I’m learning that being self aware doesn’t always mean that you’re aware.
I’ve spent a lot of time, effort, and energy breaking myself down as I progress through my recovery in treatment. I’ve asked myself a lot of hard questions, and, I’ve tried my very best to answer myself, and my counselors, honestly. I want to get better. I want to fix what’s broken. I’ve been willing, ready, and able to put all my shit on the table. But, there are somethings, I’m discovering, that are well hidden. Even from myself.
In several of my past posts, I’ve mentioned a character from my treatment center that really gets under my skin. I continue to struggle with him. And, it comes up a lot in my one-on-one sessions with my counselor. I truly want to leave the worry, frustration, and anxiety that this guy causes me, behind. But, I’m faced with it, every day in treatment.
It’s a helpless feeling. To be in a place where you’re trying to find yourself, find your positive qualities and hone them, and then be confronted, daily, with someone who brings out your worst. Someone who, probably without knowing it, pushes all your buttons to the point of explosion. And yes, there have been a few incidents where I have lashed out at this person. Not in a cruel way, but, my frustrations built up and had me so tightly wound, that I had to tell him to back off.
Last week, this dude was absent for more than half the week. And, because he’s been on thin ice with our facilitators, I just assumed that my troubles were over. I figured that he was out, and he wasn’t coming back. The relief was instantaneous and overwhelming. So much so, that it frightened me a bit. How had one man, in treatment no less, gotten to the core of my being like this?
I returned this week to find him sitting on the couch in the community room. My heart sank. Voices in my head started screaming. I had to be honest with my counselor. I told him about the relief, thinking he was gone, and then, the sheer panic upon seeing his return. My counselor suggested a reason that this person may have been getting to me. And, it’s pretty personal, so, I won’t divulge it here, but, my counselor was right. He hit the nail on the head.
I’d spent so much time trying to figure out why I could not shake this person. And, there it was. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I sat there looking at my counselor.
The discovery of the truth that’s been buried deep, those are the tombs that are well disguised, but, when they’re unearthed, healing can really begin. Seeing what and who you are and were, it’s the key to recovery. Being true to your truest self. Finding those emotions you gulped down in shot glasses. Seeing the ugly things you’ve stowed away, and then, releasing them.
I will never, ever, like this dude in my treatment center. It’s not going to happen. I’ve accepted that. It’s a boundary that I’m comfortable setting and keeping. But, when I put all the baggage I associate with him aside, I can see that he actually did me a favor by driving me near insane. He allowed me to search myself. If he hadn’t brought out so much crap in my life, I’m not sure I would have found it. He allowed me to see what I’d covered up, and allowed me to deal with it, by learning that I don’t have to tolerate people like him.
There will always be someone who tests us. And, sometimes it’s by taking the test that we can see how and why we failed, and where we can make improvements.