With recovery work when it comes to the pain one experiences, it is real, it is raw and it is a big part of recovery work. The pain is in there and you can only numb it out and push it down for so long. It will come out and it will not be pretty.
When I woke today, my husband told me that I was flailing my arms, shaking and yelling in my sleep. I find it no coincidence that I would have a night terror. Especially as I have started to write and think about all the traumas and abuse that I have endured. It can be very triggering, as well as bring up old traumatic memories. I know that many survivors suffer from night terrors as a result of the trauma and abuse that they were subjected to, It is so heartbreaking. My daughter used to have them and an Aunt of mine has horrible night terrors almost every night.
Mine could have just been an old fashioned nightmare who knows. I do however feel that this happening as far into recovery as I am, reiterates the point of how recovery work truly never ends. While I’ve done tons of work and I’m so much better than I ever was, it does not however mean that I will never have a night terror or be triggered again. The difference is I now have tools to deal with it, if and when I do. I know that when I am triggered or have a night terror, I can take the charge out it (through EFT) and do some recovery work to overcome it.
I now have many tools and options to utilize, including EFT Tapping, Meditation, Affirmations, ect. Unlike my aunt who unfortunately has night terrors on a regular basis and feels her only option is to pop a pill or start drinking as soon as she wakes up, which is what she often does to cope. As in many families, those coping mechanism I unfortunately learned growing up. Which as we know are not healthy coping tools. Alcohol and pills do not bring the recovery and healing survivors need, they simply numb it all out for awhile, only to have it return again. It’s like putting a band aid where stiches are needed, It’s going to bleed out somehow.
Instead of that destructive pattern of using alcohol and drugs, we can instead take some time to explore what might be coming up for us. When you find yourself being triggered and take the time to figure out what is being triggered, you can then incorporate the use of healthy recovery tools to deal with those recognized issues or triggers. Things such as EFT Tapping, Meditations, or Affirmations as mentioned. We can make the healthy decision to take the time for some exploration and very important self care.
When I first started getting into EFT tapping, my twin sister and I were still speaking. Whenever I would have a session with the EFT practitioner, I would feel so wonderful afterward. I remember the first time my sister saw me after a session I’d had, I felt like I was lighter, almost glowing with Joy. I told my sister about my session, explained what EFT Tapping was it and what you do during a session. I then jokingly said to my sister that the lady that I did the Tapping with, asked me to me sing a song while I do the tapping. My sister asked “What is the song?” I responded that she had me sing “I’m gonna tap that shit right out of my head.” My sister responded with a confused look on her face, then asked,“She does?” I rolled with laughter on that one, it was funny. The lady did not have me sing while tapping, although it’s not a bad idea.
Now if I have a trigger, night terror or anything happens I can gain control over it, so it no longer controls me. I can literally “Tap that shit right out of my head.” You can too! You have options and you have tools and they don’t have to include things that numb you out to the pain. The pain is there and you can only numb it out or push it down for so long. And when that stops working, then what? As I said before It will come out…and it will be ugly. So why not explore some healthier options and reach a point in your life and recovery where you don’t feel a need to be numb. When you are numb you don’t feel the pain, but you also don’t feel the joy. When you are no longer numb you are able to fully embrace life and live in Joy, not pain.
There are so many healthier, productive ways of facing it, dealing with it and working through it. When you get through the pain you get to experience levels of joy, that you may have not felt many times before, if ever. Facing and healing the pain can be done and it is worth it! Little by little the triggers will lessen, the night terrors will end and the pain will subside. On the other side, you get to have a life that is worth living rather than riddled with anxiety and fears.
Through your recovery you will hopefully start to remove toxic, abusive people or unhealthy relationships from your life. As you recover and get healthier these unhealthy people and relationships will fall away. How do I know? Because I’ve been there and little by little, day by day I am working my recovery and getting over the bridge to the other side. As I get there, I’m never going back because, “Some bridges are worth burning.” Once you recovery you are no longer willing to keep unhealthy people or relationships in your life. You will no longer be willing to accept unacceptable behavior or abuse in any form. You will attract healthier, loving, supportive, respectful relationships and what a gift that is.
Wishing you well on your healing Journey Anne-Marie Wiesman
How many of you have had to burn bridges like me? What has your experience been with it? Have you had to end toxic or abusive relationships, even with family members? Did you find it freeing, painful, a relief, all of the above? Please share your experience in the comments below. I am sure your story will Inspire, Encourage and bring Hope to others.