If you are still in the process of healing from narcissistic abuse, you may be experiencing a confusing sea of emotions and an array of conflicting thoughts. Healing is a process, so if you feel as if it’s taking more time to heal than you think it should, it’s important to give yourself grace. What would you say to a good friend who was feeling frustrated? This is the grace you should give yourself. Healing is all about balance between grace and self-work, so if you catch yourself slipping into habits of thoughts or behaviors that might be slowing the healing process, it is possible to exchange these unhealthy habits for habits that can actually help you on your path to recovery. Below is a look at some of the most common unhealthy habits.

Holding yourself to impossible standards.
If you’re still dealing with cognitive dissonance and struggling to regain your identity, this can cause frustration if you are holding yourself to impossible standards. Basically, if you tend towards perfectionism in general, this can lead to further frustration and burnout. You might even feel as if you are somehow inferior if you are not healing quickly enough. Rather than look at your recovery in terms of how far you have to go, simply try to stay mindful of what you already have accomplished- and congratulate yourself on your incredible resilience.

Trying to do it all alone.
The reality is that no matter how strong, tough, and determined you are, and how many resources you’ve consulted, there’s no replacement for the help of others, specially trained professionals, when it comes to your ongoing work of recovery. Asking for help doesn’t mean that you are weak or have failed. It means you are deliberately taking responsibility for the direction your life will flow and curating the best version of yourself.

Working too much.
Pushing yourself too hard at work, when you are already dealing with other challenges, can add to your stress level and slow your recovery, causing exhaustion and/or burnout. While it’s admirable to keep your eyes on your desired career goals and stay committed to high standards of productivity, you also deserve the chance, and in fact must, make space to rest and recover. If your job has become too stressful or is no longer fulfilling, consider the possibility of a career change. Regardless of whether you change careers, cut back on assignments or hours, or start your own business, there must be a work/life balance that is conducive to healing from a fragile state. The more you heal, the more responsibilities you can take back, always allowing space for self-care. If you are still recovering while working and additionally caring for children, preparation is helpful in creating the work/life balance you need to fully recover. with some measures for balancing your work with your family obligations. Here are some recommendations.

Feeling unworthy of self-care.
You may find yourself on an emotional roller coaster during the healing process. Unfortunately, at some of the lower points, you may begin to feel that recovery either isn’t possible or isn’t worth it – or even that you yourself aren’t worth it. You have just been through a traumatic experience where you have been oppressed, abused, and psychologically indoctrinated that you are less than. This indoctrination is just that, a kind of brainwashing that occurs in the emotional brain of a victim who experiences narcissistic abuse. It’s very important to remember that the thoughts and feelings you think and feel about your self-worth are probably not your own at this time, and it’s essential to recovery that you remind yourself of this fact. You can and will get through this. You are worth it. You deserve happiness. You deserve a good life.

Playing the blame game.
While recovering from narcissistic abuse, it’s easy to feel guilt and shame, as if you should have seen the red flags or somehow known what was behind the mask. While there may have been some red flags, the bottom line is that you got tricked, and it can happen to anyone. Narcissists, especially coverts, are quite charming, thoughtful, articulate, funny, and charismatic. They are often in positions of leadership. People outside of their home like them and genuinely think they are great people. It could very well be that you and the narcissist’s previous intimate partners are the only ones who have seen who he or she truly is. When recovering from narcissistic abuse, it is very important to acknowledge that you were in fact not to blame, you were tricked, treated unjustly, and deserve better. Eventually, you will be able to focus on the strength and knowledge you’ve gained and the fulfilling life ahead of you. This is when you will really begin to be in your power again and get to know the new, more evolved, you.

While everyone’s journey to recovery is a little different, it’s definitely important to try to the best of your ability to steer away from doing or thinking things that might create more challenges for you and slow your recovery. If you have trouble doing so, try not to judge yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you need additional guidance or support during this critical time, you can gain helpful information and resources at Nashville Therapy for Women. Please reach out, I’m here to help.
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