2018; a year of emotional and mental recovery
A year of understanding the nuances of the ups and downs in the roller coaster ride of life. A year of grasping the previously blurry contours of who I was in 2017 after all the health challenges.
I was lost but now I’m found.
Beyond all the bubbling ambitions hoping to overflow my cup, I had to learn what it meant to rest. To breathe and be okay. Because breathing was a victory in itself and it was enough.
Coming to the realization that I was broken inside meant exploring the implications of brokenness and the root of it all. Realizing that this sadness and depression came from a fear of not contributing enough, of not being enough.
I felt like a failure but now I am proud.
Waking up every morning with pain vocalizing each thought and feeling, meant days of just existing. Paralyzed by uncomfortableness but nevertheless coming to acceptance that life wasn’t about happiness or pleasure bursting in each moment. It was coming to terms with the pain and the suffering. It was recognizing that seasons came and went. People walked in and people had to walk out.
I felt tired but now I’m free.
Looking into my reflections meant confusion. Who had I become? The tantalizing curse of unexpected emotions and feelings of social withdrawal meant fumbling in the dark for that light switch that always escaped my grasp. I was living in a hazing cloud that followed me no matter where I want. I want to be me. But who was I?
Looking at brokenness not as incompletion but a form of completion. Connecting the dots of mishaps meant there was beauty. Unrecognizable beauty in the state of perfection that is only discoverable in the aftermath of destruction. The calm after the storm is the clearest sight I have ever seen.
My scars do not signify damage. They signify my resilience.
2018 was a year I thought I would be over it. Thought that because I was no longer feeling as much of the chest pain as I used to that I would be okay. But the most magical thing happened when I no longer said “it was okay to not be okay” but instead lived it. When the days blended into one another and I stopped focusing on the days that I was still caught up in it all and focused on being appreciative of just living, I realized that the pain was gone. The emotional pain of all that I had lost: who I was before and some of my hopes, was no longer relevant.
Because the thing is that when I tried so hard to open up my hands from clenching, I was fixating too hard on all the beauty that I was losing out on, every moment I was upset. It was about understanding what I was experiencing in the moments of pain and anger and sadness. It was appreciating what the pain was teaching me, what it was shaping me to become, what it was making me proud of.
It took longer than I expected to feel like myself again. To be able to enjoy a book and to pick up the pen to write without the feeling of not living up to who I was: a person who loved to read and write. I began to open myself up to people and felt conversations again. Anger was no longer my first response but instead gratitude. Gone was the instant defeat. There was a willingness to try again.
And the most beautiful thing I have to say of it all, is the beauty I feel within myself. It’s more than having the ability to look into the mirror and think “hey maybe I’m not so bad” but it’s about believing when people tell me that “I am capable, resilient, strong, and full of potential.” It was looking back and seeing how many people believed in me when I didn’t have the strength to do so myself. There were people who always listened to my thoughts no matter how irrational they were. People who gave me a voice when I felt powerless and conquered by defeat.
I have never felt proud of myself up until now. To have lived through what I have gone through, is amazing. To be able to still feel love for others and to still do everything in my ability to still care, is humbling. Because I’ve taught myself so much from my resilience and my pension to persevere no matter the odds, I feel on top of the world without having to prove myself or to do something for someone to know it. I spent so much of my time seeking validation from others when I should have spent that time validating myself. To actually listen to myself when I tell others how much they’re valued and loved and how much potential they have to achieve in areas they find meaningful. I’ve recognized that I still can do anything I want perhaps not the way or path I had originally imagined but I can still achieve the purpose I was destined for.
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