“You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them”― Iyanla Vanzant, Yesterday, I Cried
On Tuesdays I write about depression and mental health issues. I am adamant on sharing my story, one, because letting things out in the open helps me, and two, I am hoping my story will resonate with someone, thus, whisking away the feeling of isolation for me, and maybe for them. Not that my story is your story or theirs, yet similar and maybe we can relate. I also do not sugar coat my stories about how I am feeling. I believe telling it “as it is” is the best way to stop resisting and allowing whatever it is I am experiencing to exist somewhere, somehow…
Does that make sense?
Last night, I had the most amazing post in my head before going to bed.. Now I cannot remember any of it.. Just that I wanted to let out the scary parts of what I have felt lately.
When I first was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, I had felt the effects for a long time. In those days, I would fight my anxiety tooth and nail and never allow the feelings to be expressed. I would close my eyes and wish my ill emotions away. However, all that did was make me feel worse. Denying what was going on inside me was actually building on it.
Think of a dirty fridge. The more you ignore what is going on in there, the more it will fester. It will start with a faint smell, oozing out every time you open the fridge. One whiff lets you know it is time to clean, but you ignore it. 3 weeks later things so disgusting are growing in there, all you want to do is throw the whole fridge. Yet, you can’t, it’s too huge, too expensive, you must deal with what is inside, but you do not want to look?
“When you can look a thing dead in the eye, acknowledge that it exists, call it exactly what it is, and decide what role it will take in your life then, my Beloved, you have taken the first step toward your freedom.”
― Iyanla Vanzant
Peeking inside, you smell the stench of old meat and vegetables. The smell is so strong your gag reflex is activated. You put on your gloves, you take out the bucket with soapy water and bleach. Its ugly, so ugly you think of throwing out the containers, who wants to wash those? Yet, what is in the containers can be important right it needs to be looked at. What if this one is last night’s filet mignon? So, you grin and grunt and empty the ugliness in a garbage bag (although let me tell you I have thrown out full containers in the past). The task is painful, disgusting and a such a HUGE chore. Yet, once all is done, and the fridge is sparkling, and you discovered you do not have to go out and buy new Tupperware. Your cupboard is full.
Oh what a feeling!
The other day, during a phone conversation with my beloved brother, I got really angry at something he said. I was so enraged I thought I was going to hang up on him, but, I thought is was important to allow myself to express my anger at the words he was saying without fear. Anger has been festering inside me since childhood, becoming much like a mouldy pot of old fish. So I allowed myself to tell him to stop and to say: “What you are saying right now is pissing me off!”. I explained why, and he quickly apologized. What I discovered, is that 1. He didn’t stop loving me, and he isn’t going anywhere.
Note to self: “People’s reactions are theirs, and saying how I feel is self-care.”
These days are not easy for me. My anxiety is high, as I am now taking the time to clean out my inner fridge, and we (myself and my therapist) at looking at my deep, dark nasty memories and perceptions. Yesterday, I was weary.. yep.. weary.. tired, exhausted of fighting.. tired of looking, cleaning and feeling. I wanted to curl up in a ball and just be.. and not feel… anything else.. EVER .. anymore!
It is a scary time, and it seems I have been scared a very long time. Yet, I hang on, even though I sometimes feel I am going backwards.
“Stay on your course” my brother said to me after our convo.. and I will. I will continue to clean house, to ride the waves, and find my way through the maze of emotions.
How long will it take? I have absolutely no “effing” idea. I don’t! Like I tell my kids “I trust in the process and I trust myself”
Sometimes I secretly wish I would wake up one day with the energy of a 2 year old. Ready to face the day, and walk out the door with no other worries but to have fun and run around laughing and catching butterflies. I do have those moments.. but right now, when things get dark, I can only hang on to the light which has now resurrected inside me.
My mornings are rough, I cannot seem to find balance, yet I have those glimpses of humor, laughter, love, amusement, calm and contentment which I hang on for dear life. Those are my magical sprinkles of light, and in the eyes of my teenagers, I see more life, and that my friend keeps me going.
Find your balance, ride the waves, and keep on swimming..
PS.. Time to clean the fridge! (literally)