I am finally in a space to begin loving myself

A few days ago a client of mine sent me a post she had written after a bad spiral of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. It was like a letter to herself and her demons. From fighting off what was good for her to finally being able to love herself, the post is her story of letting herself heal.

I have come this far with these battles. I have given as much love, support and joy as I could find within my heart. I will continue to do that.

I have spread hurt and tension, which I found I was incapable to deal with alone, to those I believed will stick with me through these dark cloud phases and my journey to become myself. Then, I woke up plenty of mornings with the worry of this hurt I was spreading and beat myself up for not being a person who can only spread joy through the day, to not being a person who fixes everyone’s problems and keeps them smiling always. In this realization, I found the pain, suffering, confusion, and lack of love within myself. The more I distanced from myself the more I distanced from others. I grew into a space of lock down, and let my failures outshine my light.

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Though this battle with myself preoccupied most of my energy, I found within myself an ache to thrive and discover my potential. I found that I want to help others navigate their suffering and shine through the magic of stories told through their own bodies, breath, voices and souls. While thousand other things inhibited me, I learnt many skills like writing, storytelling, project management, direction, and moving my body. I dressed up for myself and slowly lost the inhibition that everyone on the road was judging me. I learnt to let go on some days and enjoy a kiss, a hug, a cuddle, and even mad sexual pleasure. I looked for help in family, friends, teachers, psychiatrists, counselors, lovers, work and self. I accepted my faults, apologized and made amends.

I felt that it had gone for too long and got tired of report cards that said I am not living up to my potential without any constructive help. I let the child in me slip, and did not even realize how much I enjoy adulthood and the joy of taking responsibility for self and others. My heart might still not be ready for where my head wants to be or vice versa.

I have directed 16 plays with different groups of people who have all received positive experiences and learning for themselves through the processes and safe spaces I crafted for them with great detail. I have created a lot of meaningful work that impacted the lives of others for the better. I have brought up my daughter to be a joyful, sensitive child and will be able to tell her someday that all demons are easy to sit next to while we thrive and take care of ourselves. I will be able to tell her no label has more power over the words ‘I’ and ‘We’.

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Yes, sometimes I let the spiral overtake me. Yesterday, I met the spiral and told it that it cannot always keep winning because here I am, practicing like Bruce Lee to defeat it. It is not aware that my ammunition increases in stock and variety. But, what if these strategies do not work? I can always find another. I will make sure the spiral becomes smaller and smaller. It already has. If anyone saw the spirals I had five years or fifteen years ago, they wouldn’t have believed that I can put myself together at all. I break through things the way they need to be broken through. Sometimes it is a friend, sometimes a stranger, sometimes pork, sometimes talking to myself and this time it is a helpline, a coach, my family, a friend, my colleagues and some meds. That’s all.

From here, I need to talk to you. The truth is that evil people do not suffer from guilt. You are a kind and beautiful person who is suffering internally. You need time to learn how to convey your hurt and anger to others. Don’t get scared of how they will feel and turn it all towards you. Just because they don’t think they are wrong, does not mean you are. Your worries are real. You are putting in the work that needs to be done. You have a deep desire to put in more of that work. You do not need anyone’s approval for who you are and the choices that you have made. You deserve health, love, security, encouragement and a space in which you can thrive. Everyone struggles and not everyone has the honesty to convey that or the power within themselves to develop themselves. You do not live to be desired, approved and cajoled by others. You live because deep within you there is motivation to show yourself, not others, that you can do this. You are searching for your own approval. You are trying to shine beyond your own judgment. You are trying to accept yourself and convince yourself to pack your bags now and get on this journey. You absolutely have it in yourself to sort out the practical things like house, food, finances etc. You have done it before and you can do it many more times – for your family, for friends, for lover, and for your sweet little baby like you want to. She will smile at you with great love. She will intuitively learn to hold your hand on this journey for a while. She will watch how you can put your life together and learn to leap a thousand miles. I know when we are in pain, we just want someone who loves us and hug us and says it’s all fine baby and whatever you are I will be there for you. But here’s the catch, if you can’t say this to yourself even though you do it for yourself, there’s no amount of someone else saying and doing this you will be able to accept. So, yes! Big hug… I sleep next to you every day. Your suffering is real to me. I know where it exactly hurts. I know that you are trying. I am going to hold you tight for the rest of your life. It doesn’t always have to be fine. You are someone who writes stories. Tell me, will the hero ever grow and triumph without insane conflict in his life? You know the answer. I am you. I am finally in a space to begin loving you. I am in a space to be with you. And I am sorry that I keep fighting off what is good for you. I am learning and we can do this together. Today read, write, watch things that make you laugh and rest that back. All will be as is when you return from this break for yourself. No hurry, just breathing and patience.

Also Read: Life lessons from anxiety
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