On The Outside Looking In

There were many times in my life when I thought that my life was hard.

I had days that dragged on forever…the BAD kind of forever. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. My thoughts were dark, dreary, depressed, and violent. I was obsessed about controlling things that were out of my control and it was driving me crazy. Sights, sounds, smells, phrases, colors would trigger flashbacks. My mind raced as I rehashing old wounds in a matter of seconds, breaking them open, and pouring salt into them. This cycle repeated itself over and over again…I made the same mistakes repeatedly and in some sort of naive understanding of the world I came to a fallacious conclusion that life had handed me a pretty crappy deck of cards.

They called it many things (depression, post-traumatic stress disorder) and me handed bottles of pills. I took them, felt numb, out-of-body, unhappy, and empty. Deep down I knew that nothing could fix my unhealthy relationship with reality…except for me. I was manifesting my own unhappiness by allowing the flashbacks to control my thoughts, and by not actively avoiding my triggers. My unhappiness was actually caused by no one else but me. It wasn’t my past experiences that were the problem. The problem was me: my reaction, my methodology of dealing with pain, and my internalization of stress.

There are things that will happen to all of you.  It will be sad, devastating, perhaps tragic or violent. You won’t understand it. You couldn’t have been protected from it. What’s most important is that you understand that you didn’t deserve it, and that out there in the world at large there are people who care about you. It took me a long time to come to terms with that. Friends, family, therapists, doctors, and professors told me this but I didn’t believe them. It wasn’t until I believed it that I received a new lease on life.

“The only way to get yourself out of the hole is to stop digging.” Sure, it’s hard to swallow your pride and accept responsibility…but sooner or later you will have to face your demons. It might be “easier” to deal with it tomorrow, but by the time you’ve forgotten about tomorrow your negative emotions, reactions, and triggers will have manifested and triggered other negative energy in your life, thus continuing the cycle of negativity. If you’ve read this far I’d admonish you from setting yourself up for failure in the future.

Being open to change and understanding the flaws in your own ways is one of the best ways to develop your sense of self. You can’t create your future successes by replicating past failures. It’s a difficult lesson to learn but when you start to understand your underlying motivations and reasons for doing what you do, you will have the ability to manifest the type of life you seek to live.

So, what are you waiting for? Go for it.

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One thought on “On The Outside Looking In”

  1. If only there were a switch to flip all those negative thoughts into positive thoughts. We are the master of our own minds and it is a powerful tool to help us achieve anything we dream for in life. Nicely written post … we truly are in charge of our own destiny.
    Debbie 🙂

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