I sat, as one does, completely disconnected from my surroundings, mindlessly scrolling through my social media and liking things, in the automatic way one does when their mind is elsewhere. I pondered over the discussion I had just had with my therapist, and the deep cuts I had discovered in myself that had been hidden for years.
I thought about how the genesis of the version of myself I had known the longest, had been triggered by events that I had barely realised were connected until today.
I indulged, for a moment- allowing myself those angry, self-serving, blaming thoughts that I always resisted entertaining, to enable myself to analyse how these things really made me feel.
I realised that when you’ve spent so long trying to blame no-one for anything and burying these things that you were fully impacted by but were completely powerless (dare I say, helpless) to control, you find yourself floating through life and through repetitive patterns without knowing why, and with even less power to break the cycle. Not because you can’t break the cycle or truly are without power- but because you are completely unaware of the power that you have. You grow used to being powerless, to the point that you abdicate whatever position of power you are in, out of ignorance.
Recently, I have been on a journey of discovery that I was forced into, due to things (read: me) becoming so fragile that I was terrified I would lose my mind if I did nothing. I have fought to reclaim myself back from the words I have heard, the letters written on paper about me, the thoughts I have replayed in my head that were originally sentiments and statements made by others carelessly with no thought to the impact, temporary or lasting, that this could have had on me (or anyone, for that matter).
I have fought to reclaim myself because I realised it was unfair that I should be made to feel this way constantly, and it was no kind of way to live.
I have fought off self-limiting beliefs borne of others’ calloused ideas and ideals. I have identified things I refuse to allow to be part of my daily atmosphere. I have rejected carelessly worded and perhaps unintended labels that have caused me years of pain as I had tried to run from the me that accepted them to be who I was.
I’m learning to externalise other people’s disappointments and moods. [I am not the reason *you* (proverbial) feel how you feel, so it is unhealthy for me to take it personally.]
It has been incredibly freeing to live without these chains I’d been carrying around, and slightly saddening that this is something that (if you will forgive the term) “regular” people already know. What defines the difference between someone who feels that everything is their fault because something is wrong with them, and the “regular” person- I couldn’t possibly tell you in just this post.
Today, I celebrate completing my 28th year on this planet, and removing the iron jacket I’ve been wearing for (at least) the last 23.
There are 28 things that will no longer be a part of me and #1 is
“Other people’s hurtful words”.
I will no longer let them define me.
There. I said it.