Recovery and jigsaw puzzles

by Lady Lee 21 Replies latest jw friends

  • Swan

    It's a good analogy, but it really is hard to see any progress sometimes. All of the self-help recovery books say something different, and sometimes they conflict. It is really hard to find a practical application of what I am learning.


  • Big Tex
    Big Tex

    You know LL, I was thinking about this some this evening. One of my therapists once told me that children of abuse do not have the people (parents, family) in their lives that give them everything they need all their lives. Instead as they begin to recover and put the pieces of their lives back together, God gives them people who give a lot for a little while.

    At the time I didn't put much stock in it, but after being on this board, and Lamb's Roar, now for over a year I am finding it more and more persuasive. Really, isn't part of the jigsaw puzzle pieces that are given to us by others? And very often, the pieces are oh-so important.

    I think that's what is so precious about places such as this board. There are a lot of people, with a lot of pieces. Some of us can give to others who need what we have, but then we can also receive from someone else who has something we need. It's an interesting dynamic to experience.

  • talesin

    Thanks, LL, for a new slant - sometimes I get weary of 'peeling the onion'. (btw, mmmm ... seafood, & happy you're having a couple good days)

    BigTex - that's a great point. I have been learning to parent myself after all these years. One of the things I have gotten from therapy is that we choose people to learn 'lessons' from. Kinda what you said, only from a different angle. "all relationships are learning experiences"


  • Big Tex
    Big Tex

    I think the secret to that talesin, is you pick something worthwhile and/or helpful and try to incorporate that into your personality.

    Good point though.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Interesting way of looking at it BT. I agree the people who come in and out of our lives provide us with opportunities to learn the lessons our parents should have taught us.

    As for application to the puzzle analogy - yup that would work but I think it cam be seen a lot of different ways.

    • our beliefs (about ourselves, the world, our family, our religion, etc)
    • our values (OURS vs somebody else's)
    • our choices (career, family, friends, education, recreation, etc)

    We are complex beings. I think each of our puzzles can be different things at different times. Yup definite possibilities to expand on this.

    Perhaps each facet (beliefs, values, choices) or life experience (with family, friends, self, community) is a different color or part of the picure. We might have actual people in our picture (some fit and some belong to another puzzle lol) Interesting I just realized in the scene in my head when I think of my puzzle I always have a country scene with water sky and trees - never any people. Perhaps for me the people are like the colors or are the trees - na not that - at least for me. I think I like this because it can be so individual and can take on new aspects. (Perhaps some of our puzzle pieces are in someone else's box and that is how the people come in. We take bits and pieces to make our own puzzle)

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee


    Yes all the advice can be a bit overwhelming - just like starting a new 5000 piece puzzle. If you have done jigsaws before you will see there are hundreds of pieces with the same cutout pattern. Where do they all go? How do they fit together?

    I learned to take one part of the puzzle at a time. Sometimes I got frustrated and took a break. Sometimes I moved on to another section (sky to trees). I have read a lot about recovery. I have over 600 books in the house about it. They fill one whole room. Take what works for you and ignore the rest. I find that at one point in my recovery something just doesn't fit for me. I leave it. But often if I read the book later I will find that the thing I passed over before now fits and I can use it. It is hard to plunk one piece of the puzzle down in the middle of the picture without knowing what surrounds it. Once we have built up the surrounding pieces we will often remember that piece and grab it to put in just the right place.

  • wednesday

    Interesting reading. I had such a noticeable lack of any parent figure that had their head screwed on right, well my therapy has taken years. I built a solid relationship with my doc and it is really paying off.

    My parents told me early on i was stupid, and bad person. They did not imply this, they said it. Thye kept telling me something was wrong with me. Then jws came along and reinforced this. Then my husband did. It has taken years of stuggling to see myself as a normal person with normal feelings.

    It can be hard now, with managed care and all to forge a long term reltionship with a doc. Insurance companies just do not want to pay. I have been very proactive and fought for my care. It is the best thing i have ever done for myself.


  • ashitaka
    Really, isn't part of the jigsaw puzzle pieces that are given to us by others? And very often, the pieces are oh-so important.

    I couldn't agree more.


  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee


    It certainly looks like you had a lot of pieces from other people's puzzles to get rid of.

    Replacing them can be an adventure or a challenge - maybe both

  • Big Tex
    Big Tex
    I just realized in the scene in my head when I think of my puzzle I always have a country scene with water sky and trees - never any people.

    Now isn't that interesting! I'm the same way. You know, along the same lines, whenever I envisioned the New System, there were never any people around. I was off by myself in my own little quiet garden. Now couldn't we get Fruedian over that?!

    I like what you said about the puzzle being different things at different times. Didn't you, when you put together a puzzle, find that sometimes the pieces all kind of flowed together? I mean it was easy to see matches and you could make some real progress. Other times you'd just stare at that stupid puzzle and you can't find a matching piece to save your life. They all look the same.

    Maybe it's the same with recovery. We can sometimes have an epiphany and see the same events, but in a different light and doing that, we can make tremendous leaps. Other times, everything looks the same, and it's all dreary and there's no hope of any change. That's when it's so frustrating.

    Interesting analogy LL, if you follow it out it really does work.

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