It’s a quiet evening at home, a lovely, cozy one with bowls of homemade soup, nips of dark chocolate, and a smidgen of homemade sour plum vodka.
It’s amazing how precious peaceful moments are after turmoil, isn’t it?
It’s been a rough few weeks as I officially entered the “angry phase” of healing from PTSD. I’m told this is an essential and normal part of healing, but I’m not enjoying it one bit. It’s been so unsettling and scary for me. I spent my whole life suppressing all forms of anger, even healthy anger in response to abuse and bullying and neglect. Now I’m having to learn how to let myself feel anger but not be controlled by it.
Not easy, I tell ya. I feel like I’m in constant battle mode, working through these waves of anger, yet trying not to let them overflow and touch the people close to me. It doesn’t always work, and I have felt anything but loveable (more along the lines of utterly dreadful!), wanting instead to hide myself away until this phase is done and dusted. Have you ever felt that way?
Sometimes, when we go through times like this, our negative aspects tend to loom far larger than our good ones, making us feel like the very worst version of ourselves. When we feel unlovable, it is so much harder to love others, to be creative, to build goodness into our lives.
Here are a few things that are helping me work through this:
- Be an observer of my feelings, not a judge. I’m learning that my feelings are not me, they’re just something I’m feeling. And they will pass. They always pass. Once the emotional intensity of the feeling is gone, it’s so much easier to deal with the issues precipitating it.
- Find healthy ways to express negative emotions. For me, it’s writing, writing, writing. When I give the anger (or fear or insecurity) a voice, it takes the emotional power away. It also helps to talk it through with trusted people.
- Invest in myself. I’m learning that while there are some things I can’t control, I do whatever it takes to look after my well-being. That ranges from relaxation exercises, meditation, and sunshine to outdoor walks, healthy eating, and reading things that assure, comfort, and strengthen.
- Love the people in my life. Send an email, write a text, make a phone call, give a big squeezy hug, and let them know how much they mean to me.
- Make time for creativity. When I’m feeling wretched inside, it does me so much good to cook, draw, paint, sew, garden, and take pictures.
Today I read some inspiring words, went for a long sunny walk with the goats, and made quince liqueur. It was my first time using quinces and I was delighted by the delicious scent and how sunny and bright they look in the clear glass jar. With sweet fruits you don’t need too add much sugar, but with quinces, it is essential. I can’t wait to taste it in two months time.
How do you help yourself get through difficult phases of your life?
Quince Liqueur Recipe
2-3 ripe quinces
1/2 cup simple syrup (1/2 cup white or raw sugar, 1/2 cup water, heated until sugar is dissolved)
1/4 tsp vanilla or almond or cinnamon extract
1-1.5 cups vodka
- Scrub quince free of dust and fuzz. Halve, core, and cut into slices.
- Fill sterilized jar with quince slices.
- Pour over simple syrup, extra, and top off with vodka.
- Seal jar and let liqueur steep in a cool, dark place for two months.
- When ready, strain and serve chilled.