I didn’t know that when you are in the process of healing, it hurts. It’s painful. It could be horrible, and that’s why I unconsciously and consciously always went back to what I call the “bad known.” I did it over and over for years. BUT, I didn’t know the whole story. This was/is the type of story that actually has a happy ending!
I knew in my gut that there was something better, something that felt right, something that made me feel free from criticism, judgment and impossible-to-achieve-high expectations.
I never stopped looking even when I didn’t know what questions to ask because I didn’t know those questions existed. I never stopped looking even when I was blindly busy overloving, overhelping, overgiving swearing that it was the way. You know making sure I was good to be likeable, lovable.
My hunger for information, for knowledge from different sources has been crucial my whole life. Education is a very important part of the equation in the healing process because the first thing you realize is that you are not the only one going through the same thing, or at least you are not the only one going through something so bad, scary and painful. The knowledge will help you to clarify any doubts. It will teach you to call certain things, like behaviors, by their name. It will also help you to make those judgmental voices quiet and trust what you are being and what you are doing, and it will help you to reinforce every decision and every step you want to make.
I was always terrified to ask for help because there wasn’t anything I could do to show how grateful I was for receiving it. Guilt.
Thank you from the heart was too simple, presents were too little. But I helped others all the time, so I put myself in the shoes of those who could help me. And eventually I learned that asking for help was/is ok, it’s human and it requires a great amount of courage. Sometimes you are the hand that holds somebody else’s to help them get out of the hole, but sometimes it’s you who can find that hand pulling you up.
What I didn’t realize is that I was doing everything to be a better person for others, to feel that I deserved, for more approval. Braking the cycle was so hard because it’s invisible, and it was so fused inside of me that it fooled me again. So my emotional world didn’t improve. I was slowly, or rather rapidly falling in a drain. I’m very proud that I never stopped trying even though I was in the middle of the darkness of my ignorance. My stubbornness and my constant failing left me completely exhausted. I was willing to do anything to be an emotionally healthy human being because staying like that or going back to base one meant dead alive or dead, dead.
I made the best decision of my life, to face my fears, to feel, to feel EVERYTHING. I learned that if I wanted to heal, I had to change, so I had to do things differently. Maybe changing my thoughts? Habits? Behaviors? Patterns? I don’t know you, but I had to change all that and more. I’m already tired thinking about it, but hey it was way worth it, I started taking care of myself for the first time!
The two ingredients for my healing process were: therapy and making the decision to take responsibility of my life, my healing process. I took my time to find the therapist that I liked and I trusted. It’s very important to feel that the therapist and therapist’s office is the safest place in the world. And determination.
Your body won’t understand, it will literally hurt, and you might get a cold, fever, chicken pox, even rashes that you have never seen before. Keep going!
I’m not kidding. It’s like exercising for three hours for the first time in your entire life. You can be sure that the next day you won’t be able to move, your body will hurt as hell, you’ll feel muscles that you didn’t even know existed like for example in the middle of your knee, your cheek or something. Of course you won’t have the drive to exercise again, fuck that! Your body will want to go back to the old habits and ways. It will be easier to remain as before, sore because you never move, with no strength and energy. You will rather accept that you can only walk for three minutes and a half and you have to sit down to rest because you have been doing that for so long, so maybe it’s not that bad. You don’t know that if you keep working out consistently your muscles will get trained and strong and won’t be sore anymore.
Your mind will get confused. It’s like starting to speak in Chinese all of a sudden. You’ll think that you are going crazy. The first reaction is negative, you will get headaches. Nothing will make sense. It feels so bad that you want to go back to the known, the “bad known,” that pain that is already fused inside of your skin. That “bad known” is a trap because you feel in “control,” you know exactly what to do, where to go, how bad you are going to feel and what medications to take to fight the pain. That gives you “security,” something that you won’t feel when you first start the healing process because it’s an unknown whole other world. You will feel out of your comfort zone! Isn’t that crazy? Well, I didn’t want to stay in that kind of freaking comfort zone anymore. At that point it was scarier to remain poisoned, than the unknown world that could lead me to sanity, peace and freedom.
The healing process is like getting into a very dangerous and diabolic forest. But freedom it's on the other side.
This forest has demons, monsters, powerful evil witches, ghosts, zombies, quicksand, roots that try to strangle you, thorns everywhere, mind torturers, paralyzers and many unknown creatures and bad surprises along the way. What I didn’t know was none of these horrible beings and dangers could really kill or hurt me permanently. They were there just to try to stop me from getting to the other side, so they can survive, that’s all they need to survive, to live.
When I finally made the decision I kept walking through the diabolic forest, my legs hurt, my heart was braking in a thousand pieces with every step forward, I was running out of breath, but I trusted the process, this new and unfamiliar pain was telling me that I was going in the right direction. I felt that I almost died several times, but I didn’t. So I realized that the deeper I got, the less scary the forest became. What awaited me on the other side was a peaceful place, healing, love, compassion and freedom. It was my life, it is. It was the life I wanted. The life I want. The life I have now.
You have to cross this forest by yourself. With the help of a good therapist and showing up for your life, but only you can make the steps forward.
Nobody can do it for you. This is your forest. This is your life. Nothing can happen to you really, you have to keep thinking that all the things that you are going through while you cross it are just temporary. You’ll get to the other side safe and sound. It is a journey where you have to make decisions that hurt, that are scary. It is a tough learning experience with the promise of your freedom.
The pain that I experienced is what I call a painful joy. It is a necessary temporary pain to achieve the tip of the mountain with joy, free from old burdens and full of love for yourself, love for life, for your story and for the process. It is a painful joy that gives you Goosebumps. The process is like a rebirth. It is an emotional, psychological, spiritual, mental birth that hurts even in your body. But if you keep going and you are willing to go through all those new uncomfortable negative feelings like sadness, headaches, guilt, nausea, fear, and pain, you will get out to the other side and you will see the sun. During the healing process the unfamiliar pain is your best friend because it tells you that you are in the right direction.
The beginning of your healing process starts when you realize that nobody can, and nobody has to fix your problems, instead you realize that you can fix all the problems you have. The same way we are capable of seeing all the colors or taste all the flavors, we can feel all the emotions. We’ll like some, and we won’t like some others just because we are human. It all starts with making a decision. Take your time. Everyone has their own rhythm and time to realize we have a problem, or to realize that we need help, and to make the decision to fight. It is a unique and personal process. There is no right or wrong. When you are ready. Then. It’s your time.
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