It seems counter intuitive, doesn’t it? Isn’t healing supposed to make things better? When in reality, the steps we take to facilitate healing can be very painful. If you’ve ever cleaned a scraped knee, you’ll remember the pain of having to touch the open wound. But in the end, this is to facilitate the healing process.
These words by @jennagalbut revealed a lot to me about my own healing process. For so long, painful memories were hidden in the shadows, where I didn’t have to look at them. The problem with this is they would jump out at me when I least expect it.
Since starting treatment for my PTSD, I’ve been even more so on edge and anxious. I thought that the treatment was making things worse. I wanted to quit. To shove all the painful thoughts back into the dark instead of facing them in the light. But I am trying to remind myself – it gets worse before it gets better.
I spent my entire life telling myself I was a good, caring, selfless person. But I’m also self-centred, selfish, overreactive and sometimes I do bad things. I’m struggling to find the balance. In my mind I can only be all good or all bad. At this point I don’t know who or what I am.
Today is the (second… Or third… Or tenth) beginning of my recovery. After too long without consistent therapy I’ve finally found a DBT therapist I click with. My meds have been adjusted and I’m hoping with all my heart that the antipsychotics will work soon. Because this is hell.
I read through a lot of my blog posts and realized it really has been a tough year. I don’t think I’m good at many things but I can say I’m good at downplaying the status of my mental well-being.
Every time I bring up an issue with my therapist, the root always comes back to my self esteem and self worth. This is especially true when it comes to relationships. Here’s the issue:
I think I’m a bad person. When people first meet me, I feel like they only like the person I pretend to be. I feel like I can be loved as a friend, but only superficially and especially not romantically. I believe I am hard to love. So when I become close with someone intimately, I constantly feel like I am peeling back the layers of paint, leading them closer to my rotting core.
You may have told me I was beautiful and funny and charming – but that was before you saw who I really am. Do you still think those things about me? How about now? I need reassurance. I need constant updates. I keep fucking up and I know one day you’ll change your mind about me.
The problem is, people often assume that others see the world as they do. My immediate perceptions are black and white extremes. After I cling, obsess, or wear a person down, I believe that their perception of me switches from idealization to devaluation.
I believe that anyone I am with will eventually see me for the horrible person I really am. I believe that they will come to despise me as much as I despise myself. So I subconsciously push their limits and test them until I have created my own self fulfilling prophecy.
Once they lose their temper or give up on me, it feeds into that belief that I’m inherently undeserving of love. It’s a vicious cycle that is so hard to break, especially when I’ve lived this way for years. So unfortunately, until I start liking myself a little more I’m going to wreck any resemblance of a relationship I have. I can’t expect anyone else but me to fix my sense of self worth.
Two nights in a row, I went out with friends, despite that looming negative voice telling me that nobody liked me, that I should hide, that I am worthless.
Two nights in a row I threw a huge middle finger up to that voice and dressed up, did my makeup, and attempted to have a good time.
Two nights in a row, I felt a wave of hopelessness and emptiness that I couldn’t quite shake, that made me want to hide, that convinced me people would be better off without me.
Two nights in a row I was given a helping hand from a friend, who listened and stayed with me until the feelings passed.
Two nights in a row I overcame the hopeless thoughts and fractured self-image and ended up having a good time anyway.
After two nights in a row, I saw a pattern emerge.
I had always known that I had sudden, intense mood changes – but I also knew that these passed relatively quickly. In the past I would just leave, letting the changed mood ruin my night.
Now I see that I can overcome these difficult moments, especially with the help of friends and family.
Now I see that I can weather the storm.