I am scared. I am sad. I am angry.
On Tuesday at approximately 8:40pm, seated on the floor cross-legged with my weighted blanket over my lap, I recounted traumatic events aloud in the safety of my therapist’s office. Eleven pages of my own words guided me. It took me 2.5 hours. I’ve never done something so hard or so freeing before. I left in tears, because I wasn’t done processing. But they were stress-relieving tears. As I drove away I felt exhausted, sad, and angry, but overwhelmed with love, hopefulness, bravery, and faith. I felt lighter. I felt excited and strong. Wednesday morning, I felt these things even stronger.
But by Wednesday night, depression came back. I felt completely disconnected from my body and watching from above, again. Am I not strong enough to do this? Why can’t I hold on to the good stuff for more than a moment? Thursday and Friday I was right back to feeling heavy and hurting. Hopelessness was (is?) gaining traction fast.
This morning I want to lean in despite feeling sad. I want to trust in God’s plan for me. I want to let everyone love me. I want to reach out for the hands trying to help me out of this pit and even if I can’t manage to grab on, I want to let them hold on to me.
Maybe I’m so strongly scared, sad, and angry because eleven pages isn’t the end of my story. In a way, it’s sort of the beginning to everything else that still has to come out.
I’m giving myself permission to feel all the hard emotions and still feel loved. I am not commanded to hate myself or to isolate myself and push everyone else away just because I feel difficult emotions. That’s the eating disorder trying to rip open the stitches holding me together. It’s not me.
The part that’s irritatingly trying for me is when I’m trying to be kind to myself and let this happen, I feel like a baby cub and need/want a mama bear to protect me. I constantly crave safety. The further away safety seems the harder depression hits me, and you don’t have safety because you’re not worthy of it creeps in. I want help defending myself against the harsh words of my eating disorder.
I feel exactly like my kids behave all day: they play, they cry, play, cry, play, cry… and I am there every time they cry. When I have these days, where I really focus on allowing all the waves to come, as the day goes on each (hard emotion) wave gets harder without my own arms to fall into. Most of the time by the end of the day I am feeling so unprotected that it leads to the opposite the next day: shut it all down. I want to be tightly wrapped in the safety of a mother’s arms.
I don’t know how to stop that from happening. But I do know that future-tripping gets me in trouble so I’m going to try to simply be kind to myself in this moment.