Survival in the hard times
Saturday, September 19, 2009
This past week was hell. I apologize for the word, but it's the most applicable to the emotional state and the external circumstances I was mucking my way through. I'm not going to candy coat it, I was as down as I've been in a couple years. Lots of crap was happening, stress from work, stress from family, people I care about being distant for no reason. and then the pain of having lost the last rescue cat, and to top it off, like a cherry that toppled the sundae, some of my old demons from the past decided it was time for some fireworks in my psyche. PTSD is a bitch. Again, forgive my language, but that's just the truth.
And I'll be honest with you, I fell prey to almost all of my old self-medicating and not so healthy coping mechanisms, including a couple binges-- some with food, some with alcohol and some with newly rediscovered mood-altering activities --no, not drugs, LOL, but things that make me happy in the moment, without care if they're good for me in the long run. Some of which actually are pretty healthy in moderation, or at least neutral but because I know I'm using them to affect my mood, I have to be careful not to overuse them and develop a dependence. Goodness knows, I'm brilliant at taking something that is healthy and life affirming and good, and finding ways to push it to the point where it is no longer any of those things. Exercise is a prime example. Moderation is a tough nut for me to crack, I've always been a gal of extremes. But I'm learning and growing and I ain't that girl no more. But her ghost will haunt me for years to come, I'm certain. This past week was one of those times.
Today I took some time to go for a long walk in the park, since I'm now hitting the processing stage where the worst is over and I can begin to put it all into perspective, find the dark humor if it's there, and start to evaluate how to get my life back on track. Another new part of this stage, after having been through a dark period, is also recognizing what I did right, where I did better than I've done in the past, and honor and celebrate those achievements, no matter how small or how little they seemed to do in the moment. The fact that I tried to keep my life as healthy, both physically and emotionally, as possible, in the face of all my demons howling, is worth honor and acknowledgment. At least, that's one of the skills that is changing my life because it alters my perspective on life and myself; I may have fallen apart in many ways, there may have been lots of choices I could have made better in the moment, but I keep the big, important goals afloat --I didn't sabotage my career or relationships--and I survived.
And that's what I realized today walking under the trees and soaking in silver September sunshine, when you suddenly find yourself trapped in hell, the only thing you need to do right is survive it. It really comes down to a matter of survival, and I mean that literally, there were several times I not only didn't give a darn if I regained 100lbs or made everyone hate me, I didn't even want to live. It's been years since that old monster has rattled his dark cage in my soul, but there it is, this past week, a couple times, I heard those old voices calling me to darkness and once or twice I even paused to listen.
When those demons are howling, I will do anything, no matter how painful, to find some peace. I don't care if it's healthy, unhealthy or self-destructive, because, I repeat, the only thing I could worry about is if it would help me survive. I'm still here, so it seems they did. And for that they had value, and I won't judge myself for going there. I'm not going to add self loathing to the arsenal those demons already hold, because once I do that, my boat will capsize and I'll be lost. I know. I've been there.
But I'm rambling. The point is this, survive any way you can until you find an escape. And then look back and honor what you did right. Because the feelings will pass. Everything passes if you can just stick around long enough for it to. Sometimes you've just got to get through it. If that means running, then run. If that means hunkering down and holding tight to anything you can, then hunker down. And when that storm passes, for pete's sake, don't go back and berate yourself for what you didn't do, or what you could have done better, because now that you made it you have lots of time to do better.
I'm not sure if I communicated this in any way anyone who doens't know me will understand. I was vague on purpose because the personal details are just not something I can post on the internet, but I hope the message made sense. I see so many women on Spark who beat themselves down and see all the bad in themselves, and then wonder why they feel so badly and fail so much. We have to be our own champion, and that means loving ourselves. Times get rough. We fall down. We fail. But if you get back up and recognize what went wrong and objectively observe it for ways to do better in the future and then honor, praise and LOVE ourselves for all the ways and things we did right, or at least better than before, then you can't lose. Not in the long run. Because you've won yourself, the amazing-beautiful creature of wonder that you are.
Now I'm going to go breathe and keep on keeping on. Have a good weekend.
Copyright © 2009 Cassandra Kelly. All Rights Reserved.