Rest and recovery

Rest and recovery

For the last month, rest has been a big priority for me. In March I did some powerful recovery work in confronting the abuses from my past. As those feelings have released and let go, it has been emotionally and physically draining. So it has been time to rest.

In the past, I would have fought it - there's something from my work ethic that says I have to be doing something to be of value. I would have pushed myself beyond comfortable limits, and made myself feel worse in the process. I guess I've learned a few things, because I'm doing really well at resting.

Rest = self love. Something I've had to learn over the years. I finally figured out that doing the healing work is like a spiritual surgery, and sometimes afterward, I need to put myself in "spiritual ICU" to let my body recover. That part of my healing is just as important as doing the work.

The picture. A couple of summers I worked the wheat harvest. It was a vision quest, to follow in my Dad's footsteps and try to figure out what happened when he disappeared for a while, and returned a changed man. He died before I could ask him.

We worked such long, hard days, that any chance you had to kick back for even a little while was a precious gift. So I just sat and chilled one day in South Dakota.

22 Replies

  • Absolutely, Chilli! The rest days make everything flow better! :)

  • Nice photo Dan.

    I still have not got a chance to do the inner child work you recommended in another post. I have had a little chance to do the rearesting bit. I am presently unable to rest properly unless I am with another adult I trust.

    When I go to bed I need to be very tired in order to effectively rest. I am finding that seeing my ex partner during the handover of our son is causing me a lot of aanxiety. It has become a catch 22 as I want to see him so badly but when I see her I get terrible negative feelings. She puts me down, criticises how I spent my day with him and I constantly fear she will have someone new soon. that's not what I want for my little boy, I want him to have a stable loving and trauma free environment.

    I need to find a spot like you have here. I have a lovely garden but am afraid to sit there alone. I think the reason is because something awful was happening six years ago as I tended to that garden.

    Again Dan I really admire your willingness to reveal yourself here and help others. You are a true helper.

  • I go thru the same thing with my husband. We are separated, his choice. He walked out one day. Now we are civil, being friends. I want to see him and talk to him, so I agree to whatever small crumb if relationship he throws me. My heart is filled with fear and anger just thinking of him. My mind says he has done me wrong, dishonored and betrayed me that if I had the strength I would let him go and not talk to him again. Our children are grown. But in my heart and in my hope I dream of a reconciliation that would be different better than the marriage ever was. I am exhausted everyday from the psychic time I give my husband who has betrayed me over and over again and then deserted me entirely. I obsess on him and desert myself. I keep trying to fix it all. It is important sometimes to do the rest. To do nothing. to accept the pain and rest. I wish I had the faith that all this was for a reason. That I can and will heal and that my life will be better. I want to live. I feel everyday im in survival mode. Do what I must. Do what I should. I have lost my joy.

  • I feel a lot like that my friend. We are walking similar paths :-) Last night I got a good nights sleep but upon waking was filled with dread about collecting my little boy. Be it the other cars parked near her house or the comments when she is strapping him in. It is all very negative energy towards me and it drains me.

    We face 17 more years of this now and that scares me.

    Thanks for replying - I definitely understand where you are coming from.

  • Thanks 689908. I can't remember who took this pic, but they did catch me in a repose place. It's been my experience that the inner child work just happens when the time is right - it might take a while for you.

    Boy, that must be really stressful transferring your son. Ouch with the interaction with your ex.

    I do understand that sometimes it's easier to rest when there's someone else around - to watch over and keep you safe.

    Thanks for honoring my willingness to self reveal and help others. I do appreciate you saying that! :)

  • Hi 689008

    Seeing your son is paramount. Think carefully why does your ex feel it is so important to put you down. If she is happy and secure in her life why is she treating you like this. I have said this before but look at her and pity her. She had a child with you. Why is she so unhappy. Be positive and cherish your son. The things that happened to me I tolerated my exes for my children. Even when one threatened to burn my house down. They have their own sadness. Not always sure what it is but you have a son that needs you. That is all that matters.

    Find a spot like Dans go camping with your son and find your place together. Go fishing. I'm a broken mother of 3 just trying to help. My youngest loved baking with me. He would not go to our local Nature Reserve on a school trip. He told his teacher it was his special place with mum, to feed the ducks and he did not want to go with school. I encouraged him to go and show his friends all the wildlife. I was however secretly touched. I provided my son with a stable upbringing and paid for everything with a good salary in high risk work. I am paying the price now but I love my boys. Children have a way of seeing the good in their parents as they get older. Give him some good memories. Ignore the ex and just smile sweetly. She sounds angry and resentful. Maybe your son talks about his time with you and enjoys his time with you. Or maybe she is just sad with her own issues.


  • Thank you Margot.

    It was our third pregnancy together and had also broken up in the past. I was no angerl but she blamed me for absolutely everything that went 'wrong'. Sometimes we would be so happy and then she would find a problem out of nowhere. We split during pregnancy with our son. Everything became so chaotic and violent that sometimes I was shaking wondering whether to say something or say nothing. If I said nothing she accused me of trying to intimidate her. Say something (anything) and it was 'I can't believe that is what you think'. Us men might be physically stronger but when your pregnant girlfriend lifts a heavy object over your head, you close your eyes and hope it is not dropped on you, that is very scary. Basically as soon as she got pregnant she isolated herself away from me in the house we shared. When I left I did so as she seemed to just hate me. Since then it has been 'you left me when I was pregnant'. After leaving I asked her could I come back. I remained paying all the bills in the house. She demanded 10,000 euro from me to return. She didn't allow me see my little boy be born. She attacked me as we waited for him to be born as she said I didn't say hello to her friend. She told me not to come to the hospital the day after he was born. She said awful stuff about my family the night he was born. As we both looked on at him with joy, I was asked to leave if any visitor came to see him. Then when he was a month old, I was stopped from seeing him for 2 months. At the time I didn't feel pain but looking back now I could cry for that time I missed with him.

    I love him so much. I wanted to be a family with them but she didn't allow that. She makes reckless decisions, I don't. I have the same house I live in when I met her. She is on her 8th in 7 years. She has rowed with every single landlord. One made a mistake by saying she had not paid the rent. She went ballistic. All she had to do was point out the landlord's error. She seems at war with the world. When we split before she went on dates where she walked out on dinner with one chap after 15 minutes over a comment he passed. Another she mocked because he told her his ex wife had cheated on him. Why be so cruel?

    You are right. My relationship with my little boy is everything & I want to follow your lead. I do keep time for just me & him but I also want him to know my parents, singlings and their kids. He seems to like time with me. He is 16 months and when I saw him this midweek as I handed him back to his mum he said 'Daddy' as I left. That really made my heart jump.

    I can't wait to see him tomorrow. Thank you for taking the time & interest to reply to me. I value & appreciate it.

  • I've pretty much been forced to do the same - back's still healing, so I'm bushed from my trip to the mall yesterday - I used the wheelchair for fear of falling, but as a result, my arms are getting nice & toned :) . I've kind of had to just sleep whenever I get tired, or just flop in bed and listen to music or read a book. Relaxation is often the best thing for a person - it's just often finding the TIME to just chill out.

  • Isn't it amazing, LoveBug, that what seems to be a small task can become really big when we are dealing with our PTSD issues? Glad you're taking the time to rest up!

  • OMG yes. Preparing to go out of the house. I am sick dizzy hot and shaky. I have to put one item of clothing on at a time and then lie down. I will not let hubby in the room whilst I am getting ready - not a pretty site. I am always sick. Hubby is enabling and will say you don't have to do this. Sometimes I go HELL NO I am going. Other times I say sorry I cannot do this today. Then I feel very guilty. Our peaceful resting place is Portugal and walking the dogs by the canal. I fear I will never be able to board a plane again. Makes me very sad.

    I hate ptsd.


  • I hear you Margot. Seemingly simple things are a whole process, like going to the store. Good for you to be able and say "I can't do this today." My hero child took a long time to learn that lesson.

  • than you :)

  • Hi dan, I think the biggest gift you can give yourself is the time to rest during recovery. Therapy and addressing issues from the last is hard and mentally demanding work. I have finished up my role as an advisor for a forensic mental health service to allow myself the freedom to recover. This has come at a high personal price salary wise but I decided I needed to heal and this was more precious than money in the bank. I will be living on the bread line while I do this but as I'm inky three years from retirement age I figured this would be a small price to pay for once in my life feeling safe and not triggered and hyper alert as I've lived misty fm y life this way. Work was a distraction from what was really important which was the authentic me.

  • I definitely agree, Lindyloo! Rest is a very important component of recovery. Good for you to allow yourself the freedom to recovery, and giving yourself the time and space to do it. I made a similar choice, to let go of a pretty high paying/high stress job, while I do the recovery work.

    Yup, feeling safe and not triggered to become your authentic self is well worth the tradeoff! :)

  • I live in south Dakota! where were you at ?

  • This was in a small town called Prairie City, about an hour and a half north of Rapid City. Little more than a general store, a church and a couple of homes. :) Where in SD are you?

  • I am WAAAY south of prairie city, I live in Sioux falls !

  • Way south, and way east! We were in the middle of nowhere, but it was an amazing experience.

    So cool to learn where someone else lives, and that they know something about what I have done. :)

  • yes I do! :) Been reading your other posts! Very good reads!

  • Thanks! I appreciate the kind words! :)

  • Wow! Great work Dan! I need to remember the need for relaxation and rest after "spiritual surgery" too.

    "Rest = self-love" Never thought about it that way before, but can see that it is true. Being at peace with oneself and not feeling we need to always be doing something to prove our self-worth. Very helpful insight!

    Thanks for sharing this photo of yourself. I have been thinking about "coming out" and put a photo of me on my profile. What I get scared about is safety. Is it safe to do so?

    I don't want to stay hidden any longer. Why should I care so much what other people think? Hiding connotes shame, to me. Coming out expresses that I am not ashamed for what happened to me. I am an overcomes and should be proud of it. However, my photo would become "public property". That thought makes me feel unsafe. Any thoughts and advice about this?

    Thanks for sharing Dan. The spiritual "ICU" is a helpful image. Easy to remember!


  • Thanks, AbideinLove! I'm glad this is helpful for you. Rest has been as important in the work for my recovery. :)

    The picture. I've been in the public eye with radio interviews, websites, and things like that. So it wasn't much of an issue for me. But I can completely understand how it would be a safety issue. If there are abusers who might find out where we're sharing, that's a whole different matter.

    It is empowering to share what I look like, but it also helps that Carl_H and degn8er are people who have known what I look like for 30 years, so that brings a measure of support in sharing the real me.

    Actually, spiritual ICU wasn't my phrase - my friend Sue, who is a nurse, said it one day! :)

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