Sometimes, when my life is going smoothly, rather than this being a sign that everything is fine, it seems to be an ominous warning that chaos is about to ensue. I found this to be true earlier this week, when I received some unexpected news that unleashed the once familiar anxiety that has been blissfully absent from my daily existence for awhile. I was stunned at how it returned with a vengeance, and I was terrified that it would not release its hold on me this time. I knew I couldn’t go back to the place where the anxiety and depression devoured me whole, but I was blindsided by it and struggled to regain my emotional footing.
Whenever a relationship or friendship ends, I immediately blame myself and fall prey to feelings of not being good enough, and I rage against myself. I find myself loathing the characteristics that make me the perfectly flawed and quirky girl I am and wishing I were ‘normal’, whatever that is, or at the very least, different. No matter what that person has said or done, intentionally or unintentionally, that has led me to feel hurt, it pales in comparison to what I will do to myself. I become the enemy, and I am a formidable foe indeed.
When the negative chatter played on a loop in my mind and the anxiety paralyzed me, just as they have done so lovingly and adeptly over the past few years, my friends and family rushed in to steady me. Their wise words, gentle reassurances, humor, and healthy perspectives helped to drown out the self-doubt and self-blame, so, I could think with a calmer, clearer head and begin to deal with the situation that triggered this flood of thoughts and feelings. Slowly, but surely, I felt myself fighting back and refusing to succumb to what had once threatened to destroy me, and I regained the upper hand rather swiftly. I was no longer my own worst enemy, as I became my greatest protector and ally.
At first, when confronted with these painful feelings, I reacted like a child throwing a temper tantrum, as I repeatedly said to myself and others that I did not want to deal with another loss and refused to do so. I stubbornly dug my heels in and wallowed in self-pity, and I hated every second of it, as it is not who and what I am any longer. So, I did what I have learned to do rather well. Instead of allowing the pain to envelop me or running from it, I leaned into it and have started to release it. It sounds far simpler than it is actually. However, the only way to heal from being hurt is to deal with it directly, lest it temporarily subside, only to re-emerge later and hurt myself or anyone else who is part of my little dog and pony show. Hurt people hurt people, and I do not want to be that person. If given the choice of hurting someone or being hurt by someone, I choose the latter.
So, as I emerge from the emotional quicksand that I stumbled into this week, I find myself relying on my go to support system and coping skills to heal my mind, heart, and baby soul once again. I cannot change or control the situation, which quite simply sucks, but I can change and control my reaction to it as best I can, so, that is exactly what I am doing. Music is one of the greatest sources of solace and healing for me, and on a lovely July evening, as I drove down my beloved River Road for the millionth time, I sang along to the following song, which is hauntingly poignant and beautiful. As I did so, I focused on all of the goodness in this life of mine and shed some tears for what and who I have lost, and I felt the grips of the hurt and pain begin to release me and was ever so grateful for all of it, the good, the not so good, and everything in between.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story