Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH.
This has felt like the longest month of my life, and we still have 10 days left of it. Of course, that is not me reflecting on the Blogust series whatsoever; I very much enjoyed doing this series for the month because it kept me busy and it kept my mind focused on everything but what was happening in my personal life.
I’m writing this post literally the night before it publishes because I normally save these posts to make them as accurate as possible. It wouldn’t feel right if I scheduled this post at the beginning of the month- shoot – even within the last week. And, of course, that post being:
These posts are my absolute favorite to write, and yes, I do mention this thought almost on every post.
Anyway, this month has been the month of like, realizing stuff, as Kylie Jenner once said. I started to notice parts of me that I was pretty much tired of being, and I’ve noticed just how much I was in denial about a lot of them.
Let me set the scene for you guys:
It’s a Tuesday afternoon, and I’m dreading going to see my therapist for the week. For once, I felt like it was unworthy of me to go, I didn’t have much to talk about, and I was just in a really sour mood for most of the morning. I sucked it up, got dressed, and headed on over to my session.
The session I had with my therapist was one that felt like I’ve lifted 30 pounds off my already tired body. I started out the conversation saying that I was doing good when really I’ve been having such a shitty day. Something in me told me to cut the shit. Something told me that not only am I wasting my time being here by lying, but I was also wasting her time as well. Most importantly, I was delaying my growth by not being honest. The next breath I took was me saying, “I feel like I’m not being honest about myself, nor to myself, and I feel tired of being too afraid to open up and talk about things that make me feel deep things.”
Within the last year, the trait of being a “closed book” bit me in the ass. Not only was I now being a closed book to the public, but I felt myself being one to those closest to me. I was even lying to myself for quite some time. I was lying about how “put together” I was, I was ignoring my visible symptoms of anxiety, and I was handling personal situations in such an unhealthy way. Living my life this way caused me to protect my body and mind like it was in survival mode. To this day, I don’t quite understand it, but I constantly felt myself disconnecting from the world whenever things became too much to handle, like the recent deaths in my family.
After my uncle passed away in February 2017, I’ve realized just how much I was in denial about reality. I mourned my uncle months after he passed away, while the initial phone call and even at the funeral I didn’t grieve whatsoever. I felt bad at the time; I felt like I wasn’t “grieving” properly and I mean, there isn’t a right way to do it, but I know that detaching myself from the reality was not the way to do it.
Fast forward a year, and my grandfather passes away. I felt sadness, I felt grief, but then again, I felt my mind quickly slip into this protective mode where I was like, “Okay, I just now have to get used to him not being around.” Such a horrible fucking thing to do, I know. It’s not because I’m this cold-hearted bitch. It’s not like I’m incapable of feeling sadness over a loss or incapable of feeling human emotion, but my body literally is so used of living a life where if I let myself open up about how I feel and how things truly affect me, I get afraid that might lead to long-term depression and self-harm, and even down the road of contemplating suicide all over again.
Writing Day 20 of Blogust was an experience I never thought I’d had, but never thought that I needed. Writing that post and reliving my grandfather’s memorial service opened up wounds that were so deep and unhealed, that I’m still trying to take care of them even days after. I mourned my grandfather as I wrote that post; putting my experiences with him and the life he lived and the man he was in retrospect and it broke me. It allowed me to feel a type of sadness I was way too scared of feeling because of it potentially leaving me hurt longer than I would like to be. Newsflash: I’m still dealing with the wrath of emotions that I’ve bottled up inside me for what felt like an eternity.
If you think this post was going to end on a “… and that’s how I fought emotional detachment!”, you’re absolutely wrong. Some nights I regret allowing myself to get to that point because then everything is coming down on me and quite frankly I feel more shitty coming out of it than going into it. Am I afraid of slipping into a depression? Yes. Am I afraid of potentially self-harming myself? Immensely. Am I afraid of sitting on my bathroom floor with the lingering, running thoughts and one of them potentially being suicidal like they were for most of the days six years ago? Absol-fucking-utely.
But because I realize I am older, wiser, and getting the help I need this time around, I know I will be alright and going to this place to heal isn’t as harmful and lonesome as I thought.
Because I am older, wiser, and getting the help I need to heal.
I’m proud that I’m tired and that I’m calling my own shit out. No, Liz, you’re not strong for not crying during the loss of a family member. No, you’re not doing the right thing by decompartmentalizing your feelings in urgent situations and then never return to them in order to learn and heal from them. No, you’re not bettering yourself if you keep things tucked away in a 20-gallon water tank in the basement of your body.
What I’m learning from this experience is that if anything, your truth is the only one thing that’s going to hurt you and heal you at the same time. Getting to that dark place is scary; you open up wounds that aren’t fully healed, you dig deeper into the archive of things that you thought you got over, and once you’ve dug deep enough, sometimes it’s hard to find your way back out. But what being in this place does is allow you to feel these things and get over them properly. It’s you saying, “okay, I’m feeling this today because of this” and then getting through it to heal from it for good. Being afraid to feel these things is only allowing you to put more shit into that bottle, and once it explodes due to there being not enough room, that’s when things will get worse.
One step to take to avoid that is speaking your emotions to existence and allowing yourself to feel those things in the moment. Whether that means grieving a loss, say how I’m feeling out loud, or letting people in, it’s important that to know that we are not perfect beings and we are allowed to feel the way we feel, no matter how uncomfortable and traumatic it may be.
Little by little, I am learning. Little by little, I know I am safe enough to dig deeper into my core. Little by little, I will be more connected to myself and to reality.
Little by little, I will be an open book to myself.