I looked down at the floor, at the saliva dripping from my mouth and at the bare wood that had become my weapon of choice. The sharp shooting pain that cut across my forehead would be a constant reminder that I needed to learn me and love me all over again. Who was this woman that I had become? The woman that could so violently throw herself against a wall, throw her head against a floor desiring to feel something. Who was this woman that had become so numb to reality and emotions that the ceaseless desire to feel resulted in self-inflicted abuse?
All this time I had been think about supporting my loved ones and doing things to make them happy, that I had forgot to think about and stop myself from losing who I was. This was a moment of desperation, of loss, of damage. I had fallen. Suddenly the wood panels became a reflection, my mirror of the fragment of myself that I had become.
Joy didn’t live here. Instead it was always a feeling of making others happy, lying to myself and forgetting what made me happy. In lieu of joy, I felt a combination of anxiety, fear, and a depression so rampant that it consumed my every thought, action, and being.
Granted, making other people happy invigorates me but in this way, in this desire to please others, I had forgotten about myself. I had forgotten what made me feel.
The person that looks me in the mirror didn’t know who or what she was. We never really know who or what we’re becoming until we are there. As time passes, we get the warning signs that we are straying off track, that we are falling but some how some way we don’t quite know how to stop ourselves. When I got up off the floor and realized how off course I was, I realized I didn’t need a therapist, or even a daily horoscope to “fix” me and to tell me who I am.
I needed me. We need ourselves first. Our own piece of mind, first.
Too often we get consumed with life and with others—other people’s thoughts on us, other people’s needs that we so blindly choose to live lives that are not for ourselves. For me, it was only when I figuratively and literally hit the floor that I could step outside of myself and realize that I wasn’t living for me. I had fallen so deeply into a cycle of doing and living for others that I forgot to love…me. Hitting the floor hurt. Getting back up wasn’t easy. Learning to live for yourself first isn’t easy and starting over just might be the hardest of it all.
And when the pain becomes too much, and when you’re finally ready to start over:
- Admit that there’s a problem. Pinpoint whatever memory, whatever experience it was that tore you to pieces and say to yourself “Fuck this shit. I’m in control and I will not allow these memories to break me.”
- Let it out. Hurting yourself isn’t the way to go. But the tears that follow once you feel pain and once you realize how broken your spirit is, can become the most cathartic tears of all.
- Pick up those pieces of you. Whether it be all of the pieces, or sharp shards of you, decide which parts of your mentality are keeping you down and which are bringing you up. Take these positive pieces and hold on to them for dear life.
- Start moving. Get off the couch. Get out the apartment. It costs nothing to take a stroll outside and smell the all-to-cliché roses.
- Smile. Invigorate yourself. Inspire yourself. Find whatever way feeds your soul and bring positivity to your life. Look in the mirror and smile.
The first day, week, or month may start out as a fake smile, but with time, it’ll become genuine. You will realize that each smile, and each moment that you do things for yourself, out of a positive space for yourself, you are rebuilding yourself.