Crisis & Recovery

While recovery is most commonly thought of in connection with addictions, a non-addict with a troubled past may also need to experience recovery. Some examples include survivors of abuse, neglect, domestic violence and criminal victimization, among a host of other psychological shocks, which we refer to as trauma.

Trauma survivors face numerous mental and emotional challenges. One of those challenges is the ways that they react to events and situations they cannot control. They may adopt a negative self-image, hold on to distorted beliefs, continue with self-defeating habits and frequently get into toxic relationships. Down deep, they know that they need to recover from what they have done – or what has been done to them – and they know that something has to change – “I” have to change, they might say. But they don’t always follow through. Let’s be honest. Change is hard for lots of folks, and even more so for trauma survivors.

There is a widely accepted truth about what motivates people to make personal changes: the suffering individual will have to hit “bottom” before she acknowledges her problem, and finally seeks help. Many people will not change a negative habit, behavior or attitude until the pain of staying where they are exceeds the fear of changing. In other words, only a crisis will force a change.

Unfortunately, when a problem hits the breaking point, it may be too late to fix it. We see this very often in broken marriages, the destruction of careers and financial devastation. It prompts us to wonder about the conditions which prevent a person from addressing a problem while it is manageable. Consider the following explanations, if you will.

People ignore warning signs, such as a negative change in the attitude or behavior of their child, spouse or co-worker. They lack self-confidence and doubt their own judgment. They do not want tp ‘make trouble.’ They allow others to influence them unduly. They do not know that help is possible or do not trust professionals. Some people do not even trust doctors. They assume that the course of their lives is set in stone, and that they must accept their rotten fate. Additionally, most people prefer “the devil they know” to taking a chance on making a change. Like a child in the frightening darkness, they believe if they hide under the covers, the monster cannot see them and will go away. They minimize the importance of a problem, contending, “I pick my battles.” In some cases, that is the correct decision, but not always. Others may merely lack confidence in problem solving. They expect to fail.

Have you ever waited for a problem to reach crisis proportions before addressing it? I have. I know what it’s like to procrastinate and to avoid facing a problem. Eventually, somewhere along the line, a solution finally presented itself. Such a solution could work for you, too. If you would like to know about this, please feel free to call. The phone number is (219) 309-3928. I would be honored to be of assistance.

For additional thoughts click here Conflict #25 – Avoidance

Thanks for reading!