Mentorship February 1, 2018
The thing about hitting rock bottom is that all your pain starts to resurface.
I remember the first time I realized I lost myself.
I was in my ex’s music studio fighting with him over something so small I can’t even recall what it was. In the midst of our own frustrations with each other, he finally told me about all of his infidelities with various women.
I’m not proud to admit my reaction, but for the sake of healing, I must admit the truth.
I tried to wreak havoc. So, I threw everything on his desk onto the floor. I reached for his phone, his watch and anything breakable. I even tried to break his $2,000 studio microphone.
Ultimately, I wanted to make sure whatever chaos I was feeling internally would be displayed externally, so he would never forget how much he hurt me.
The bruises he created and the wounds he opened triggered a violent part of me I didn’t know existed. It resurrected a part of me that must have been hidden for years and a part of me I was ashamed to be for the months following.
I was angry at myself, him, my past, my ancestors, my friends, his friends and my mother.
I was angry at people I hadn’t even thought about. I was angry at things I didn’t even know were still affecting me. Overall, I was depressed. I took NyQuil to get through the night and to be a robot throughout the day. I used other men for attention and distraction.
Eventually, I resorted to a “fuck it” mentality. I stopped caring about other people’s feelings and began to doubt everyone in my life. I resented my parents for abandoning me. Ultimately, I lost my enthusiasm to help heal the world and began to accept the world for the mess that it was.
For weeks, I struggled with self-hate because I couldn’t understand his actions and couldn’t accept mine. But that’s the thing about hitting rock bottom; it will shake and resurface all the hidden pain so badly that it will become unavoidable. It will stare at you in your face and say “look at me.”
This pain will live on your fingertips yearning to destroy. These moments will be poison on your lips.
Falling so low will force you to use your words as bullets. You will learn to drown your heart with a darkness so lethal you will forget how to breathe. Most importantly, it will consume you until you can’t go on anymore.
There, in the middle of a bedroom that hadn’t seen sunlight in days, fresh out a shower I prayed would cleanse all my demons away, eyes swollen from crying and mouth dry from starvation, I collapsed to the ground and cried my eyes out in a way I never had before.
It was the kind of cry where you run out of tears but find the tone of your strength through the little gasps of air you try to take.
There, I lost myself. Seconds later, that was also where I found myself.
There was a mirror in front of me that day, literally. And I looked at myself long enough to finally see and hear myself. I heard myself demand the things I needed from the people around me, from my family, from my ex, from my friends and from myself. And I heard myself make promises to not accept anything less than my worth.
I had a long, uninterrupted conversation about everything that makes me beautiful and everything that doesn’t equally because I knew that to heal, I must look at all of myself, not just the parts I’ve already accepted.
The months following were what I now call “the war of us,” because I began to proactively seek peace again.
I started to see a therapist who oddly enough reminds me of my mother.
She encouraged me to take accountability for my actions without necessarily taking the blame for them. Meaning, understand why my behavior wasn’t OK and study where it came from without shaming myself for it. In other words, don’t be afraid to be human.
I wrote “thank you” journal entries, which allowed me to find my forgotten blessings again. When moments of anxiety came, I spoke to my inner child asking her what she needed.
I confronted disappointment and betrayal with love through understanding and peaceful conversations. And I walked away from people who were not investing in me the way I was investing in them.
I worked out and made a conscious decision to eat healthier. I watched movies and read books that would contribute to my growth and evolution.
Also, I unfollowed social media pages that I felt were more noise than in alignment with who I was becoming. I began to design my world the way I believed my heart should feel. Most of all, I created and still am creating a mirror for what I believe I am worth.
See, that’s the thing about finding yourself. To do so, you must be lost first. You won’t know what’s missing when the sun is out, the grass is green and the birds are chirping.
It is the storm, the chaos and the destruction that will remind you of where you want to be. It is the uneven landscape, the lonely road and the dead ends that will remind you that you are lost. But it is also that road that will ultimately help you get back home.
If you pay close enough attention, you can hear your soul cry out. You can hear your inner child whispering, “I’m here too.” When you have nothing else left to give, you will be brave enough again to see yourself. And when you do, you will be reminded of what home feels like again.
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