Dealing with Conflict:
By: Christine McFarlane
Learning to become healthy is often a hard road. It can often be filled with many ups and downs. You may think that you are doing really well; things appear to be going a lot smoother than they used to, but then a conflict arises and your old fears come back to haunt you. A fear that comes back to haunt me is that insecurity that often nagged at me when I first started my road to recovery. When a conflict arises, first comes my anger, then the tears, and then the old messages that used to play on a regular basis start to roll, even though logically I know better. Conflicts are hard to deal with because they not only makes you take a step back, but they make you draw upon all the skills you have learned to get to where you are today.
I believe that conflict is another test of my resilience in my recovery journey. It tests me when I least expect it, and it makes me draw upon the courage I have within, to sit back and re evaluate the conflict that I am dealing with.
Sitting back and looking within is difficult when conflict arises because it is easy to fall back into old thinking. The thinking that makes me feel depressed and misunderstood, and makes the tears roll like the old days, when I could not lift my head without a tear bursting forth at the slightest thing. Getting out of that old thinking takes extra effort when I am at odds about something in my life. I know that everyone has their ways of dealing with things. These ways of dealing with things can either be healthy or unhealthy. I try my hardest to stay on the healthy path, because I know that if I was to fall back into old ways, not only would I disappoint myself, but I would disappoint those who have been behind me in my recovery journey.
Conflict can often be dealt with by talking with someone who has some distance from the situation. You can write it out so that it does not stay within, you can let yourself have a good cry, and tell yourself that this conflict shall pass too. The last step is often the hardest for me. I am the type of person who wants to deal with something right away, but I also recognize that when conflict arises, emotion often rises over logic, and that can make a situation worse.
Stepping back, giving a situation or a person space is the healthiest thing to do, even it means you are at war with yourself and wanting to make things right, right away. Conflict is never easy, but I have learned that conflict is just another part of life’s journey. It teaches you to become more understanding, to become more resilient and teaches you courage that you can draw from within, when you are feeling like no else understands.