Secrets of Recovery

They don’t tell you it’s this hard…

Psalm 109:21-22 reads:

“But you, Sovereign LORD,
help me for your name’s sake;
out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.
For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is wounded within me”

Another translation says “my heart is full of pain.” This is the way I feel. I remember saying to people, right around the time that I got out of my trafficking situation, that my heart was torn and my mind confused. With all the terrible things that had happened there was just no making sense of any of it.

What people don’t tell you at that point… the point where you’ve seemingly been “rescued” from your deepest, darkest fear, is that the recovery process isn’t a straight light up towards peace and bliss.  In reality its trajectory is more similar to the up and down of Himalayan peaks.  If you’re in healthy community, fight like hell and God willing, your recovery line will generally move upward.  (Thankfully, I think mine is.)  However, the understated discouragement is that I’m currently in a valley, not on one of those mountain peaks and it’s hard.  It’s terribly hard.

The past couple months I’ve been hit with insomnia and some other health barriers. For those who never have dealt with sleep issues, let me paint you a quick picture… insomnia fells like you’re drowning in your backyard pool. You can see the surface, there is a definite bottom and you have even been swimming a million times before. For some unknown reason though your body has now completely forgotten how to float and no amount of warm milk or Tylenol PM is helping to remind you. You can physically feel your lungs begging for air and you know it’s only a matter of time before you lose your mind and drown. You just keep straining to swim with no avail…. or trying to sleep with all exhaustion mounting. That’s insomnia.

For a person like me who prides herself on strength and all around “together-ness”, this all has been embarrassing and ultimately frustrating. I have to force myself to rise each day and ask “Why the heck am I here?”, “Was it really that bad in my old life?” (Yes, by the way!), “Would anyone really miss me if I was gone?”, “How long until the people who say they love me leave?”, “Can I handle this?” Every day I’ve been fighting non-stop lies of “You’re worthless”, “You’re still just a hooker”, “He’ll find you”, “You’re of no help”, “You’ve been kidding yourself”, “It’d be easier if you were dead.”

So the secrets of recovery? It’s not quick. It’s not easy. It’s necessary if life is the option you’ve chosen. What do I do then? I recognize that the 23 hrs out of the day when I’m being bombarded with flashbacks is not the time to make important decisions. I wait for that one hour of sanity in my day to call on people for help.  I pray that God’ll get me through the rest of the day until I again have been placed gently on a mountain top where I can see the face of Christ’s grace more clearly.

May this blog serve as an education to those who do not yet know or understand the atrocities of trafficking and may it serve as an encouragement to those who understand it all too well.

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