It’s been 6 weeks now since I last felt sideswiped by my emotions. That’s longer than I have gone in a very long time. It’s not that I haven’t felt sad – I have. It’s just that the sadness hasn’t overwhelmed me.
I think a few things have helped…
- I am making a point of feeling my emotions when they arise – truly experiencing them – but also observing them, as if from a distance. This really helps.
- By being more honest with the people around me and really expressing my needs, I have received some of the reassurances I always needed, and I am able to hold those in my heart when insecurity strikes.
- I care more about myself than I ever did. I don’t beat myself up. I treat myself more like I treat my close friends – I try to be understanding, kind, empathetic to myself, rather than harsh, judgmental and cruel (as I had been my whole life).
- Having started to understand the situations and people who influenced my earliest development, I have been able to understand myself for the first time. And I have let go of a lot of stuff I didn’t even know I was holding on to.
- I have accepted that I basically know very little and that the stories I tell myself about things that happen are just that – stories. More often than not, my stories turn out to be false, so I’m getting better at questioning them.
All this has been the result of therapy, lots of reading, and lots of self-reflection. I have a long way to go but I feel much more positive than I have in a long time.
(This selfie was done in watercolour pencil. The dark mark on my cheek is nothing but a blotch from a previous painting that had transferred itself to this empty page.)