So you break up, determined to get back to being you, to put yourself first to not let anyone make you feel bad ever again ……and then what???
How do you know when you’re there, when you’ve made the changes you wanted to make, that it’ll never happen again—well I’m finding out one day, one week, one month at a time ….
I started with the usual, the going out a lot, the f*** him I can do what I want a lot, the travelling round seeing all the friends I had not seen because of him. It felt good, getting to go and do what I want, the times id missed out on due to pandering to his needs, to keeping his mood ok, to preventing the arguments, to losing myself…
The problem was I guess that I never really knew what I was getting back to- the picture in my head was an old version of me that was, in actual fact, a younger, more naive, less experienced me that I somehow thought was happier and more free, the problem was I guess, that I didn’t know me at all.
So how do you get to know you? The person you spend every day with, the one you should know best? Well when you’ve been ignoring your own wishes, wants and needs for such a long time it doesn’t feel normal to pay attention to them all of a sudden. It feels selfish, irrelevant, a waste of time.
I didn’t know where to start… so I started, anywhere. I listened to that tiny voice that suggested what I wanted/ wished for. To stay in bed a bit longer, go to the gym, try something I haven’t before, say no, say yes, be a bit selfish, a bit thoughtless…. a bit true. From there it grew, I started realising what I wanted, what I definitely didn’t want and how far from myself I had really drifted. Sounds simple in a way but it really wasn’t, the main thing I struggled with was trusting myself- how do you trust that tiny voice, it seems so insignificant. Turns out it’s the most significant part of you, your intuition, your gut, your true self trying to guide you as best it can in the midst of doubt/ fear/ external noise and distraction. It’s heart breaking really to think the only person you should listen to is the one you often try the hardest to block out.
To break out of habits and patterns that are bad for you sometimes you may need to look to others for inspiration… to try to follow what you believe you want – which was for me looking at good, positive people and things around me that nourish mind body and soul, rather than to just accept what comes my way. Through this I’ve learned to expect more from people, to expect more from life and it delivers. Someone wise told me everyone you meet is a reflection of yourself so I’ve started looking to myself to aim higher, expect more and enjoy when it enters into my life.
Now I’m trying to learn to trust people more, that they will see the good and not take advantage of it. Anyone who has experienced trauma and adversity will understand that it’s hard to let people see the darkness you carry. However, now I value myself more than I ever have because of the adversity I’ve experienced. I guess I just worry that in some way others won’t get it, won’t understand how I fit together, because we all have darkness and light, how can someone make sense of your complex configurations? I guess I still don’t know, it’s something I’m sure that I’ll come to along this journey. …right now I’m still on this road to wherever, passing through self-understanding, self-worth and hopefully ending up at self-love.
I’ll keep you posted…
Please feel free to contact me if you have had any of the similar experiences in my articles, want to write a piece on these topics or simply want to share some psychologically related insights and thoughts of your own, I’d love to hear from you!!
(Photo credit: kilian schonberger)