Today’s blog post is authored by Jill Lillis, a dear friend who is walking along a recovery path of her own. While her recovery is not from an addiction to alcohol or drugs, it is every bit as day-to-day and as difficult (and perhaps more so, who can judge the steps of another?). She is, and has been, an inspiration to me in so very many ways, and I have been after her to start writing for all of you for months now! I hope you enjoy her as much as I do.
When I entered a certain phase of my recovery journey, I began to journal. There is only the difference of one vowel between the words “journey” and “journal”.
Journaling was very validating and relieving to me. It also was a record of my amazing self discoveries and a reinforcement of the self care practices I was integrating into my life.
At one point in this process, I experienced a loss that became the focus of my thinking and feelings to the point that the the journaling became counter-productive and was no longer helpful. My journey never ceased, but I was moving forward while burdened with a heavy weight, a condition of emotional woundedness which resulted in uncontrolled heart-bleeding if touched. This slowed me down and caused me to look backwards very frequently. I used every strategy in my arsenal to produce healing and forward motion from this loss, and used the events around it as an aid in the process of self-awareness and self-healing, but still the struggle hindered my healing and forward motion in other areas. It took an enormous amount of my emotional energy to just maintain what I had already attained because of the difficulty produced by this loss. I even resigned myself to having to deal with this for the rest of my life, much as person with a physical condition has to deal with constant daily physical pain to varying degrees.
Recently, I have had restoration in the area of that loss that has finally begun to reverse the effects that were causing me to struggle and limp along as I continued my efforts at self-healing from traumas that caused me to wrestle with Complex PTSD symptoms.
I am experiencing healing to a degree that is astounding even myself. If you take the pain that gets piled on you and compost it, it will eventually transform into something that will nourish the next cycle of your life. If you let that shit just pile up and stink, not only will it contaminate your internal environment, you will also repel others due to the stench and vermin that inevitably accompany un-recycled excrement and garbage.
Today, I renewed my journaling. Today, I am experiencing some seriously permanent-feeling healing in places where normal use has always produced symptoms to be dealt with. This new lack of symptoms can be compared to the blessed silence produced by the sudden cessation of a constant annoying background noise such as tinnitus or an annoying whining of a motor or engine.
Simply put, I am experiencing authentic healing rather than merely coping successfully with daily symptoms—although the adverb “merely” does not adequately describe the effort that coping often requires.
Take that, abusers. I win.