One thing that has stood in my way of healing is the fact that affirmations commonly resemble the toxic positivity that so many of us struggled through during our traumatic ordeals in AA. I myself have struggled with adopting affirmations and positive self-talk into my life due to my time in AA and have talked to others who have this experience as well.
The psychiatric unit I am at, of course, is pushing affirmations quite a bit. But, they are doing it in a way that is just a bit differently than I learned in AA and the other self-help books that I’ve read. Instead of simply saying, “I am….”, or “I will…”, these positive affirmations say, “I am learning to….”. And the really interesting part is that for me this simple change of wording makes all the difference in feeling hope versus despair when I hear positive affirmation statements!
What this means is that really, when it comes to my healing process, I can change things like positive affirmations so that they can meet my unique needs. Everyone is different, and everyone’s trauma and life has affected him or her a different way. That’s why it’s important that with affirmations that we change them to whatever wording that we need for them to be effective for us.
I also am learning that I like to color intricate pictures in crayon! People have been giving me adult coloring books with colored pencils since my second psychiatric hospital visit back in March 2017 and I just haven’t taken to it. But, for some reason, I was feeling like coloring some adult coloring designs with crayons, and assumed that this likely was due to a need of a child part. So, I tried it, and it felt great! Plus, everyone commented on how intricate I was able to color with crayons. I told them that I was an artist as a kid and teenager and used to color like this all of the time. I ended up coloring some cards with animals and/or landscapes on one side of the card and aspirations that were not triggering on the other.
I’m still trying to keep myself out of denial of abuse because my doctors are questioning it due to the bipolar diagnosis that I’ve had since like 2002. I don’t know why hospital doctors always put this diagnosis above the rest when it doesn’t produce the long term results that they need. The truth is, though, that these types of hospitals are primarily for stabilization. I’ll go home after this and play around with my medication levels with my primary doctors after I stabilize.
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