I feel lonely and stuck lately. Out of touch, both with myself and with others. I know I’m making progress as I attempt to scale this mountain of life. But the moment I loosen my grip to grab a higher ledge, I slide, losing dozens of feet and scraping my knees in the process. It can be so discouraging to work this hard at existing.
I’ve been meditating lately, and I keep coming back to this belief I can trace to childhood, that what I have to offer is worthless. It has cropped up so much lately that I’m beginning to recognize I need to deal with this. I don’t want to. I believe it comes from abuse that I endured from early childhood. It made me feel very “other.” Worse, it made me feel that if anyone knew the real me, the confusing and dirty ways I felt, (and was convinced I was responsible for), that they would see me as disgusting, repulsive.
This feeling has been hard to shake. It’s affected my security in relationships, for example, whether romantic or platonic. I used to always feel as though I had to be who people wanted me to be in order to make them happy. The effort of being “acceptable” always left me exhausted and curled up in bed.
No matter how hard I tried, though, I never really felt accepted. If my friends got together without me, I was stricken with the thought that they were leaving me behind. I never gave them the benefit of the doubt. I was positive that they had gotten to know me so well that they were spotting the cracks of ugliness spilling through and were looking to distance themselves. Every stupid thing I said, or awkward social faux pas just reiterated in my brain that I would never really fit in.
I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not anymore. I know on my good days that I am worthy and valuable and deserve to take up space. But on my bad days, I still feel traces of the little girl who was afraid to hand out birthday invites, lest no one show up. I’m tired of it. I want to dig this out.
I don’t really know how to heal myself except to talk about it. In 2016 when I had my breakdown, I went to group therapy and learned a statement that I fully adopted: ”You’re only as sick as your secrets.” I’ve experienced so much progress living by this statement, by bringing to light the things, great and small, that make me feel confused and ashamed. The thoughts and bits of me that I want to pretend aren’t there. AKA, secrets.
So even though this feels incredibly awkward, I want to start writing a bit here about the things that aren’t pretty, that I’m sure many of us are going through. I want to write about the determination I feel to be happier and how to navigate that when depression and physical pain takes its toll.
The baby is up, (she’s not feeling well), so I guess that’s it for now. Apologies if this sounds rambling, but I don’t really want these journals to be polished.
as always, Sarah