Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Death of "Insidious" : His Return

Insidious: “Alluring but harmful” 

That is one of three definitions found on Word Hippo, and a very good way of describing this particular “Insidious” problem of mine. MY personal definition: when something IS insidious, it is like a hidden system of veins, as it stealthily seeps its way in, and around its target. It begins as a mere trickle, but given the opportunity, it’s flow surges, gaining power, and it becomes a debilitating force in the end.

I introduced the monster on my back, "Insidious", in my previous post, Vulnerability, Values, and "Insidious". That day I (we) worked to truly put a face to him (our inner demons) in Day Program was, undoubtedly, an extremely difficult and draining process to get through, and thankfully, the second part to the work, was held off until the following day.

The writing meditation (we utilized different types of meditations each day, to expose us to something new, and to start firing some new connections in our brains, speed up some of our healing, by utilizing the creativity inside of us) that we did the next morning was prompted with “Write a Letter to your Gremlin/Demon”.

I gladly, and proudly share with you the letter that wildly erupted on paper (and YES, it is highly vulgar). 
(I am working on “vulnerability”, being open and authentic, true to myself, and, I also believe/feel that in sharing our stories, in the raw, we extend opportunities to inspire healing in another. We have the power to help someone, without having any knowledge of that fact, with our words.) 
I called him out, and announced his fate!!

Clearly, expending that kind of energy was an incredible procession through hell, and I desperately needed to have some type of closure to the process itself. I suggested, wheedled, and then successfully encouraged the others to join me in my request: I felt it would be extremely healing, and supportive of one another in case of overwhelming emotions, to burn our letters; to have a ceremony around the release of these gremlins.

We went outside, with a garbage can, and we each took a turn tossing our letters and pictures into the fire, uttering whatever words we needed in our own moment above the flames.

I felt so empowered in that moment. I felt lighter. I finally felt free.

Having identified “Insidious”, addressed him, and given him his walking papers, I still knew that these demons are relentless, and they really don’t like to be denied or ignored. I knew that I would have to remain vigilant in keeping "Insidious" away. I continued on with the daily grind of my recovery and healing, learning new tools, trying to continually be mindful and AWARE of my thoughts and behaviors, and tried to catch myself whenever I could sense his presence.

I really worked hard at being cognizant of, and catching my thoughts, AND busting "Insidious". I began to, have fun with it; proudly laughing at him, throwing him the finger over my shoulder and telling him: “Ha Ha Ha!! Nice try!! But, F@#% OFF!!” I enjoy it. I find it quite satisfying.

Recently though, in addition to simply having to deal with life on life’s terms, and “feel the feelings” (oh the joys!!), I just really began to feel off. Balance, self-trust, and self-care/self-soothing have all been a lot of work in trying to establish, and I’ve been practicing being kinder and gentler to myself. I really do have a very powerful propensity towards, an often twisted, sense of “perfection”, and I “have a tendency to be”, AM “extremely hard” on myself, but I really began to feel like I was being too gentle with myself. I found myself easily making excuses and avoiding little things; all of which begin/began to slowly pile up, with a little red flag sticking out the top.

I began to wonder, and paid a little more attention to what I was feeling vs. what I was doing, loudly questioning myself, my decisions and thoughts… I felt that Insidious had begun to move back in. Like a spider, he had spun his intricate, detailed, and well-planned web, again, and I, like a little bug, was becoming sticky, almost stuck.

“He’s trying to weaken me, keeping me home, feeling low, b/c “it’s ok to be gentle with myself right now”. He’s really done his homework, and he’s trying to use my new knowledge and skills against me. I say “Fu@% YOU!!” each time I catch him lurking, but he’s pretty sneaky these days. He’s messing with my motivations and sleep, he’s urging me into lazy and smoking a lot, he’s not wanting me to eat, and especially not healthily. He’s got me procrastinating, putting off, avoiding, making excuses, and rationalizing. Shit! He’s making a real go at trying to bring me down again! COMBAT! I beat him before, and I will AGAIN and AGAIN if I have to!! So, given what I know, I now need to make a plan! I need a safety, action plan to bury him!! I’m not playing with you INSIDIOUS!! I AM STRONGER AND SMARTER!!”

I wrote that last week, after the last, very powerful, Smart Recovery session.

The next day, at CAB, I had the opportunity to REALLY work with "Insidious". It turned out to be the most intense, eye-opening, WOW., experience that I have had so far in this journey of mine. (and it happened in a room full of mere strangers!! Talk about allowing myself to be vulnerable!!)

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