More from Bruce Levine

“Many self-help pundits preach that we all have choice.  This is essentially true, but for the unhealed it can be a damaging message.  At some level, they know they should have choice, but they don’t feel like they do.  This can move them into deeper shame: “If I believe that I should have choice, and the experts are scolding me because I’m not making healthy choices, then I must be really worthless.”
“…  I am impressed by people dominated by overwhelming emotional pain who are able to do or think anything that is not destructive.  It takes a great deal of energy.” pp70-71   (Author’s italics)

I remember one time, I was in a PTSD state of hypervigilance, and a woman told me “Fear is a choice”.  It really freaked me out, made everything worse.  It was at least a year before I could find an answer.  Fear may be a choice, if you’re scaring yourself by telling yourself scary stories.  Fear is not a choice, if you just missed hitting another car.  Once fear has been triggered, your only choice is what to do with it.

I also have struggled, while triggered into despair or terror, to act with compassion, not defensiveness, with truth not denial.  I am often exhausted, and Levine comforts me by saying my struggle, though invisible, is real work.

Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic, by Bruce Levine

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