My name is Helen Pearson and I live in Louisville, KY.
For the past 3 weeks I have been attending an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and spent a short time inpatient last weekend. My mental health had been deteriorating over the last 6 months or so, largely triggered by the break up of a relationship which I am now able to recognize as unhealthy. It left me feeling anger and manipulated, and worthless. With hindsight I can see that these thoughts and feelings did not happen overnight. I have spent much of the last 18 months engaging in unhealthy (bordering on addictive) behaviors around eating, spending and sex which is a huge red flag to me that my thinking and mood is becoming disordered.
Three weeks ago I finally admitted I needed help. The IOP has been so helpful and Mary Breams, who runs it, is a powerhouse. I have learned a great deal about my core issues of grief and abandonment experienced from my early childhood, and how that feeds into my disordered belief that I have no self-worth. I have also learned that I do not need to keep victimizing myself and live with those shame based "tapes" playing in my head. I have recognized grief and loss long since buried, and am beginning to let the grief process unfold. I also recognize that I have a co-dependency addiction, which brings me to the 12 steps.
I have been blessed in recent months with a friendship with a man who is a recovering alcoholic. His commitment to the life long 12 step program, and the obvious joy and contentment he experienced as he applied those principles day to day, is very attractive. I am beginning on the same path and am filled with hope that, if I work at it one day at a time, I will find inner peace and self-love to sustain me even during difficult times. I am already feeling the benefits, and am working hard on surrendering my life and will to God and putting together an honest inventory of my life.
I am having trouble finding a sponsor, but am trying not to be discouraged by that. I have two people in mind to make the 5th step with, and lots of work to do on my inventory in the meantime.
I am glad to have found this website and the opportunity to connect with others who understand where I am coming from.
All good wishes,