Shine light on your Shadows
So today I had a huge ass cry and let the stress of everything I have going on take over me. Whoosh, like a wave. Boom, I was gone. I don't mean to bum you out on this beautiful Sunday but I just wanted to share. I also think that these things are not talked about enough and that keeping them in the dark allows their power over us. So I've been having nasty stress dreams these days and sometimes wake up gasping for air, totally freaked out. Y'all have to know, I'm dealing with trauma from my childhood, deep deep shit that is all new and weird and scary to me. So, I've been learning that these things I feel are a type of flashback. I fully had to get dragged out of bed kicking and screaming by my love, Fred, or I would have stayed there probably all day hiding from life if I had my way. I was yelling that it hurt so much inside, inside my heart, this deep ache that was so familiar from the days I didn't have tools to deal with my depression. (I just thought this was a normal thing people went through). I stood up and felt like the ground was too far away, and that made me sad. Everything made me sad. I was upset at myself for letting it happen, I knew that I should be grateful for all I have and that, really, my situation is something to be happy about. I mean, I'm healthy, safe, and I have food and shelter. I couldn't snap out of it. So, I just let it happen, cried and cried and cried some more. Fred held me and made me look at myself and him in the mirror, and the cats surrounded us. He said a bunch of beautiful things as he does and I saw just how hard I am on myself, in a way that I would never be towards him or anyone else. I did my best to breathe through the feelings that life was just too much to handle, I wasn't strong enough, and I actually realized after sharing so much in my posts these days that I was feeling like "Who am I to receive all this love from peeps on FB? Who am I to share these stories of inspiration and words that just come out of me when I sit down to type? I don't have my shit together! I can't help anyone, I'm in a puddle of tears and snot in my pajamas on the floor! I'm a mess, I'm a goddamn mess." I realized that I have been pushing my own edges, getting out of my own comfort zone, by sharing my experiences and opening up about things I never have. And so, things like this happen. I feel strange. Panicked. I get pushed off balance and now am doing my best to find my footing once again. Having to review the way I think about things, letting go of what no longer works and opening up to new ways that may feel scary. Change does this to us, our bodies are hard wired to keep things safe and the same - they freak out when the safety gets threatened. Yet change is the only constant of life...and without change there is no growth, without growth there is soon death, no? The things I have learned from all of this today are, number one, I have to eat - because when I don't eat my mental state is much more fragile. I feel better already after toast and raspberry jam (hell yes, and thanks Fred). Number two, the storm will pass eventually, and the emotions and tears on their own won't kill me. I can unravel, and feel the feelings instead of shoving them down to wreak havoc later. Number three, I am super lucky to have Fred to hold me and the cats to giggle at through the tears while they chomp through chicken thighs and bones we gave them for the first time. Number four, I am actually strong enough to handle anything life throws at me. I've been through a lot and I'm still here. And number five, I can feel safe sharing this because I can't control what people think of me or how you all respond. All of what I say is the truth motivated by love, and if people don't like it then it's on them, not me. I think this is the first time in my life that I feel like I'm being truly seen, and that in itself is a blessing. I can be proud of myself for coming so far in the 7 years I've been starting down this path of self-awareness, and that feels really weird to say. And, reading all of your messages helps me remember I am not alone in all of this. Also, I've gotten comments where people are surprised and didn't realize that I'm going through this and have these issues and insecurities. I've spent my life hiding these parts of me, and though it's scary, letting them out helps me through them. It's a good reminder to myself as well, despite what people share on social media or appear to be, we will never truly know what it's like in someone's shoes or know what they are going through in their own lives. Even the people who appear "perfect". Everyone has their demons - it's about not using them as excuses to keep you stuck and doing what you need to do anyway to fulfill your life's purpose. And maybe it's OK I get into puddles of snot and tears sometimes.. Doesn't everyone?..??....????
If anyone else is going through anything like this, being hard on yourself and unable to get out of your own head, I know it's scary but letting things out really help. When we shine light on our shadows they do get smaller and smaller.
Lots of love, and thanks for listening.