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Archive for October 5th, 2007

Yellow Flowers (c) Lynda Bernhardt

If you want to heal from your painful past, the first step is to start feeding your “good wolf.” (See my last post, Healing from Childhood Abuse: Feed the Right Wolf, for an explanation of this metaphor.)

If you are like I was, your good wolf is nothing but skin and bones, barely hanging on to life, while your “evil wolf” has a big fat belly. Your “evil wolf” has you right where he wants you – filled with pain, shame, guilt, and self-loathing. You need to begin nourishing your “good wolf” so he can get back into the fight.

If you are like I was, nourishing the “good wolf” is a foreign concept, so you might not have the first idea about how to do this. My next several posts will discuss how to use the following positive coping tools toward this goal:

You do not have to utilize all of these tools. Starting out, just try using one or two. Each time you utilize one of these coping tools (in moderation), you are nourishing your “good wolf” and preparing yourself to fight your way back to emotional health.

Balance is the key. Distracting yourself by watching an hour of TV to pull yourself away from a desire to self-injure is a good thing; watching TV for 10 hours a day to avoid facing your painful truths is not.

I will walk you through how to use each of these tools. Then, after you start practicing how to use these tools, I will talk about the negative coping tools that abuse survivors use to manage their pain, such as self-injury, drugs & alcohol, and eating disorders. Even if you have been enslaved to one or more of these negative coping tools for most of your life, you can find freedom from them. I know because I have done it myself. The more you lean on positive coping tools, the less need you will have for the negative ones.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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