The worst things in my life have never actually happened to me. They had been lived in my head.
This is a hugely true and eye-opening statement, which had taken me 44 years to realise! It had been me that had been standing in my own way. The battles that I had been having had been mainly in my mind.
Like constant fake news being consumed by my mind, I had fallen into the trap of believing all that I thought.
Like a brick wall it hit me. I hated my body, that had grown too big for 99.9% of the clothes that I had and left me with two outfits that I washed and rotated and made me feel like a middle-aged frump, trying desperately to cover up the years of neglect. I looked back over photos at the person I ‘thought’ to be fat all those years ago, realising that I was actually beautiful back then, with a smile that carried me everywhere.
When you travel back along the journey of pictures, you try to pinpoint where it all changed, and the smile had dissolved. I was the only person responsible for bringing this back, looking to others to do this was only ever going to bring me further unhappiness. For, I had learnt that you cannot change someone to show love for you and make you feel enough, you have to do that for yourself. I used to be an ‘underwear matching’ type of girl, now I grabbed the bra that didn’t dig into every ounce of flesh causing everything to look like it was fighting out of every inch. The comfortable pants that would contain my twice c section overhang I slipped into bed every night under the cover of darkness, fearing it was not what anyone wanted.
I had spent the last few years desperately trying to hold on, to try to make myself loved and enough. When our emotional needs are not met, whether this is in our mind or in reality, we are more likely to suffer distress. Healthy relationships are vital to wellbeing and a feeling of involvement increases our self- worth, decreasing stress, loneliness and depression. I had lost so many over the years and my purpose and meaning had become void in all areas of my life. Without this motivation and meaning there is no purpose to what we do, hence we find ourselves living in limbo, in a joyless grey place between fulfilment and insanity. This sustained state of limbo stops us from reflecting on what is happening and seeing the context, being able to solve creatively and puts the brakes on our development. We are locked in this state.
If a snake cannot shed its skin, it perishes.
In order to flourish, we all need to release the feeling of danger in shedding and releasing the negative self-beliefs we have been telling ourselves for so long. The problem is that they give us orientation and control, a powerful lens through which we shape our experience.
Wind is invisible, we only feel the effects of it on our skin. Most of our thinking is also invisible. Our feelings and emotions are the only thing telling us that something is amiss within us. The feelings that we want to feel however, are inside us, hidden and are obscured by the creations of our own negative thought. It was time to regain this self and love the body and mind that you are in.
I was no longer in the situation that I was in, but in the one I thought I was in, the one my unhelpful mind had given me. It felt like I was constantly living with a mind bully, continually saying things to make me fear or despair, tugging at the rope I was holding to pull me into the pit it wanted me in, I constantly tugged back hard, but this was tiring. Feeding it made it bigger, stronger and louder, I had no choice but to listen to it. If I let go of the rope surely it would have no power or influence over me and become weaker, smaller and quieter?
Unable to see colour, this is a constant state of black and white thinking. Unable to think flexibly each setback is dramatic. Our depressive state regresses natural thinking patterns encouraging emotionally arousing worry, these introspections give rise to distortion and also effect the REM state of our sleep, encouraging dreams.
I had become a ‘human doing’ and not a human being, with wants, needs and feelings. My days filled with what was wrong and no positives. I needed to get to know myself again, on a deeper level. To let go of the thoughts, beliefs and patterns driving my behaviours. Rewriting my rules, designing the life that I wanted to ‘live’, to do what I love, to be who I am and to live a life which bought me joy.