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How much do you avoid

I have avoided much in my life but I have come to the conclusion it was because "I" chose to do it. No matter how many justifiable reasons or reasonable inclinations I had because of my own past, I still made the call. My body didn't actually choose it, my brain didn't choose it without me (long term, post reactivity), I did. Same with choosing to trust; it's up to me to choose it.

Part of the missing link for me was to recognize when I am thinking of all the reasons that justify or reinforce avoidance (which are ultimately negative- avoidance vs choice), I think of nothing much positive that might come of it if I didn't avoid. But how silly of me, because if nothing else the greatest positive is actually desensitization to what is limiting at best or even destroying at worst my life.

What I did not understand was that knowing myself had to come with knowing myself so well I could call myself out in honesty. For example, I just learned that shame is not only a form of avoidance, but it is self-soothing (though I wouldn't call it self-care). Human beings seek pleasure and to avoid pain, and shame effectively results in much avoidance and not having to sit with discomfort of doing it anyway, regardless of thoughts or feelings (and therefore justifications). Especially when I acknowledge now I am the cause of my own discomfort, not the past. The past had repercussions, but the present way I deal with it is now on me.
exposure therapy is not used when your starting therapy or if your nervous system is out of control
I think the caveat is problems that are more pressing are addressed before one can start processing in therapy. For example, active suicidality has to be addressed before trauma processing could begin in earnest (for obvious reasons). But perhaps for some it may be different.

ETA I cross-posted so this might be a really useless response lol.
 
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