Steady as She Goes

Hi everyone! Sorry for being relatively inactive on this blog for a while. I actually still have several topics lined-up that I’m keen to write about, but I keep doubting myself and my “right” to discuss complicated issues. My inner saboteur (as RuPaul would call it) has been acting up.

So in the spirit of why I started this blog, I’m going to take this post back to my writing “roots” and share some random musings about my life in general, so bear with me if things get a little messy!

First of all, I feel like I should admit that I’m guilty. I’m guilty of sharing posts encouraging people to prioritize their own mental health and to take things at their own pace, but I struggle to listen to them myself.

“Healing takes time”

“Heal at your own pace”

“No one can rush your growth”

Okay so I guess this doesn’t make me “guilty” as much as it makes me human, or at most slightly hypocritical, but I’ve come to see what might seem obvious – that a lot more goes into to truly learning something beyond just reading it on Instagram.

I noticed today that even though I continually see these kinds of posts, I’ve mostly stopped connecting with them and I think I have to come to these realizations on my own.

I don’t doubt that it helps to have the ideas planted in the back of my mind (and for this exposure through social medial I’m very grateful) but I now understand more of the process between seeing something “on paper” and living in accordance with it in my day to day life.

It’s one thing to objectively acknowledge the idiosyncrasies of recovering from mental illness and another to extend that acceptance to your own situation and have patience with yourself day to day.

It’s one thing to understand that personal growth doesn’t necessarily have a predictable trajectory, and another to be okay with this when you’re asked to make decisions about where your treatment is going.

It’s hard to feel like you’re finally starting to accept that you actually need help when your support expresses their concern that it’s taking too long and costing too much.

I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of what I need to address, yet the shame and fear I feel for being no where near “done” eclipses any glimmer of pride I might have had for even getting this far at all.

I can’t help but get frustrated at myself for living “one day at a time” when doing so seems to just move me in circles and perpetuate my avoidance. And the thing is – I still believe taking things day-by-day to be solid advice. I just feel like I am the variable that’s ruining it. The determining factor. The weakest link.

I’m quick to dismiss myself, Or to somehow decide that I’m getting things wrong when this whole process doesn’t necessarily have an answer to begin with anyways. It’s nice to see quotes about the poetic beauty of living, learning and messing up but most days in real life, it just feels damn hard. Maybe it’s a matter of perspective – Even though I feel like a spinning, demagnetized compass needle, I guess I must point in the correct direction once in a while. I have to keep reminding myself that growth might happen in this discomfort and uncertainty even if it feels pretty damn overwhelming and chaotic.

I know I beat myself up. And I know now that this hasn’t magically stopped since choosing to commit to recovery. Now I just find new things I fail to meet the mark at. I’m starting cognitive processing therapy soon (CPT) – to work through events of my childhood that could have contributed to the formation of my maladaptive behaviours.

I’m trying to radically accept that just because I don’t have one specific Capital T “Trauma” doesn’t mean my experiences weren’t significant. Just because my situation was different from another (even another within my own family) doesn’t mean I don’t have a right to be affected by it. The truth of the matter is, that I WAS influenced by many experiences in my formative years. I AM still currently suffering the consequences of them. I DO deserve to safely explore ways to healthily integrate these past experiences into a better future.

I’m not overly-sensitive. I’m sensitive. Maybe someone else might have responded differently to my environment, but at this point there’s no point in worrying about it. It is what it is, and I have the opportunity to move forward with something that might help – so I’m going to.

Every time I try to turn inward and start uncovering some of what lies beneath it all, I notice substantial feelings of self-doubt. That voice trying to protect me from potential failure or pain that really just keeps me stuck. Prevents me from ever succeeding. Stops me from truly living. My illness is digging in it’s heals trying to hold on. Familiarity beckons – misconstrued as “safety”. The temptation to retreat to what I know, no matter how destructive, gets louder. But I know now, that just because something feels familiar doesn’t make it better.

x Jill

 

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