During difficult times, it may feel as though one is the only person experiencing uniquely painful emotions. Feelings of isolation can result, making one withdraw even further into self-preoccupation, and results in avoiding others.
The first time one hears another tell his or her own story, one can feel powerfully inspired to connect with that other person. We learn that others share our powerful and painful experiences. Such tales are sometimes called "war stories."
War stories can play an important role in connecting two human beings with shared experiences. Whether the story, itself, is about battle experiences, substance use, painful loss, or the day-to-day tribulations of parenting, hearing others tell their war story and telling ones own story can be an important step in the process of re-connecting with others amd can promote healing and recovery.
All good stories must come to an end. There will comes a time when it is healthy to end the telling of our old story and move forward creating new stories about our life.
Today I will consider why I am feel like telling my own "war story". If it moves me toward connecting with someone who is suffering, I will tell it. If the telling of my story keeps me stuck in the past, I will recognize that the time for war stories has ended and it is time to begin telling my recovery story.