Sharon Wegsheider-Cruse, a pioneer in the recovery movement and founder of Onsite Workshops in Tennessee, is talking about the unpaved, yet ultimately rewarding road of recovery.
Embarking on a journey of personal growth can sometimes feel like taking a jackhammer to the roads of our lives. We can feel lost at times and wonder why we’re even making the trip. But until we feel all of our feelings about our pasts, we are destined drive around in circles and repeat the unhealthy patterns we learned.
Recovery work often uncovers hidden emotions that we did not know existed. Sometimes as children we had to dissociate or split off from overwhelming feelings to cope. Particularly if we grew up in addicted or dysfunctional families, we had to deny that family members were hurting or scaring us in order to maintain the bonds we needed as children to survive.
Unfortunately, later our adult lives can end up feeling like one car crash after the next. We may not understand why we engage in unhealthy addictions or choose dysfunctional relationships again and again.
12 Step meetings, counseling, and experiential work like psychodrama all help to draw out the hidden emotions that trap us in unhealthy patterns. Once we feel all of our feelings, be they hurt, fear, anger, or anything else, we can grieve what happened to us, let go, forgive, and move forward.
This is the journey of healing and breaking out of the dysfunctional patterns that trap us in our pasts. Our commitment to ourselves paves the way to unlimited possibility and freedom, a new road map of infinite joy.
© 2012 Valerie Simon, LCSW, CP, PAT