During the toughest phase of my PTSD recovery (the phase when the hair on the right side of my head fell out leaving a big bad bald spot and the nightmares just seemed to try to top themselves in gruesomeness) I read a memoir about an addict and her struggle in recovery. Since I myself had never been addicted to drugs I didn’t think the book would land very close to home. I was shocked when I found myself drawn into the memoir as if I was being dragged into a room with an enormous mirror and forced to look at myself up close for the very first time. Reading about addiction and learning what it was and how it felt I realized that I, too, was struggling with an addiction. I was addicted to trauma.
At the base of my addiction were beliefs that came out of my trauma about myself, others and the world. These beliefs drove my thoughts all day and night, which in turn drove my erratic, hypervigilant and self-destructive behavior. It would be nice if I could tell you that just this realization helped me wrangle myself into a better place. That wasn’t the case. What it did, however, was help me see even more clearly what was wrong: I could not control my thoughts and my thoughts and their effects were destroying my life. I set out on a quest to wrangle the chaos and take back control.
What I learned was to try things, check in with myself, and make decisions about what to do next based on how I felt about both the process and the practitioners with whom I worked. I also took a lot of notes. During my recovery I simultaneously wrote about what I was thinking, feeling, experiencing and learning.
By the end of my recovery I’d written an entire memoir of my own. BEFORE THE WORLD INTRUDED was released earlier this year and just last week was chosen as a finalist for the BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE award. That’s the funny thing about trauma, PTSD and recovery – you just don’t know the good things that will come out of it. By the time my PTSD recovery had been completed I had learned to both better manage my thoughts and also to let go of the beliefs that generated the worst thought offenders.
This week on YOUR LIFE AFTER TRAUMA (Wed., 2pm EST) Frederique Murphy, an expert mindset strategist, joins me to talk about seven strategies for how you can begin to control your thoughts. PLUS: she’s agreed to give away one copy of her 30-min empowering audio, Reach New Heights, (full information can be found here) for our PROJECT GIVE BACK GIVEAWAY!
You can call in to win our PROJECT GIVE BACK giveaway by dialing: 877.230.3062.
About Our Sponsor:
Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center
Timberline Knolls, a private residential treatment center for adolescent girls and women (ages 12 – 65+), offers hope, healing and recovery to women seeking treatment for eating disorders, trauma, PTSD, mood disorders, addiction, and co-occurring disorders. Highly trained professionals provide individualized clinical care in a spiritually nurturing, trauma aware treatment environment. Our picturesque 43-acre wooded campus is located in suburban Chicago. For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call us at 877.257.9611. We are also onFacebook – Timberline Knolls, LinkedIn – Timberline Knolls, and recently launchedthe Timberline Knolls Treatment Blog.