A few days ago, I posted about change and the self-worth and the self-love that comes with making positive changes in your life. Self-growth and evolution are quite amazing. The differences you see in yourself and within your relationships with others is almost tactile, and that emerging palpable feeling makes you only want to grow and continue to change even more than you originally thought.
But there's another side to changing that not many people talk about. The darker side. The side that can't change. The side that doesn't evolve. The side full of demons and voices that tell you you're never going to get better. That you're faking it. That no matter how hard you try, it's pointless, because no matter how much you sugarcoat shit, it's still shit. You are still shit.
My personal life hit a roadblock coincidentally, after I posted my last piece. This is something I'm not willing to openly talk about on this forum, but I do want to talk about the emotions and thoughts taking over my body and brain as a result of said roadblock. That night, I went into full panic attack mode, resulting in uncontrollable sobbing, shaking, lightheaded/dizzyness, vomiting, blurred vision, and a nagging feeling of incompetence. For the first time since therapy, my thoughts zig-zagged back into their old pattern of wanting to self harm, of wondering if giving a shit about someone or something is really worth it. The desire to stop existing. I reverted back to the scared little girl I talked about in the last post. I contemplated the thoughts of death being my ultimate savior. The feelings of never being enough, of continually causing pain to people I love, my self-proclaimed destiny of always being a disappointment.They all came rushing back, like old friends who can pick up right where you left off the last time you were together.
The scariest thing about changing is the fact that you will never fully change. That's just a fact. I noted in the last post that I will always be grateful for the "damaged me" - the scarred girl that will forever be a part of the core of "me". But right now, I really resent her. I wish I could erase her. I wish that I could only be the calm and collected, confident girl I've been becoming. Because it feels like the insecure, terrified me only causes problems. Or so it genuinely seems that way. It's scary because there are people that have met me post therapy. People that actually think I'm this super cool, radiant, amazing person full of love. And it's true, I am that person a good portion of the time now. But what keeps my anxiety up at night is knowing that those same people haven't seen me at my absolute worse. They didn't know the girl who couldn't make eye contact or talk about herself with any kind of appreciation or self-respect. They haven't seen my transformation. They never saw the girl, in complete anxiety-ridden paralysis, the girl who couldn't ever pinpoint her own emotions or thoughts, the girl who wanted to die - or rather stop being - more than anything else. They have no idea how normal that state of mind was for me. Seeing that girl poke her head out now and then probably makes the least amount of sense. Because how can someone so put together and rad be this crazy girl with so many insecurities constantly needing affirmation and validation?
That is the nightmare I feel I'm living lately. That the new people in my life that I care about are going to look at me after a nights sleep and realize I'm not f*cking worth this drama. That the scared girl who's been popping up more and more frequently lately is exhausting and not worth the mental stress. I'm positive these people want to hit me sometimes. I know I have to be the most frustrating to deal with. Because logical me knows they aren't lying. I know I am loved and appreciated. But there are some moments where I just need to be reminded. And I hate that those moments still happen. I hate the feeling of being needy and clingy. I tell myself I'm feeling this way because for the first time in my life I actually give the biggest shit about the amazing relationships I've been cultivating. That losing these amazing people could actually break me. I'm terrified. I have no other words than that. I'm terrified.
I'm sharing all this because recovery isn't field of wildflowers. While you have the tools and are adapting to this new way of thinking about life, it's not always going to happen. The hurt, the past, the pain - it's always going to be there. You are still going to get upset about things that remind you of the way you used to feel. You are going to get angry when you feel abandoned and disrespected - because for the first time you feel you actually deserve respect. You are going to get stuck between worlds. You are going to think about yourself with love and you are going to hate the old you for still being a part of you. You're going to feel the split second differences of rationality and irrationality. You're going to be strong yet feel your most weak and vulnerable. You are going to feel constantly stuck between a rock and a hard place - trying to use the tools but constantly wondering if you're even worth it to use them. At least, that's how I feel about it right now.
You can't change who you are. And I'm slowly learning that I shouldn't want to change who I am. Or more accurately who I've been. I'm coming to grips and really trying to love the me of my past. Or I'm at least trying to fake it til I make it. I'm navigating my old ways and trying to alter the "muscle memory" of my past. That night, after I pulled myself enough together to be semi-human, I called two friends. Old me would have gone straight for a razor, or a scalding hot shower, or both. I wouldn't have even tried to talk about it. I would have gone down a negative spiral of self hatred. Of being upset, realizing how my being upset hurts the people I care about, and hating myself for even having those feelings in the first place. Of feeling like a freak wondering why I can't just pull myself together fully already.
I want to end this post on a positive note. But I'm not really sure how to pull the positivity right now. I'm scared. I'm exhausted. I'm full of regret. I'm in a cycle of hating myself and trying to realize my emotions are valid. That I am valid. This is hard. Like so f*cking hard. This is the hardest it's been so far. I know I'm getting stronger. I know that based on that night's events alone, I really am changing. Because it's in our most trying times that the real us emerge...right? I know that the people who truly love me, love every single part of me. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I think there's a quote out there about finding someone who loves in your sweatpants as much as in your wedding dress. Which I honestly think is a really stupid comparison to make. But I understand it in a conceptual way. I know these feelings of negativity won't be around forever. That in a couple days this is going to subside. That things are going to be okay, no matter the outcome. I know that I'm doing the best I can. I know that the girl I hate is going to show up every once in a while and I have to keep embracing her. I need to accept myself for who I am, that just because I am growing doesn't mean I'm cured - that I'm never going to be insecure again or afraid again or slip into that awful headspace again. And in this moment I think it's okay to hate those feelings, that "old me", because I think that proves I don't want to be that girl anymore. That acknowledging and regretting her makes me realize it really is amazing to care so much about someone. That suffering through the pain truly is a good thing, as backwards as that sounds.
I guess what I've learned in the last 48 hours is this: the old me is still here, the old me is very much alive and kicking. The old me sucks, a lot sometimes. But the new me needs to realize that the old me is a really good gauge. Even when times are hard, especially when times are hard. Flowers can't grow without a seed. I can't bloom without the hard work. I can't only thrive in sunshine, it's the storms that make me the most strong and nourished as well. I'm going to be stuck in this battle for a while, maybe the rest of my life. I'm going to be logical and self-sufficient. But I'm also going to need validation. I'm still going to have mental breakdowns. I'm still going to be insecure. I wrote in my very first blog post about depression and anxiety being an isolated island. That night was an amazing indicator that I am trying to get off the island for good. I think there is always going to be some sand from the island with me, whether in my shoes or my hair, or perhaps, ideally, as a keepsake. A reminder that my life isn't going to be happy all of the time. That as much as I preach about embracing and accepting the negative things, I actually have to deal with my own negativity - whether that be a negative situation, emotion, or thought. I guess what I want is for the reminder to keep diminishing. Something I can look back and be proud of - again which is really easy on the sunshine-y days. It's when the storms hit and know I'm still worth it too...no matter how much the self hate tries to come back in...