I know that I have mentioned, in fact not once, that I have come a long way on my journey to self-love. However, there are moments when it doesn't feel I've made a progress. Those moments are filled with pain, anxiety, and darkness. That darkness has been living in me for as long as I can remember myself, the one that I used to fight, tried to become friends with or simply be neutral about it.
Childhood traumas are different: one story sounds "not so bad" for one person, and reaction to another can be "It must have been a nightmare". One thing I know for sure: trauma is trauma, a child doesn't have thoughts like: "It could be worse". We all perceive our situations differently depending on our personality, and my personality wasn't very helpful in the circumstances that I was growing up in.
Pain has different colors, but it doesn't mean that one color is worse than the other, they are just different. My pain was always coming from my self-hatred, my insecurity, victimhood mentality and fear, fear to be abandoned and alone (although most of my childhood I spent alone). Revisiting past experiences is never pleasant, but in the moments of breakdown my head goes back. It's like all of the sudden I am in that dark place again, feeling same feelings, breathing same air and hiding under the chair.
Guilt and fear
Why does it happen? Can't I just let go? There is a part of me that is struggling with letting go, that still feels that this child within is still alive, and there is something that she wants me to see or learn from those moments of despair. But I do feel guilty when I let that darkness take over. I do feel guilty that I failed her again, that even with the knowledge that I have right now I am still bad at protecting her from pain. I cry again, I am in agony, and my thoughts are dark, the same way they had been before I started my journey to recovery.
So besides guilt, there is fear, there is insecurity. What if I failed for good? What if I just ruined all my efforts - yes, by one mental breakdown. What if I am the same person, I was trying to change for so long in order to be a better me, what if I never can make it better again, never will be able to heal...
The darkness that lives in me is the source of my creativity. It helps me express myself in the form art, but it also takes a lot away. A part of me appreciates that darkness and subconsciously clings to it. In a way (it might sound crazy) it also feels as a comfort zone, because that's something I know oh, way too well.
But the commitment I constantly make to myself is that I will never let my inner child down again. I keep promising her that whenever I am in my happy place and when I am down, along with a quiet "forgive me".
With this being said, is there anything good about breakdowns? Yes, they remind me of my promise (even if I wasn't supposed to break it); they remind me of why I have been working so hard to improve my mental health: even though I still have breakdowns, they are rare (I used to have them at least once a week). Even though I feel guilty, having "moments of weakness" sometimes teaches me to be more patient with myself and forgive myself: I am not there yet, and it's ok, it's a process of change and growth that takes time.
Do I struggle with self-love? Absolutely. Does this last breakdown bring me to where I started? No. I am still moving forward with understanding that my journey isn't perfect, but I am ok with it. Will I have breakdowns in the future? Probably, but hopefully not too often.
It's a new day, new start, and I am excited to see what comes next. I am not a new me, however every day I learn something new about myself and what triggers me, so in a way I am a different person today or maybe just slightly modified.