Some days transformation and growth are ugly and painful.
Sometimes being kind to myself hurts.
As I repeat "I am worthy. Good things will come to me", tears stream down my face.
The salt drops running right down into my ears, my hair a mess on the mattress.
It is past noon and I cannot get out of the bed or my pajamas. I cannot bring myself to use energy to do anything. But I have to. So all morning I made sure my kids needs were met and then right back onto the sheets I went.
Feeling somber. Feeling low. Feeling scared and insecure. Feeling tired since I worked until 330am on my site and plans.
After an energy high and creative night, I usually expect to feel drained the next day.
My body feels tired and depleted from joy.
And I finally realized that pattern, which must come from having PTSD and prolonged childhood abuse.
Not knowing what to make of joy.
Making art and working on my own dreams is NEW. Even though I've been at it for 7 months now. It is new for me to utilize my talents and not as a coping tool from stress but to boost myself and my goals.
Joy and goals feel uncomfortable because my brain tells me I don't deserve those things while I'm in a state of depression.
I felt the same struggle in college, feeling glorious during my creative points and then hiding away in my bed on my days off.
How could happiness bring me so much sadness and debilitating emotions?
Because abuse changes a person in every way.
My brain was hardwired to believe I was unworthy of great things.
I was told repeatedly I was nothing and worthless until it was all I knew.
So I chose and stayed with the wrong men. I chased around bad friends.
I poured into others cups over my own.
I was surprised every time someone used or ghosted me.
But I had no self worth to figure out I was simply giving myself what I thought i earned.
Just for existing.
A funny thing happened this past May.
A light bulb went on.
I decided instead of faking it til I make it that I would show up for myself.
That I would admit my depression and anxiety were a chokehold. And I would show up with it in the loudest way I could think of.
A place I feared would mock, judge, and beat me down for it.
I decided to scrap my other projects and dive deep into a blog about mental health so I could talk on my worst days about my experiences and gain relief from it.
That exposure changed my whole life.
After making that choice, I attracted new facebook friends that were role models to me and inspired me to keep going.
I gained validation on my good and bad days, as I wrote and creatively portrayed my struggles from childhood until now.
My inbox became flooded with thank yous for me sharing and confessions of peoples own demons and battles. Which deeply touched my heart. Sharing my tears allowed others to bring theirs to me. To feel safe with me. Because we felt a relatable connection.
I began to just LEAP into my ideas and let them out. Even though every single month my blog has taken on a modified style or description, I have not feared what people will think. I just let it evolve and become polished into what I know it is meant to be.
And the same happened for myself.
I have less hard days now.
I am more self aware of my mood shifts and can even prepare myself ahead of time for the dips from high to low.
When I am in my low, I decide to use art and music as healing tools. In october i created my first poetry book about depression while in a very bad low. And that vulnerability + courage changed me. I realized I could use art not as a coping tool but as a healing tool to transform my emotions into magic.
I put that book on my site and soon after began writing my own autobiography of my story, "STUCK ON PAUSE". Something I wanted so badly to do for years, just to get the stories out of my head and onto paper. To give it a life of it's own.
And now, I know in 2020 I will publish it.
I am slowly becoming the woman I envision being. Which means the future I want is not too far from reach.
I want to be a public speaker, educator, facilitator of resources, and creative writer. I want to be a mother of 4 with a beautiful home I bought with my own businesses money. Have a deep and fruitful relationship with my husband.
Have an impact on this generation and many generations to come.
I want my name to be brought up amongst Brene Brown and Maya Angelou.
For my insights. For my courage. For my persistence.
I want to empower others.
But for so long, my inner voice has spoken lies to keep me stunted.
This voice is not my own, just an embodiment of the darkness abuse concocted.
And the good news is, it is vanquishable.
I can change that inner critic into my inner wisdom. My inner goddess.
My inner self can be the voice of that future woman I want to be.
Now when I tell myself I am worthy and I will do all the things I dream of, I cry because I cannot make sense of the love and kindness I am being given.
I cannot believe what loving myself sounds like.
Today is hard, but not as hard as the many hard days I've had in my past.
In fact, maybe today is not hard at all.
Maybe I tell myself I needed this rest this morning. Nothing is burning down and no red flags are waving. Nothing is actually bad here.
I just simply needed rest and to refuel.
Maybe today I will get myself set up with a nutritious breakfast, set on the music I like, and sip a warm beverage while I go back to work.
Yes. Back to work after a morning of burn out.
Because, I say to myself, "this work brings me joy."
And joy is my new friend.
One I intend on keeping for the long haul.
J.S. Jaded Savior
Published by Jean Soto JS Jaded Savior blog: email@example.com
Jean Soto, mother of 3 and wife, is a writer + artist in the Hudson Valley, NY community.
Content mention of Rape, Abuse, Neglect, Addictions, Mental Illness, Kidnap, Molestation, Child abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Abortion, birth, body image, gender/identity dysphoria, sexuality, personal trauma, domestic violence and other extremely personal stories. Please practice caution. I am not a licensed physician or mental health professional. No medical prescribing is provided on this site, Only personal insights, experience stories, and advice; All stories published have had prior authorization. Questions? Contact Jean at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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