Recovery is a difficult process, filled with many ups and downs. The rewards of working on yourself cannot be measured with any degree of accuracy, because they are so deep and internal, but the way you relate to others changes as you grow personally, and that becomes a sort of yardstick. Most of the time I beat myself over the head with this yardstick, and forget to look at where the positive changes have taken root and are making a difference in my day-to-day life.
I wish it didn't take me so long to figure out when I'm in a tailspin. Someone says or does something, and I'm not aware of the impact it is having on me until further down the line when I've allowed myself to once again be stressed out and anxious over it. This people-pleasing gene refuses to go quietly into the night; it rears up like an unschooled pony when I least expect it and I'd like to think that eventually I'll see what's happening sooner than I did this week.
Our emotions are tricky things. If we were wholly unified within ourselves (which most of us are not) we would feel something, examine it and pinpoint exactly what it is trying to tell us. This would be a better way of handling things, but I seem to spin in circles, frustrated but not sure why, until I sit down and take the time to draw a line from point A to B or even Z if its been building up for a long time.
Often we need someone else to point out what should be obvious but is actually hidden from our own view for a variety of complicated reasons. A spouse or a parent or a good friend can do this for us, provided we are open to listening to what they have to tell us. Most of the time I find I simply need permission to do what I already know I need to do. I think I'm so tired of confrontation and conflict that I'm trying to keep my head down and get through my days without another battle, but holding boundaries is what I'm trying to learn, and there are endless opportunities to get better at it.
I think the ups and downs will never really go away. It feels better to be up than down, but as long as we are in relationship with ourselves and with others, we will run into tricky situations, filled with friction, when we least expect to. We have to deal with what comes up, as kindly as possible, and try to be as true to ourselves as we know how to be.