December 19 – Healing What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?
There have been a lot of people that have told me how much I’ve changed since I’ve been away; they hear it in my voice, they see it in my face, and they know from what I write on this blog. Someone who once said that I wouldn’t survive my first semester recently told me just how proud they felt at the strides I’ve made. Even I look back in amazement and think “wow, I really am different, aren’t I?”
About five or six years ago, I went through a pretty rough patch in my life; it took a huge toll on my self-esteem and had a negative affect on my attitude. Granted, the troubles in themselves only lasted from sixth to eighth grade, but the pain, anger and loneliness continued on through high school. It was something that felt impossible to rise above; I began to accept that maybe I would always have to deal with it, and that it would never go away.
I realize that I say this pretty frequently, but I whole-heartedly believe that going away to college was what turned me around. During the first three or four weeks, it was as though I could finally breathe; I could get to know people without having to explain myself or have them look at at me like they didn’t get what I was talking about. There were so many opportunities and things to do that I wasn’t able to do back home. I just felt…free.
It wasn’t something that I thought about constantly, but I guess over time I began to let go of those negative thoughts; I hated feeling like I couldn’t fully trust anybody, along with being a complete pessimist. I can’t over-emphasize enough that the way you look at circumstances and the way you handle them really does affect the way you live your life. I was in a new place with new people and I didn’t want them to see me as an “Eyore”, basically (that’s what my Mom used to jokingly call me when I was having a bad day or in a bad mood).
That’s where I have experienced the most healing this year; I had broken the chains years ago, but for the longest time I felt as though I couldn’t completely shake them. And I guess for some people, you have to be able to get completely out of town, or completely out of state for that to happen.
I’ve come to see that it’s a day by day, sometimes moment by moment process. It’s not my main focus when I wake up in the morning or go to sleep at night, but I do catch myself occasionally wondering if certain people really care about me or just simply slipping back into that old mindset. To keep me from doing so, I limit my time on the computer and don’t really carry my cell phone with me unless I have to. I write in my journal or work on whatever story project I have in mind. I read and I exercise. I pray. I ultimately get out of my room and keep myself busy.
My current struggle right now is not beating myself up when I have a bad day, or going to someone and venting it all out when I need to. Due to what I’ve experienced previously, I sometimes tell myself that I should always be happy, despite knowing deep down that doing so isn’t possible; there is just no way of avoiding the “downs” of life. In retrospect, it’s all about how you deal with those difficult seasons.
The other thing is being able to go to someone and talk about it; or if I can’t talk about it, just ask them to simply give me a hug (honestly, that tends to do just enough; maybe even more than talking). Again, I want my loved ones to see me as a light-hearted, bubbly young woman. There are certain friends of mine as well as family members that have seen me at some very difficult lows; I feel bad going to them because I feel as though I’ve put them through enough already. In essence, that’s why I’ve rarely called my Mom if I’m upset while at school; she worries about me enough as it is.
But in hindsight, that’s how we develop relationships; we bond over laughter as well as tears. One can only carry a burden (or multiple burdens) for so long on their own. Eventually, you have to ask for help.
I don’t think “healing” is the right word for 2011; however, I would like to continue to grow and blossom as I’ve been doing thus far in 2010. That, and not take myself too seriously.
Someone once asked me “Whatever happened to that happy, giggly girl I once knew?”
Well, it took awhile…but I’m back. And feeling better than ever!