We all go through traumatic event(s) in life. During times of trauma, we find ways and means to cope with our set of circumstances. But what happens when innocent coping mechanisms become destructive behaviour patterns?
Destructive behaviour patterns can be anything from self-harm to over- or undereating to doing too much of any thing. Lonerwolf has a great list of destructive behaviour patterns and even if you don’t think you have any destructive patterns, you’ll probably related to one or more on the list.
My plan to break destructive behaviour patterns
In last year I started a blog anonymously. I needed a space to voice my feeling, more like my anger and disappointment when my marriage ended. The blog was called Brave + Broken and even though I don’t have the need to write with anonymity any longer, I still have the same vision I had for that blog.
Brave and Broken was a lifestyle blog about learning the art of being brave enough to face your current circumstances and bold enough to admit your brokenness.
I have forgotten many things I endeavoured at the time, until earlier this week. On Monday, I stumbled across a couple of pages I imported from Brave + Broken, including what I called the ‘lifestyle challenge.’
The Lifestyle Challenge
The lifestyle challenge was a way to rediscover me after a series of traumatic events, the cherry being the end of my marriage. Through a series of conscious decision over a period of 12 months, I hoped to return to the essence of who I was, pre-trauma. Ultimately, the idea is to systematically get to a place of intentional living.
- The whole story, including the background and birth of the lifestyle challenge, can be found here.
- Here’s a link to what the challenge entails.
Breaking destructive behaviour patterns
The truth is, I have experienced a lot of healing over the past year and a half, but there are some destructive behaviour patterns that still need to go. And as much as I would want the change to happen in one go, I know, in order for the changes to be long term and lasting, I need to take things slow.
The lifestyle challenge includes a couple of basic principles to break these destructive patterns.
FIRSTLY, you need to confront your fears and labelling your emotions. This helps us to (1.) understand our fears better and (2.) deal with them more effectively.
SECONDLY, the idea is to identify your coping mechanisms. Knowing where the pitfalls are, gives you an over-hand in overcoming them.
THIRDLY, you identify and envision what a whole and healed version of yourself would look like.
LASTLY, we start planning towards a whole and healed version of ourselves. More on this in next week.
The Start of a Journey
August is my birthday month! Naturally, this is reason enough, to reevaluate my life and where I am going. I will start the Brave + Broken Lifestyle Challenge in August. I will post my focuses for the month here, with the hope that some of you will keep my accountable for my own personal growth. In turn, I will keep anyone who wants to join me, accountable too.