Battle with Forgiveness

“Healing begins with forgiveness”.

Credit: Diona Leigh

For someone like myself who can hold onto a grudge like life depends on it, forgiving is not easy, which is why I laughed when I pulled the “Forgiveness” card. Through this journey of healing, I hadn’t anticipated this process to be as difficult as it has been. In my mind, I figured it’d be as simple as, “okay, stuff happened. It’s in the past and brought me here to my present day. I forgive it, now I can move on and be done with it”.

All the memories, including ones I’d forgotten (buried), came flooding to the forefront of my thoughts on an endless loop. The more my thoughts continued racing, the angrier I was becoming. It felt like I had a dirty bomb lodged in my chest with the crashing waves of emotions coursing through me. I wasn’t sure when I’d go off. Eventually, I allowed my rage to take control and began acting discourteously toward my boyfriend when all he wanted was to figure out what was wrong to help me. By the time I was semi-ready to discuss things, he had gotten in a mood, too.

“Negativity is contagious”.

For the first time that night, we went to bed without giving one another a kiss. We almost didn’t say goodnight, until I forced myself to say it, then he responded impassively with his back facing me. We went to bed angry, which was something I never wanted for us to do.

As I slept, I had a dream. Within the midst of the chaos, certain things were abundantly clear. I could continue pushing him, and others, away or I can set aside my fears, uncertainties, and pride to allow help into my life. When morning came, I kept to myself as I attempted to garner the courage to explain what was going on. After I made myself a cup of tea to help me relax I asked him if we could have a talk in our room. The moment we sat down and I began to express what was happening, all the feelings and the repetitive thoughts that overwhelmed me, the tears began to flow.

 

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Credit: Quotes Cover

Over an hour of divulging decade long secrets, life-long emotional pain, voicing the difficulties of how hard it is to forgive, not only others but myself as well, I felt broken yet whole at the same time. Getting everything off my chest did help, but it also helped to have him share some of his darker memories and secrets, too. There was no need to be afraid to open up because he understood me more than I realized, he even offered some great advice that I hadn’t received before. “It’s like you’re in a movie theater, but there’s only one seat. It’s just you. And next to you is a projector with all those painful memories, on repeat, and you just keep watching, which makes you upset and takes you to this darker place. It’s called Rumination.” (Down at the bottom I will add a link for tips on how you can stop ruminating).

After his explanation of rumination and how to combat it, it helped me realize that despite what I encountered in my past, what was done to me or what I had done to others, I needed to use those moments as learning opportunities and accept that I cannot change the past. I can address it, learn from it, and let go of what isn’t in my control.

What is in my control is the ability to forgive. It isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when you have to sit with those unaddressed emotions to work through them, but holding onto animosity over the past is much harder to manage. I would rather let go of that pain and negativity to truly heal than allow myself to remain a prisoner to things that are out of my control.

 

*Click here for “8 Tips to Help Stop Ruminating”, if you need it.*

 

Reflecting on Gratitude

Sometimes we allow ourselves to become caught up in the day to day of our lives that we take for granted the simplest tasks. Eating, bathing, access to decent medical care… There are people in this world who do not have access to those things. Sitting back and thinking about it, letting it sink deeply into my thoughts just messes with me.

Credit: Faye Cornish

Someone out there in the world, having some sort of unimaginable grief in their life could be praying right now to have a life that is similar to mine. I’m over here shouting phrases like “fuck my life” or “fucking kill me now” over something ridiculous and someone could be experiencing immense suffering.

I’ll be the first to admit I forget the fact that my situations could be much worse. They were awful at one point yet most of those obstacles were defeated. I don’t have a perfect life, I’ve experienced more than enough pain and trauma and I’m not where I want to be in my life right now, but I should be grateful for the things I have and have access to.

I have my loving, chaotic family, great friends, an amazing boyfriend, a roof over my head, my beautiful Pitty, food to eat, clothes to wear and clean running water. That alone is plenty to be grateful for.

I hope this helps someone out there if they needed to read this as a reminder. I have to post it as a reminder for myself.

We’re not perfect, but acknowledgement–being aware–it’s a powerful thing.

Depression took charge

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Credit: Dmitry Schemelev

There were many aspects of my life that were in need of change in order to better myself and my future. I began to make said changes by eating healthier, going to therapy, exercising, and taking anti-depressants. Barely two months in and my depression charged back into my life with fury and resolve. It was as if it knew I was attempting to do things for the better and it was determined to keep me in the dark, where it thrives.
I stopped going to the gym, bad eating habits came back, I stopped communicating with my online therapist, my medication wasn’t being taken daily… I wanted to do nothing. In the back of my thoughts I would tell myself how unhealthy it was to revert back to my familiar habits, but my depression took charge once again. Things got so bad mentally that it was beginning to terrify me.
This week I hit that place (again) where I need to get this crap situated in my life. I’m in my late twenties and I need to look forward, even when I’m being dragged back in the waters of hopelessness. I have an appointment, face to face, with a therapist today that I met with about a year ago. I liked speaking with her, but she was too far away at the time and has since relocated. Here’s to hoping I can get back to where I was and stay on course because I’m really starting to feel like there’s no real way out of this dance with depression.

Reverting back does not prevail

Yesterday was a rough one for me. I hadn’t slept well the night prior and my mood was beyond foul. My depression had returned with a vengeance. On top of that, work was full of annoying, trivial issues that wouldn’t have gotten to me on a normal day but I was experiencing unnecessary anger. I tried to keep myself focused on positive thoughts to ease the irritation that continued to build.

As the day carried on I was craving a cigarette badly. I couldn’t stand that familiar feeling of hovering gloom; my skin felt like it was crawling. The desperation for relief was real and I was determined to get that cigarette to help calm me down.

I felt the same the rest of the day until I made my way home.

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Credit: Ehimetalor Unuabona

I made a mental note as I drove by the bodega near my house that I could buy a loosey, since I only wanted one cigarette versus a pack. The downside was the price went up from $.50 to $1, per loosey. I was genuinely contemplating it.

Once I made it home and thought it over, I told myself to wait before walking to the bodega. I had cooking and cleaning to do, so with my mind made up, I opted to do those things before heading out. I was determined to get everything done in order to leave. That was the deal I made with myself.

After completing my tasks I immediately jumped into my workouts.

By the time I finished, I made my honey lavender tea and felt a hell of a lot better. It was the best I felt that entire day.

After taking my shower, I settled in and got into bed. It was then that I realized I never went out to get my cigarette. Instead of reverting back to my old habits of smoking to escape, I went along with my new, healthier methods and they prevailed.

I need to remember for future matters that just because I was feeling desperate to ease the frustration doesn’t mean I have to throw myself back into old practices. I am moving forward with healthier approaches that are clearly proving to be helpful. Why subject myself to going backward? That’s pretty thoughtless.

Today I can say I am almost two weeks cigarette free.

Oh, and I didn’t waste a dollar!

 

Gratitude for the past

I have a lot of personal issues I am working through with a therapist due to an abundance of factors in my past. I try to tell myself to leave the negative portions of my

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Credit: Júnior Ferreira

past where it belongs, then thoughts of said moments make me slip into a downward spiral of depression and terrible choices. It wasn’t until recently that I made the decision

to put my foot down and not allow these things to control me. I had to remind myself whether the moments of my past were good or bad, it still led me to where I am in this moment and I should feel some gratitude for that.

Sure, I can feel a certain way about things and get help from my therapist on how to address my feelings in a healthier manner, but I can’t disregard those damaging moments altogether either. Instead of burying the bad, or hiding from it, I can use those moments as learning experiences for how to handle difficult situations in the future.

Why be a victim of the past when the future can be dominated?

 

 

Almost a Week

It has been almost a week since I’ve had a cigarette and I haven’t thought much about it. I haven’t had any cravings or withdrawals, I haven’t experienced any restlessness or mood swings (no more than usual), it has been pretty simple.

What’s been different this time around is I have been keeping myself distracted. Whether it’s doing additional cleaning, keeping my focus on writing/reading, or getting lost in the many ‘worlds’ of Instagram, the distractions have been an immense help. Another difference is I really wanted to stop this time. Before, I knew I had to let go, but I wasn’t ready to give it up, emotionally.

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Credit: Sara Kurfeß

In the past, I would tell myself I needed to stop smoking due to my declining health, to avoid the strong, lingering smell of tobacco on my hands or clothes, and the countless stories (and statistics) of the lives lost to this awful addiction. All of that should have been enough to get me to kick the habit, but it wasn’t.  Now that I’m in a better place and getting the critical help I need, I don’t have desires to use cigarettes as a crutch.

Is this me saying I have quit forever? I’m not sure. I can’t see into the future so I can’t say if I will or won’t relapse again (damn addictions), but I have a handle on it right now and all I can do is live in the present.

 

 

(PLUS, THEY ARE EXPENSIVE AF)

 

Back on Instagram

A few weeks ago I made an Instagram account that was deleted by them after two, or three, days. Somehow, I violated the terms and conditions, but it wasn’t explained as to what I did to warrant the termination. I had emailed them stating I felt it was a mistake and let them know I had done nothing wrong. I still haven’t heard back from them. I was beyond agitated. I was done with them all together at that point, but I felt I should try it out one more time. It was my past experiences with the app that helped me with weight loss, become more mindful of my mental health, and helped me to stay accountable. If it wasn’t for those reasons I would have definitely given up.

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Credit: Mink Mingle

What I can say is, so far, so good. I’ve already ‘met’ a few people and have witnessed many inspiring personalities. I feel this will be helpful to my lifestyle changes. As long as I stay focused, that is. I have a tendency of focusing on one particular thing, then lose track of what I was previously working on. I’m awful at multitasking in my life, basically.

That’s all I have for now. Due to my anxiety attacks last night and lovely insomnia, I barely slept. I’m at work feeling like I am going to slam my face on the keyboard at any second. The last thing I need is to potentially break my nose and have keyboard keys embedded in my face.