This week begins anew, monthly feature for the blog, Kevin’s Journey. I first met Kevin as a participant in the Men’s Story Project: Survivors Healing Journey. You can find his story here: An Incredible Miracle. I am grateful for his willingness to share and the depth of experience he brings. Kevin’s monthly column will include words of wisdom gleaned from decades on the journey of healing and recovery. Welcome Kevin to Still We Rise.
My name is Kevin Flood and I will bring a recovery focus to a variety of issues we encounter on our road to good-better-best mental and emotional health. I have been in sex abuse recovery for many years with qualified therapists and fellow travelers like yourself, as well as over forty years of active alcoholism recovery as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Each of our abuse stories is different and unique in many ways but our recovery stories have many common approaches and strategies and the sharing of our recovery stories are the heart of the Men Healing Project.
My driving forces have been to never stop learning…
My driving forces have been to never stop learning, the acceptance of my own story, to listen well, and be open to new ideas and be a real daily student of my own life. “What happened in this recent experience and how can I use its lesson to learn better behavior and thinking for the future”? For myself, if I can’t hear the truth from others and tell myself my truth and hold that truth in front of me for as long as it takes to fully accept it, I won’t be able to make progress.
Coming out of isolation and asking for help was the crucial step I had to risk taking or I knew I would become deeply isolated and so very alone. I realized that I was not alone, that my abuse was not unique, and that there were so many other men with the same experiences. Men who would share how they coped and struggled and told their stories with great honesty. As I learned there is a recovery world for men, I was greatly relieved and began to have faith that my own recovery journey could be successful.
One of the most critical issues I experienced is the shame I felt and the blame I put on myself for so very long.
One of the most critical issues I experienced is the shame I felt and the blame I put on myself for so very long. One of the most exciting moments I experienced was when I first started listening to male abuse survivors who were telling their stories. I realized I was not alone in my struggle with shame and blaming myself. I was among many men who had the very same feelings and were able to talk about it to help other men.
My overall goal is to tell you my story broken down into the many steps and lessons I have learned over the years. I don’t have magic answers and I don’t possess the secret of recovery. I can tell you my story about how I discovered self-honesty and self-awareness and acceptance and their importance. I will share how I made a recovery plan, many of the other little and large steps and what they have meant to my ongoing recovery. Self-honesty seemed like a fierce burden until I came to realize what relief can be gained by living in an honest world. The humbling experience of realizing we are one of many doesn’t diminish us. Rather, it is a powerful tool in our growth to realize we can walk along with many other caring men that we can share our story with, men who accept our truth, our story.
The role of learning, formal and informal, can be a leading part of
your own self-management, your own story development. Learning can help break mental log-jams and false beliefs and help establish new recovery practices that we can do for ourselves everyday. I will write about the important role of learning and its different meanings as we go along.
I have learned that my recovery…was really about “life-Recovery
I also learned that my recovery, which started late in my life, was really about “life-recovery” and that I was looking at the whole of my life, not just the specifics of my abuse. The more I learned to see that all of myself, not just the sex abuse part, is what this journey is really about, the more I felt in control of my recovery program.
The Men Healing program can be a very important part of your journey. Learning how to stay grounded, how to meet “fellow-travelers”, how to see how others deal with their recovery can be crucial to a new comer’s journey of recovery. I hope you will join us in this life changing challenge.
Next week two powerful poems written by a survivor remember early childhood abuse, “A Father’s Love” and “Me at Three.” Do you have a story to tell, a poem to share, a song which inspires you, a piece of art you’ve created? I would love to hear from you, email@example.com.
Be well. Stay safe. Take good care.