Two weeks ago (when I started dressing my truth), I found three delicate chains stashed in the back of my jewelry box, so badly tangled that I'm still working on it even though I spend time every day loosening the knots. I've made progress: one chain was set free, and the central knot that holds the remaining two together grows smaller at each session.
Untangling those necklaces is a good metaphor for what is going on with me internally lately too. The two one-on-one counseling sessions I've had, regular attendance at Celebrate Recovery, and four completed steps from David Burns' workbook "Ten Days to Self-Esteem," all have been working together as God's instruments to untangle snarls in my soul.
Dressing my truth as a bright and animated woman (in colors that pop, gold accessories among other things, started the first knot loosening.
When I started dressing my truth, it brought back a flood of positive memories from my childhood. I remembered the me that was full of enthusiasm and never short of ideas.
Extreme self-consciousness and social phobias led me to believe that I'm an introvert. But over the past few weeks, as my social anxiety has lessened and I find myself increasingly comfortable in social situations again, I'm finding that rather than being drained by them as an introvert would be, I'm actually energized by them!
The ginormous test gave an Enneagram result too and came out with Type 4 (with a strong 3 wing). The Enneagram profile for a 4 says my driving motivation is needing to be unique and different, and the 3 in me needs to be admired and noticed.
I can see that in myself, and also see how when I'm unhealthy/depressed it gets turned upside down to "I'm so different that no one understands me or I'm so different that I'm missing out on something everyone else has," from the 4 and "I stand out like a sore thumb, everyone's watching me/judging me," from the 3.
Last night I was doing some reading about cognitive dissonance and rationalizations and confirmation bias that helped me to see how once I get started on those type of thoughts it's hard to stop.
For example, part of my social anxiety has been that when I see a group of women chatting, my default reaction would be to feel left out, and assume they have a closeness with each other that I can never have. I'm finally seeing the lie in that, and how my belief in that lie becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy (i.e. I hold back from joining the group, withdraw into myself and so of course never do get close to them).
Yet despite the behavior I've had based on those irrational beliefs, God has blessed me with many caring people in my life. What mercy and grace!
I completed Step 4 just last night. As I looked ahead to see what Step 5 entailed, the same feelings about continuing that I had last time reemerged. But this time I don't want to let those feelings trick me into stopping recovery.
I need accountability to make it through this workbook, continue going to therapy and continue attending Celebrate Recovery. Telling this blog audience is one way to keep myself accountable.