I’ve spent years reading and learning about this journey that we are all on, and what has always struck me about the professional help that seems to be available, is that it likes to separate ‘them’, ie. those that don’t need help, from ‘us’, ie. those that do.
As well as segregating us, the professionals also want to put us into some sort of box. They might categorise us having bi-polar disorder, a personality disorder or even schizophrenia. My personal view is that this must make them feel better about themselves if they officially mark us as faulty in some way.
They tell us that we need to learn to think more effectively and re-programme our thoughts, so that we can learn to cope with our feelings in a more constructive way.
My answer to this is that my thinking is just fine the way it is, and I’ve got plenty of certificates that think so too. My feelings on the other hand, have been severely bruised, and unless psychologists have developed a method of turning back time and undoing the wrongs that were inflicted on me as a child, then I think that I am perfectly justified in feeling this way.
What I am is someone who knows how to survive. I developed coping mechanisms whilst growing up that kept me alive and able to grow into an adult. I appreciate that my coping mechanisms could probably do with an overhaul, but that just means that I am ready for my mid-life service.
My feelings about people and events might be a bit OTT from time to time, but no amount of cognitive therapy is going to change the way I feel without acknowledging my original pain.
What I do need is to be told that I am actually a perfectly amazing human being, and that I don’t need to change anything to prove it. I need to be shown ways of feeling better without resorting to obsession or addiction to stop myself from hurting. I need someone to share this journey with me and remind me to detach from my feelings and just observe them, on those occasions when they threaten to overwhelm me. I need to be listened to and have my pain understood. But above all, I need to accept that there is a higher power outside of me that is directing my life. I need to trust that my higher power is showing me the way and I just have to quieten my mind to hear the messages.
I believe that we are all co-dependent in some way, ie. dependent on someone or something outside ourselves for our inner worth. That includes those that categorise us and tell us that we have some sort of disorder.
I have been on this journey now for a number of years and I no longer feel most of what I have written about here. I learned that when my feelings of anger, sadness or panic felt overwhelming, that I needed to observe what I was reacting to and ask myself whether my feelings were out of proportion with any event that had occurred. Often this was an event in my own mind and not based on any current reality at all!
The act of observation seemed to set off an unconscious analysis process that would send me enlightenments at some later time about what had really caused me to have these feelings. Each of these was a light-bulb moment, and the minute the connection between the original event and the current feeling was identified, it lost its power to hurt me. Once a hurtful event and a current emotion were disconnected, I started to forget the event and no longer felt the emotion.
If you are reading this, then some of this will resonate with you. It is not a solution to co-dependency, but it is a very important part of the healing process. Objective self-observation will help you unravel the painful connections. Sharing the journey with someone who is also travelling the same path will give you a friend who can reflect and validate your feelings. Trusting in a higher power will over time give you the inner strength to continue with this journey in the knowledge that you are and always were a perfect spiritual being.