Digging to Roam

Getting Back On Track

Date: March 2018
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
overhang-tape-scotch-png-3
overhang-tape-scotch-png-4

I finally saw a psychologist this week, for the first time since moving to Mexico. It was the longest period of time I have gone without a psychologist appointment since I first began treatment three and a half years ago. And I was getting weird, real weird. I was going to group support meetings for a sober fellowship I’m in, and stayed involved in that. But my mental health was getting into uncomfortable territory.

Something about my experience with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is that I lose my ability to concentrate, which is not helped by the brain fog that follows me around.

I get so fed up with brain fog, and with fear that keeps me enslaved to my procrastination and sloth tendencies. My perfectionism has been hampering my goals, it has been affecting everything that I do in negative ways. I don’t harbor any delusions that I could ever be anything close to perfect. Yet, I can’t finish any project because I know it isn’t perfect and I can’t accept the flaws. And my thinking is already biased towards seeing my own flaws way more than any other aspect of myself. It’s a harmful combination.

Step one is, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.” That is acceptance. Which, incidentally, has been one of the great challenges in my life. Denial was my automatic defensive reflex.

I was told I had depression, I didn’t want that diagnosis, so I denied it. I didn’t want to be in an abusive relationship and so, instead of leaving to make my reality match my hopes, I denied it was abuse and lived in that denial despite all the evidence. Denial was a huge part of my grief when my father died. I tossed and turned and sobbed, saying aloud “It’s not true” over and over. As if my words and belief could undo it. At times, it has helped me when experiencing trauma. Once I was in recovery I could begin to process it thanks to the to the safe guidance and care of my therapist.

In early recovery, denial gave me space to do one thing at a time. I realized the other day that I don’t need to live in denial anymore. Denial no longer serves me. It has no positive role in my life, aside from instinctual denial of existential threats and shit like that. Denial is good for buffering trauma, in the short term. In the long run, it just hinders my progress.

It’s time to move from denial to prioritizing. Instead of: I can’t handle a task, so I have to ignore it. Now: I realize that task or topic is is the truth/necessary/important, but right now it is not the top of my priority list. It’s a seemingly small shift in language but it’s a huge change in my perspective.

still healing,

Find help for a crisis by texting, calling, or chatting online with these free crisis organizations. Looking for one outside of the USA? Check out our support listings.

Crisis Text Line
Text: “HOME” to 741741

Suicide Lifeline
Text: “ANSWER” to 839863
Call: 1-800-273-8255

Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Child Abuse Hotline
1-800-422-4453

The Trevor Project
Text “START” to 678678
1-866-488-7386

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call your local emergency number. The numbers listed here are the commonly used numbers for the stated region, the numbers can vary greatly depending on where you live. If you don't know your country's equivalent to 911, this wiki page and The Lifeline Foundation have comprehensive listings.

Americas

911

The Americas
Europe

112

Europe
Africa

112 & 999

Africa
Asia

112, 999, 110

Asia
Oceania

112, 911, 999, 111, & 000

Oceania

These online and international resources may help you anywhere you are located. Looking for local support outside of the USA? Check out our support listings.

DV Support Abroad
Call toll-free worldwide
1-833-723-3833

I'm Alive Virtual Crisis Center
Live chat with trained volunteers

Crisis Connections
24/7 crisis support with interpretation in 155+ languages

1 Comment

  1. Alice Lynn on March 3, 2018 at 11:26 am

    An excellent article. You’re right, Kristance. Denial is one of the first reactions to shock and/or one of the reactions to the grief process. But it is only a first step. The path to acceptance allows us to admit our fears or frailties and to not be bound by them. Everyone has insecurities. It’s part of the human condition. It’s how we choose to handle them and move forward. Good job!

Leave a Comment





Join the mailing list.

No spam and we will never share your information.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.