Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Rebirth

On March 16, 2016, I wrote a very personal blogpost titled A Visual Representation of Living With Depression and Anxiety. I've re-visited the post several times but kept it silently dormant. I knew I would write a continuation for it someday, and that day happened to be today. 

I was twenty-six when I wrote that post. I am thirty now. Since then I have experienced even darker times but also the warmest light, and it has been life-changing. 

Writing has always been something that has come easy to me, but I never saw it as a gift until now. I have been very vocal and open about some of my experiences because I know there are millions of people out there who feel exactly how I felt: alone, empty, unworthy, unlovable, unloved, neglected, exhausted, frightened and out of place. I know the feeling of not wanting to be here anymore, and only those who have gotten to that point can understand that level of pain. I decided to take action today despite the fears of my own ego - exposing myself once again to the world - to write the continuation of a plant that was seeded and since then, bloomed. I'm here to help you by sharing how I got to the other side.

Asleep

My face was hiding under a mask for thirty years. It fit so perfect, I believed it defined me and was permanent. I believed that it was a part of my skin and just how my personality was, and that I had no control over how I chose to treat myself. I believed I was here to please others, live up to others' expectations, get up and go to work. Numb myself and spend most of my time sleeping because it was the only way I could silence my rapid mind from my own judgements. Spend my off days wallowing in my own darkness, isolating myself even more from everyone else. Hurting myself both psychologically and physically. It was the only recipe I knew, and the more I disconnected with my outer world, the more I insidiously faded.

My life came to a fork in the road: I could continue living my own hell or I could create a clean slate. Look at myself in a new way, speak to myself in a new fashion, see this journey in a new light - a new perspective. And trust me, I know it's easier said than done, especially when you feel you're on the verge of psychologically collapsing. But a part of me had already awakened, it's just that I was so broken and too busy playing the role of a victim that I hadn't noticed who was actually there all along.

See, we all come to this realm with our heart open, but this world can be a scary playground. Situations in your early stages in life begin to shape you, and so do the people around you (or lack of). If you had any traumatic incidents in your childhood that were never healed - whether you were abused, neglected or abandoned - you begin to create thick, tall walls for your own protection. The road can become narrow and you can even lose your peripheral view - so you're not even able to see what's around you. 

In my experience, my ego was developed at a very early age. At the age of three I was already experiencing fear of loss and I sensed emotions and energeies very intensely in a conscious way. I was mocked at elementary school for being a cry-baby and authoritative figures began criticizing my body during that time in my life, too, even though my weight was perfectly healthy. My foundation was made out of criticism and self-doubt, enabling what would turn out to be a mentally chaotic journey. 

Suicidal ideation emerged for me at the age of fourteen when I had my first attempt. "Nobody gets me," I thought to myself. I had a close friend who committed suicide when I was seventeen - she was sixteen. Two months later, my dad left our apartment. I spiraled a little further. 

I fell madly in love when I hit eighteen to a guy I had met when I was twelve, was a rebellious risk-taker by later in life deciding to quit my psychology program at my university to marry him. I was twenty two when we got divorced. When someone you love the deepest you've ever loved is unfaithful to you, trust in other people becomes this difficult energy to juggle. 

I didn't want to love and get hurt again, so my mid-twenties was focused on perfecting my big, thick walls so no one could ever enter and have the possibility of doing it again. I was single for several years, and then decided to give dating a chance. I hated the initial stages, the bullshit, and pretending to be someone I was not. I was divorced, but I still had beautiful, long hair, I had a great body, I was a psychologist, I had this, I had that, I wanted that, I lacked the other. Internally I was broken and lost. I became an expert at sabotaging the possibility of any form of romantic connection, and those things I was told as a child began resurfacing: "I was told I'd be a failure for choosing psychology as my career, so of course I am one. No one will ever want to be with me because my husband told me so, and he left me, so he's right. My body nor my face aren't really that pretty."

I felt my mask and pressed it harder onto my face. My dermatillomania - which began around the age of four - worsened to the point where I would pick at my skin in my sleep and wake up to bloody spots on my sheets. I had so many scars and scabs on my back and my the back of my arms, I didn't wear bathing suits or exposed shirts or blouses. I was destroying my body, the same way I was destroying my own mind.

For years I blamed others. I blamed the early negligence and lack of love, I blamed my failed marriage, the "friends" I had lost. It was easier to tell myself that there was something out there that was dangerous and traumatic that made me the way that I was.

Things didn't get easier for me as in my next relationship, I experienced daily verbal abuse and gaslighting. I believed I was this ugly, unimportant, fat piece of shit, because that's what he would tell me I was, and by then I had so much self-loathing, I stopped caring for myself. I developed a binge eating disorder and got up to one-hundred and seventy five pounds when all my life I had weighed around one-hundred and fifteen pounds. I'm 5'0. I hated myself so much, I couldn't look at myself in the mirror.




Rebirth

I was emotionally and physically drained. I was diagnosed with a herniated disc and was told I would no longer be able to run or be active anymore, because I "had the back of a seventy-year old," according to my doctor. 



A day before I was diagnosed with my herniated disc, Joy, a sweet jack russel/cairn terrier pup, came into my life. A man literally showed up at my workplace with a treasure box with her and her brother in it. I knew she was meant to be in my path.



She was my angel. I had five epidurals throughout three months which kept me in bed for days and had me miss so much work, I was struggling financially and worried I'd lose my job. It was a very lonely time. I thought I was a good person and would have support from the people I thought were my friends, but only Joy accompanied me through those days when I was physically immobilized. 

I hit my breaking point. I hurt so much I couldn't feel pain anymore. 

And right when I hurt myself the most was when I realized that I had been asleep all these years. I played close attention to my inner dialogue. "You can talk about it or you can walk without it," said a friend with a gentle sigh. I didn't know I even had a choice. 

But I did. He was right. And I chose to walk without it. 

I decided to make a commitment to myself as I began to experience this new wave of brightening energy. 

I decided to commit to my spiritual growth. I decided to commit to keeping my heart open. I felt like a snake peeling layers of skin, purging as I re-lived traumatic events and blocked energies I had stored for years in order to heal them. 

In that process, I found myself. I stood naked looking at myself in the mirror and said to myself, "I love you." And I meant it. 



I committed to holding myself accountable for my financial independence as well as my well-being. I became the observer and payed close attention to my inner dialogue. I began speaking to myself in a kind manner. I was compassionate and loving with myself. The dermatillomania stopped, an obsessive-compulsive disorder that is supposed to be "cured" only with behavioral therapy. Feeling more confident in my own skin, I bought myself a nice bathing suit and began swimming to strengthen my core. I developed this beautiful symbiotic relationship merging my body and soul. I felt strong, so strong I even put on my running shoes and went for a jog. I can run now, and I feel my body getting stronger everyday. The back-pain is almost non-existing despite my diagnosis. 



I still have my days. I experience the sudden shifts in energy. I'll feel perfectly fine and then I'll be caressed by a dark thought. I take it back to the breath and let things be - I choose to honor my emotions. It's ok to not be ok sometimes, but limiting yourself to your own fears means you'll be destined to repeat the same patterns, hence the same mistakes. 

I'm writing to you as a friend. The friend who never told you you are good enough, the friend who never told you that you are loved. The truth is, we come to this world thinking we are programmed to be a certain way to fit society's standards when in fact, we are the creators. 

The words you choose to narrate your story to others are powerful, and so are the words you choose to speak to yourself. If you believe you are a failure, you are destined to fail. If you believe you have a physical limitation, your body will listen and weaken itself. If you believe you are alone, you won't attract your tribe. If you believe you are not good enough, you will never attract abundance. 

As a friend, I'm reminding you that you are powerful, and you can absolutely change your life around. And don't try to please anyone because people will always judge. This journey is about you. What you want, what you wish to create. 

It starts with you. It starts with facing your fears. It starts with you looking at yourself in the mirror.  It starts with forgiving yourself. It starts with making that commitment. It starts with having faith and believing in something you cannot see nor touch and yet feel the excitement rush through your blood. It gives you goosebumps and keeps you moving.



Feel that mask, friend? It's a mask you no longer have to wear, because the true essence in you will arise when you let the connection be, when you let things flow, when you give all the power to the Universe. 

I love you.

Sincerely, 
Patricia 









1 comment:

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