The Helix of Old Wounds

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>A few months ago, I moved back to NYC. Prior to the move, I’d been telling my therapy group that I knew I’d be getting back into meetings, as the recovery is amazingly strong in the city. Before my arrival, I’d envisioned that when I came back to my “home group” (from 8 years ago), I’d walk into a room of familiar faces… faces that would remember me.

As soon as I arrived in the city, I went back to my home group. The room had changed. Gone were the old spongy donated couches I used to sit on. The room had been painted and cleaned of clutter, the only remaining furniture was a circle of chairs. I recognized one person. And they didn’t recognize me. My ego was, at the very least, humbled… Since then, I’ve been going to the same Sunday meeting for the last couple of months–I haven’t exactly jumped into meetings; I’m slowly integrating myself back.

So, this past week, I made a few phone calls to people from the Sunday meeting, and I was amazed (hurt, baffled, pissed, etc.) that they didn’t know who I was! Call it a case of an “egomaniac with an inferiority complex,” but I (or rather, my ego) felt extremely hurt by this. Hadn’t I dazzled them enough with my shares (Ha,ha)? How could they not remember who I was, when I talked to them after the meeting, albeit a brief encounter? My HP is probably laughing at me…

Yesterday, I returned to the meeting. I felt this extreme sadness throughout, and while I should’ve shared, I didn’t. Rather, after the meeting, when a woman I knew at the meeting asked me how I was, I became a volcano of sadness, my tears erupting and pouring out everywhere. The embarrassing thing for me was that my sadness was triggered by these phone calls, something seemingly small.

The issue is that it brought up this feeling of not being a part of, which is something I’d felt throughout my life. Nobody knew me, I didn’t count. I was invisible. I wasn’t a part of this recovery clique… blah, blah, blah.

Now I know these are wounds from the girl I once was, and this is a perfect example of how old wounds never dissipate entirely; rather, like my therapist says, our issues resurface like a helix: they will come up again and again, but, over time, they will have less intensity, as you work through them. But they always resurface. That has definitely proven to be true for me. Where, at one time, certain issues would be emotionally debilitating to me, today, they may cause pain for a few hours or a day, but then I move on.

So, for today, I will try not to have expectations about how people will (or how I think they should) react to me.

2 Responses to “The Helix of Old Wounds”

  1. May

    >Hello! I'm new to your blog but really enjoying it. I'm really struggling with my recovery and it's nice to read the words of someone further along. I know what you mean about calling people and them not knowing who you are and feeling small and sad about it. It's not a small thing, we need to feel loved and noticed. It's funny how I want so much to be noticed sometimes and other times I want to be utterly invisible. Either way it's not mine to choose, and I have to remember that. I'm sure there are people from those meetings who remember you, just not the ones you called. Thank you for writing.

  2. Hua

    >Hi Greta,You have a great blog. I'm Hua, the director of Wellsphere's HealthBlogger Network, a network of over 2,000 of the best health writers on the web (including doctors, nurses, healthy living professionals, and expert patients). I think your blog would be a great addition to the Network, and I'd like to invite you to learn more about it and apply to join at Once approved by our Chief Medical Officer, your posts will be republished on Wellsphere where they will be available to over 5 million monthly visitors who come to the site looking for health information and support. There’s no cost and no extra work for you! The HealthBlogger page ( provides details about participation, but if you have any questions please feel free to email me at,Hua