Laying It All Bare
I’ve been asked more than once by readers of this blog if I’m okay. In writing about my past struggles with mental health I’ve caused some to be alarmed. I assure you that I am fine. In writing about past difficulties I’ve faced with my mental health, my hope is to draw attention to the struggle that some people live with on a daily basis and also to help those that suffer from anxiety and depression to know they are not alone. I don’t post anything on this blog that I haven’t worked through at length on my own and with the people closest to me.
I’ve learned that only in dealing with the pain and shame of the past could I become whole and conscious and become one of the living, instead of someone who was merely surviving each day. I understand the reasons for concern, if a person admits to having a mental breakdown it can seem a sign of weakness, but I’ve come to believe that my breakdown was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It stopped my anxiety-ridden way of life in its tracks and forced me to re-examine my priorities, the stories I told myself and the self limiting beliefs that kept me from truly living. I’m moving closer to freedom everyday and I’m finding that the path to that freedom is paved with a lot of self examination.
True self examination is not for the faint of heart. It requires tears, acknowledging uncomfortable truths about yourself and accepting your own flawed humanity at a very core level. In revealing my struggles I hope to give others insights into how self examination can be empowering and enlightening and can lead you to a joyful existence. When those truths are unearthed something beautiful and true emerges, the whole and complete self, the self we were all meant to be before an often cruel and uncaring world told us dark stories about ourselves that we believed and lived as though they were true. When we deny our true selves, it’s like living with a self inflicted terminal wound and we become focused on surviving our wounds instead of living the life that we were meant to lead.
I’ve found so many more layers to myself as I grow older, far more than I ever thought possible. Every time I think I’ve realized some truth about myself, the Universe will teach me there is more to my story, more to who I truly am. There is relief in laying bare these truths about my past and I offer them up to others as proof there is great joy and transformation in self examination and reframing your own past so that it becomes not only acceptable to you, but a great gift that you’ve been given that could’ve broken you but instead made you whole. I understand that it may be uncomfortable for many people that I lay my soul bare here. I understand that those that know me may worry about my health. I also understand that part of my recovery and healing is to honestly portray my struggles with my mental health and to share how I’m trying to rebuild my life to live healthier and more fully.
I don’t pretend that self examination is easy. Perhaps I am too hard on myself. I’ve heard this many times from people in my life. I’m working on that too, but self examination is very hard work. I’m trying to undertake it with compassion for myself and sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, but overall, I feel I’m on the road to freedom and living the life I was meant to lead. My process may change as I learn more about what works for me, but the results are so much more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined. I’m running with arms open wide toward my future for the first time in my life and that’s a gift to behold given how I used to live my life, succumbing to fear and self doubt. I wish this transformation for everyone who needs it and desires it. It’s truly a gift and it’s proven to me again and again that the greater the pain, the greater the potential for growth. For me, this growth has happened as a result of difficult self examination and faith that the Universe will provide the people and the guidance I need to move forward in my personal evolution.