Forward Momentum

Something amazing has been happening. It doesn’t seem real – it seems too good to be true.

But it IS real. And it IS true.

I have begun to accept and to feel my emotions as they come up; for the first time since I was a little girl. My entire life I have denied myself feelings of any kind; sadness seemed too scary and happiness seemed like a lie. Trauma will do this. It is the brain creating coping mechanisms to avoid the horror of the initial pain; the feelings associated with the traumatic event.

Over the course of my life, I learned to compartmentalize my feelings and deny them. I ignored and shoved away anything that seemed too scary – fear, pain, loss, hurt, even happiness – they all felt like too much. My emotions terrified me and felt as though they would swallow me whole.

This is not really living.

I was paralyzed with fear; dreading that moment when I wouldn’t be able to avoid my own emotions. Stuck in this endless cycle of denial and then the inevitable explosion of emotion when there was nothing I could do but be consumed by feelings of such intensity that they would leave me reeling for days. Days of self-loathing, days of feeling hopeless, ashamed, and terrified of the next time I would have to fall of the edge of that cliff.

But now, I am noticing a new trend.

After my husband moved out, I would crash; curl up into a ball wherever I was. Go fetal and sob so loudly sometimes, that I would scare the crap out of the dog. It would take me literal days to recover and I would feel completely hijacked by my own brain – a scary and alarming way to feel. I would have to call him when I tanked as, I believed, that he was the only person who could help me to feel safe; to pull me out of that dark place. Then with more time and more space, I stopped calling him. I noticed that the days became entire afternoons. Eight hours became six. Three hours became two, and just yesterday, I felt sad and cried and felt better after a brief hour of hurt.

I am recognizing this, and acknowledging this, as healthy, amazing, and empowering. This is healing. This is forward momentum. This is personal growth. This is what life as a fierce woman looks like.

This is what living life FEELS like.

I feel my shit when it arises, and every single time it gets easier. Easier to get up off of the floor and stand back up on my own two feet. I know now that I can trust my feelings – sad, happy, despondent, afraid, excited. They flow through me, move on, and they don’t consume me. It is the best thing in the world, to know that I am okay and I am no longer afraid of my own mind. I am in charge. I am the one calling the shots. I am present in myself and I know exactly who I am.

Take that world! Girl on fire is finally here.

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