Everyone has some place they "go to" in trying to cope with the sometimes severe ups and downs. For some it could be suicidal ideation, others addictions or inappropriate relationships.
I'm curious on thoughts if these coping mechanisms are learned from childhood experiences, are something else driven by our own internal method of trying to deal with this beast...or both? I'd also be curious on anyones experience in trying to change harmful coping skills.
The bad coping mechanisms I learned first were from my family and others who were going thru the same thing as me. I learned the good coping mechanisms from a really great therapist and lots of time. I still regress at times(suicidal ideation) but now have a horse to help me get out and away from people. By the way, I used to keep bees when I lived on a farm. Very calming.
I think for me it’s a combination. I’ve been using alcohol since my early 20's. The inner turmoil sometimes is just so painful that alcohol is the only thing that will dull it. I can't say that was learned behaviour as there are no alcoholics in my immediate family other than myself. I did, however, have an alcoholic uncle so that's probably where I got my gene. My other bad coping mechanism is suicide ideation which again is just a me thing. I have, however, learned a myriad of other bad coping mechanisms from my family of origin - poor conflict resolution skills, passivity, people blaming, martyrdom, passive-aggressiveness, etc. The above may make me sound bad but I’ve also been told many times by different people that I’m very kind and have a good heart – so it’s not all bad.
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