This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge
Self-care is reminding ourselves that disagreements between people are healthy and normal
My most recent self-care posts have mainly been within the theme of having the courage to voice our needs, despite the fear of upsetting others. I think this is coming up for me a lot at the moment, due to my being in a new relationship.
I have become much better practiced at asserting my needs over recent years. However, relationships are highly emotionally charged, especially for those of us in recovery. In these situations, especially new relationship beginnings, it’s not uncommon for old ‘defects of character’ to attempt to rear their ugly head.
Although I do not fall apart in the way I once did when these things come up, they are still very painful. Because my feelings are so strong for this new man in my life, there is, of course, the fear of losing him. This is why, when I practice what I’ve learned over my years in recovery and voice my needs and feelings honestly, I find my old thought patterns lurking in the sidelines. Fear tells me that the disagreement will mean the end of us, that now I’ve said how I feel things are ruined etc.
It is taking a lot of effort to not join in the dialogue with this inner voice, but whenever I refuse to engage it, it gets quieter. Sitting with the painful feelings is a healing process in itself, especially when I see the proof after having a disagreement, that not only are myself and my partner still OK but also that we are stronger for a mini disagreement.