So, as of late, I've been warring with myself ... that is, fighting against past tendencies as I try to keep my eye on the ball, so to speak.
My friend Sandy gave a metaphor not that long ago. She said "if you decide to really do this (work on rebuilding myself), it's going to be like taking a college course. You have to study and keep your eye on the goal. You can't let yourself get distracted if you want to pass the class."
Those words have stayed with me since. And I've had some definite attempts at distraction, some unintended, others, I've sought out. Because in the past, that's what I'd do. I'd find something to distract me, to divert me when whatever was going on was too much for me to handle or deal with, etc. It's just another way I would "disassociate." I would constantly lean on someone, use them as a crutch in order to deal with something else or to escape. I would look to that diversion to elevate me, to show me my worth, to make me feel significant in this world.
Now, I know some of that is regurgitated from past posts, but as of late, I've been breaking some decent ground and can actually "feel" myself getting stronger. However, that has also led me to a place where I'm void of anyone to lean on (at least, in that way). So, in a lot of ways, I'm currently in very foreign territory and it's both terrifying and elating and empowering.
But the recent thing I've noticed the most as a result is, my mind. I can actually feel my mind trying to repeat past patterns, trying to grasp at something to hold onto, trying to grasp on something to divert, to lean on, to fill a void. It's almost like I'm standing outside myself sometimes, like an out of body experience. It's a higher level of acute self awareness I've never had before.
And if my mind doesn't find something in the present (or if I don't let it), it will look to the past to divert. Tonight, it was grasping at memories, good ones and bad ones. It was grasping at things it hasn't really thought about in awhile. If I'm being brutally honest, my mind was feeling a little desperate tonight. And quite frankly, I'm not liking it. As someone who fixates on "being in control," feeling unhinged like this (and in the not good way) is extremely uncomfortable.
So, instead of reverting to old tendencies when this happened (i.e. reading old emails, conducting pathetic Facebook searches, reading old journal entries, etc.) I decided to come here instead (though I fully admit to having started to do the former at first).
If nothing else, knowing that I'm here instead of there is empowering in and of itself. It means I'm overcoming the past more than I give myself credit for. It means that even though my heart hurts on nights like this, at times like this, I'm choosing to "shut it down." I'm choosing NOT to go there this time. And that's progress, little as it may be.
So while I feel my mind desperately grasping at straws, doing what it used to do to "survive," I'm trying to "keep my eye on the goal."
There was another metaphor I came across recently. And it was equally fitting to my above struggles as of late. It came during my recent Yoga class. We did a meditation revolving around one concept: Self Love.
While I could get into a lot of detail about it here, I won't. But I will say this. It started with a simple metaphor. The heart. It revolved around the image of the heart drawing in dark, tainted blood, pumping it into the lungs where it is oxidized and rejuvenated and pumped back into the heart, bright red. And from there, the heart pumps it to the rest of the cells in the body ... and it does this for a lifetime. The idea was that this act wasn't "selfish." It was a demonstration of self love. The idea that we have to feed ourselves first before we can be any good to anyone else.
And I haven't fed myself nearly enough in the recent years. I've fed off of feeding others. I fed off the "high" of feeding others. And that never lasted ... it simply sapped everything out of me and allowed me to get taken advantage of.
So, while breaking past patterns is by no means an easy feat -- and in moments like this, even hurts -- I know that there is peace beyond the ache. And even when memories haunt me, I know they'll pass, too.
Like my cousin, Tracey, told me once: There's always a better day around the corner. There's always a better moment ahead.