The first half of 2018 was not kind to me. I lost my childhood home to foreclosure. I broke my ankle. I was in a pretty serious car accident in a vehicle I owned for less than two weeks. This is on top of normal everyday nonsense like finances, ongoing health issues, and family conflict. Thankfully though, I am still here. I survived.
These events, however, fueled a deep down core belief that I have long struggled with. I do not allow myself to be happy or even content. It stems from the expectation that no matter how much effort I put forth, bad things will always continue to come my way.
Combating this belief has been a primary focus in my own mental health treatment for the last three or four years. Given my extensive trauma history dating back to early childhood, it was nearly impossible to come out of it unscathed. There was bound to be some collateral damage. In this case, it was my internalization of the chronic environmental stress compartmentalized into this idea.
Although I am not grateful for this core belief, I am thankful for the by products that have resulted from its existence. It has brought me a stronger sense of awareness and catapulted me into my self-care journey.
During my therapy session this week, I had one of my deepest insights yet. I realized that there was an innate fear associated with the above mentioned core belief. I was genuinely afraid of myself. I am a firm believer in that we are our own worst enemies. I am no exception to this rule. What popped into my mind were the two times that my mind ventured down the rabbit hole into contemplating suicide. I know what my mind is capable of doing and where it can lead me. It will drag me into a deep, dark abyss. Both times I pulled myself back up with my last bit of rational thought and restored a sense of humanity.
In session, I even questioned what part of me my self-care was nurturing. Was it helping me to better myself or supporting my inner demons? I reasoned with myself and acknowledged that I am using my self-care to battle an ingrained idea. My therapist then mentioned that this was going to be a long, drawn out war. She simply echoed what I knew, but I needed the kind reminder in a way.
It is going to take time to overcome what has been done. I have thrived for this long and exemplified the utmost resilience. I still find it ironic that I must use myself to fight against myself. Either way, I will win. It is up to me which side will win.
-The Caring Counselor