotage? Do you think fear of success is linked to toxic shame and maybe I should do more work on it? All these cptsd problems are interlinked and it's hard to move past one problem without another problem standing in the way.

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Recovery motivation
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2016, 10:23:49 AM »
So I've been gone from this forum for a while trying to focus more on recovery but I have hit a block. I was just about to post about motivation and then saw that I had posted the exact same thing a few months ago.
I can relate. In my "recovery journal" I have made near identical posts, only to realize after posting it I had had that 'epiphany' earlier as well.
I think it's pretty common in any recovery process. Just as the '5 stages of grief' are not a linear process, and the '5 stages' more often than not are being cycled through multiple times (and may well be processed through in different 'orders') it takes time and multiple efforts to 'get there' in the end.

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I've been doing some work on toxic shame and have started to see some benefits.
Great!  :thumbup: Toxic shame will be something I'll work through at some point (well, that's my ambition at least), so I will be interested in your experiences with this.

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I know it's a fear of success, probably because I don't know how I would handle the responsibility of actually being good at something.
I think it's classic (c-)PTSD behavior/trait. The unfamiliarity of 'calm', success. Kudo's to you of having a closer experience to being conscious of it. I'm pretty convinced that it's conscious awareness of these processes that is a major contributing factor for recovery.  :thumbup:

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All these cptsd problems are interlinked and it's hard to move past one problem without another problem standing in the way.
Baby steps, I gather.

It's great to see you back, by the way.
 :hug:
« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 10:30:12 AM by Dutch Uncle »

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Laynelove

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Re: Recovery motivation
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2016, 11:13:35 AM »
Hi Dutch uncle,

Thanks for your Kind words. It's nice to be back but I find that for me personally, I often use this website to freeze. It's an excuse for inaction. I spend hours reading about this stuff but then don't do anything about the actual problem. It's a great forum though, and I think for others it can be a really great resource. I just know what I'm like! Hahaha the beauty of self awareness 😉

I can already share some of my toxic shame experiences with you! I have been working through the John Bradshaw book and also listening to some hypnosis tapes by the Spartan life coach. I've noticed over the last 2 months I have:
1. Identified toxic shame as the root of all my problems, so have decided for me it is best to treat this first.
2. I have noticed that physical anxiety symptoms in certain situations have totally disappeared. For example, all confrontation (even if it was a small kid that yelled at me or something) would send my heart racing, my mind would go blank, I'd stammer on my words and start sweating. I have noticed that these physical symptoms aren't happening to me at the moment. I'm not on any medication at all so I know it has to be from the therapy work I've been doing. I'm just hoping these changes hold out, because it's so nice to not be so anxious for the first time in my life. It gives me a chance to actually sit back and think of a response, instead of looking guilty even if I had done nothing wrong.
3. My depression has lifted slightly. I still consider myself a 'depressed' person. But I used to stay in bed all day if I didn't have a reason to get up. Since I've started this work I've been getting up before lunch time each day and even if I accomplish nothing for the rest of it, im up, showered, dressed and ready for the day which is a massive improvement.
4. I generally feel more hopeful for the future than before. I feel like my life is temporarily on hold now, where as before I felt like I was going to be miserable forever and there was no hope at all for me.

I know I'm going to struggle for the rest of my life to some degree. But I feel like I have accepted that now where before I was looking for the big cure.

While I know certain things are going to be harder for me than normal people, I also believe I can recover from this to the point where it is not on my mind constantly. My ultimate goal is a healthy relationship, a good friendship group, a yearly holiday and stable employment. I really think I can make it.

Yes Dutch uncle I agree baby steps. Even looking at my original post where I said I was constantly up and down, I've stabilised a lot since then. Hopefully onwards and upwards from here!