Familiar and Comfortable Coping MethodsBy
Have you ever had a comfy pair of bed sheets that were so soft and perfect that you didn’t want to throw them out and you kept patching and sewing them when they fell apart? What about a pair of perfect shoes or a pair of jeans that were the best fit ever and it was a very sad day when they were threadbare and had to go to the trash. Letting go is hard. Letting go of anything is hard.
My slippers are wearing out. They are my favorite; soft suede upper with sheepskin type soft comfy fluffy lining inside. Well that is how they used to be anyway. Now, they are wearing out and actually they are not as comfortable as they once were; in fact the support is going in them, and sometimes I slide to one side and go over a bit on my ankle, but still I can’t wait to put them on when I get out of bed or when come home. They are comforting and familiar; they are my slippers. They fit my feet; they are warm and cozy, like wearing pillows, soothing me after a long day. Well at least they used to do all that. They are not really doing ALL that anymore. But I still want to wear them, I don’t want to replace them, I don’t want to let them go, I keep remembering how great they were one time.
Looking back, before I decided to deal with my depression, low self esteem, dissociative identity problems, bi polar, post traumatic stress disorder ~ well you get the picture, I was like that with my life. I didn’t realize it but I was comfortable with my coping methods and I thought they worked. When I was a child I escaped into a fantasy world. When I was a teenager, I added to that fantasy world escaping into books, food, and then alcohol. I escaped into drugs to cope with the results of escaping into food. I had serious depressions which were a direct result of not having any help dealing with things. It got complicated. I liked not dealing with things; when I was a child I had no choice, I didn’t have any help to deal with anything; I had no support. Not dealing with things became the way that I lived. Coping methods became the way that I survived. Not facing the truth, not standing up for myself; all of that felt safer than trying to deal with things that I had never been given the tools to deal with.
So my coping methods; depressions, binge eating or starving, over exercising, flirting, dangerous relationships dissociating and disconnecting were all familiar and comfortable but just like the slippers, my coping methods were not working anymore. Oh I tried to make them work. I believed that they would work again, because I could not stop remembering that they worked in the past ~ when I was a child.
Just like when I was a child, I kept getting my reality mixed up with my fantasy ~ kept thinking that my coping methods were the answer, and that they would work again the way they used to work. I thought that if I could just be who my mother wanted me to be, she would finally love me. I thought that if I could just impress my father enough, he would finally notice me. I carried this struggle with me into other relationships and recreated not being good enough to be loved or noticed. And I used coping methods, many different ones over the years and I thought they worked and when they didn’t work anymore, and when they became the problem, I changed the coping method, but the belief system was still in place; the comfortable familiar belief system. I ended up needing coping methods to deal with my coping methods, all of which kept me safe from looking at the root causes, because deep down I believed that I could not face that kind of pain.
Round and round I went, spinning in an ever increasing cycle of fantasy, depression and low self esteem, disconnecting from the truth, even when I got a glimpse of it, because I facing the truth would mean that I had to take some sort of action, maybe take a good look at my life and the people in it, maybe make some changes.. and it just seemed easier to grab those old slippers.
But as most of you know, I didn’t stay there.
A whole new way to thrive;
Therapist John Wilson from ~ Online Events ~ presents ~ Emerging From Broken – Interview with Darlene Ouimet on Sunday Nov.03 at 12:00 Noon Pacific, 3:00 pm EST and 1:00 pm Mountain time. London: 8:00 pm, Sydney: 5:00 am. Please visit the following link in order to reserve your ticket. Click on the first box ~ there is no charge for the live event. Hope to “see” you there. http://emergingfrombroken.eventbrite.com/