The Shadows

I once had a therapist who told me I needed to stop counseling myself. I would have a session with him and take what I learned and expound upon it until I came back the next week to tell him all about how I had fixed myself.
I want to be emotionally and mentally healthy. I want to process my feelings and compartmentalize them instead of shoving them aside.
Growing up I was taught I could only be happy. To be unhappy meant disobedience to God and parents. If you were sad or angry or depressed you were ungrateful and allowing Satan into your life, and also, in rebellion to your parents. So the only lasting emotion I ever felt was happiness. Every one else was pushed down underneath the happiness to stew and ruminate for many years.
How I learned to feel feelings is another blog post for another time. But I said all that to stress why FEELING my feelings and processing them is so important for me.

Yesterday I was all proud of myself at how healthy I was. I faced some emotions head on and processed the shit out of them.
I adulted so good. Look at how mature and amazing I am to take these difficult feelings I have and embrace them? I’m amazing.

I forgot that I still have dark places and ugly shadows. I forgot to embrace them and I had shoved them aside for awhile now. They thought last night would be a great time to remind me they still existed. And they did it with a vicious force.
I have struggled with depression for years. I have been so low that I didn’t want to live anymore but there’s always been a tie keeping me around. For many years that tie has been my nieces and nephews. I have not wanted them to have be sat down and explained that their aunt was gone and how.

But yesterday I realized that I have spent many futile years trying to bring my family together. I have wanted to make them my friends. I wanted them to care enough about me to get to know me, but they allow too many things to get in the way. Some are blinded by religion. Some are blinded by relationships. Some are blinded by the busyness of their lives and cultivating and maintaining a relationship with their sister is low on the priority list. So I decided to let go of the need I have to matter in their lives.

Which spiraled me into thinking about past relationships and how I have allowed myself to be chosen last.

And instead of dealing with it in a healthy manner I decided to fuck it all and drink.
And I drank. Until I had reached a point where the dark shadows exploded out of my heart, body and mind. Tangled, twisting, life sucking. The fucking bastard I thought was gone had only been waiting for such a moment.
I sat on the floor in my pitch black bedroom. I cried and yelled and said hateful, vile shit to myself.

I said the words out loud to myself that I am horrified today to say.
“You stupid c*nt. You don’t matter. You thought you were so special, but you’re fucking stupid. You don’t matter.”
And I believed what I was saying and I allowed those words to cripple me with pain. The pain flooded my body to the point that all I could think of was how wonderful and relieving it would feel to take a knife and cut an artery and watch the blood flow out of me until I collapsed in peaceful rest.

I scared myself. I’ve been there before but not like that. I have never been so overwhelmed that I truly believed that was what I wanted. It wasn’t the “only option.”
I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself.
It seemed logical.

Thankfully, I had enough of my wits about me to text a friend about what I was feeling and letting them know I was going to call a hotline. They called and talked me down and after I was back to a safe place it hit me what I had almost done. I started shaking, my chest constricted and the largest panic attack of my life hit.

Even know, almost 18 hours later I am still drained. My chest still hurts. My body is weary. I am in bed where I need and want to stay for a day or two.

I scared myself.

Just because I know how to process my emotions doesn’t mean I have arrived. It doesn’t mean I’m healthy. I need help and I will get help. I need to continue to pull out the ugly weaknesses within me. The ones that I don’t admit to because I’m too strong and tough for that.

Last night I crashed and burned, but I was not defeated. I am still here.
I matter.

My family and my relationships with them do not define me. Even if I’m not important to them, I am important to myself.

I still matter. I’m still here.




3 thoughts on “The Shadows

  1. Juni Desireé says:

    Wow, such honesty. Thank you for sharing. I’m also learning to deal with my emotions, to be okay with them and feel them instead of ignore them or beat myself up because of them. And I’ve recently let go of trying to fix my family and trying to make it the family I want where everyone gets along at something more than a surface level. Learning that I can’t rely on others to meet my needs, that they don’t owe me anything, and it’s been so freeing. Just letting them do their thing and I’ve got to do mine. Such a journey. Wishing you well on yours.


    • howtoviva says:

      Thank you for your comment. I’ve spent too much energy over the last 14 years trying to make my family be what I wanted them to be and once I get past the grief of letting that go, I hope that I will find the freedom you have.


      • Juni Desireé says:

        That’s it, letting go I thought would bring instant freedom, and it does in a way but I found you still have to deal with grief first. Such a process, but good to go through it and not be stuck. Wishing you well on your journey!


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