When life is short and issues are endless: An Intro
I’m not a writer. But I do journal everyday. And now I’m moving my journal from an offline notebook format to an online-maybe-someday-I-will-hit-publish-on-Medium format.
So who am I? I’m someone who mostly identifies with her trauma. For 23 years of my life, I was dormant. My trauma responses formed the core of my personality. Which is? People-pleasing, keeping the peace, striving for perfection, chasing love and affection, seeking external validation, unhappy, sombre, and depressed. “I am worthless” “I don’t matter” “I am unlovable” “I am never good enough” are just some of the phrases I would tell myself on repeat.
Conflict, disagreement, the mere thought of someone being unhappy with me drove me to an anxious-how-will-I-ever-live-with-myself state. It’s only in April 2020 did I decide to take a step back and ask for help. I was in therapy. I cut off from all people I deemed as sources of pain and unhappiness (not realizing then that it lived within me). I decided to quit a job I had poured my heart and soul into over the past three years because the guilt and stress of not being my productive self consumed me more than the fact that I was killing myself slowly and steadily.
Some of my self diagnosis (thank you, Google) revealed a few conditions which accurately describe how I feel: Impostor Syndrome, Fawn Response, ADHD, Codependency. Reading about it makes it less daunting and lonely which is mostly why I surround myself with literature and trauma therapists on Social Media who regularly share information on each condition. But there are also times when I only identify with all that is ‘not right’ with me. For a long time after becoming aware of these abbreviations which sum up my personality and behavior traits, I kept thinking of myself as broken. Someone who needs fixing. Then it took a long time (and it’s still ongoing tbh) for me to understand that I’m not broken, I’m merely healing some wounds to allow my actual self who has been weighed down by all the pain, to finally come out and shine.
The process is not easy. Nor is it smooth or pretty. It’s tough. It’s lonely. As I detach myself from the need to seek validation and please others, I find myself ridiculously lost, empty, and alone. With that I realized there’s a need to bridge gap from moving-away-from-a-trauma-response-self to actual-self by fully being present in the Now (more work yes ugh I know), to detach from the mind, dis-identify with my thoughts and emotions, and allow myself to just be. Sounds easy? Yes I know it does, but no it’s not. That’s what I thought too when I started reading the plethora of literature on Surrendering, listening to guided meditations on being fully present, applying various tools and techniques to bring myself back to the present every time my over-stimulated brain/mind/whatever you call it would run away to a distant-delusional-futuristic-never-gonna-happen-happy place.
I believe it’s also important to note all this work and these realizations have been happening in the backdrop of a worsening socio-economic political situation in India with an alarmingly high tolerance for a fascist rule by the masses and the apathy and wishful ignorance of close friends and family (read privileged upper class and upper caste groups) and boy problems (I’m 24, single, connect the dots if you may) AND a pandemic that has one locked and caged in a chaotic household (read the origin of all trauma).
There is no solution nor inspiration here (yet), this is mostly an introduction to a series I aim to publish: honest, raw, and real account of a healing journey with it’s own share of confusion, frustration, breathlessness, and rare moments of clarity which ultimately makes it worth it.
So in a nutshell what I’m saying is a) there are no quick solutions b) pain is a part of life c) seeking validation sucks d) you are already whole and complete and worthy, you just need to shed some conditioned-layers for the big reveal.