Recovery in Spring: making peace with my vulnerable self

It’s been a little while since my life took on a dramatic shift. I can’t go into specifics right now, but if I were to say to you that I’m now living with my parents aged 26… and using my maiden name again… well, you’d probably catch my drift.

SpringtimeThis spring has been less than ‘springy’ in a number of ways, but equally new beginnings could not be more appropriately timed. As the long-anticipated sun shines a bright light on my waking life, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to neglect hard truths and ignore old ways that need burying for good.

By the way, I did something stupid. During the aforementioned ‘shift’, I threw the baby out with the bathwater (no real-life babies were harmed, mind you). I came off the pill AND I kicked my Prozac out with it.

This feels like a good time for a disclaimer: don’t do that. Go to a GP, yada yada yada…

Seriously though. Bad idea. Not only because my rushed attempt at ‘tapering’ off the meds was incredibly risky, but also because I have no idea which omission has impacted on my currently out-of-whack mood swings. Was it the shift, the pill, or the Prozac? Maybe it’s living with my parents (LOL jokes, love you both).

Maybe it’s all of the above. Maybe it’s what’s left of my authentic self – the residual traits of an ‘au naturel’ nutcase.

It’s kind of annoying, because I can’t do a click-baity “here’s what happens when you give up the [insert variable here]” blog post. But I guess what we can take from my life is that such transitions are highly contextual, so be damn careful what you read into on the web.

I digress.

It’s been a wee while and… well… it has occurred to me that the healing process is ongoing. I ask myself if I’ll ever be the same as I was before it all unfolded.

But as I trudge forward, I find myself catching glimmers of hope; although painful at times, my personal growth maintains a steady pace.

I was charmed by the initial bliss of the first week of healing. “That was easy,” I thought to myself, as I sipped my wine, painted my nails and watched Real Housewives re-runs.  It felt like I’d jumped from the burning building and landed in a life net of loved ones. I dusted myself off, threw on a floral-print tea dress, and with that the whole scene went very La La Land. It was a sequence so magical, twee, and utterly bullshit.

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In the weeks that followed, the occasional glass of wine became a nightly habit. And before long I was reliving my hedonistic rotations of benders and breakdowns.

Lucky for me, about a month into the healing journey, my rock bottom had been and gone and I was already urgently scrambling back up to level ground. When I got there, my family were waiting, forgiving as they were, determined to keep me on track.

Since then, I feel like I’m living in my own personal rehab. I basically never drink now (can I get a high-five?!), but the recurring mood swings are almost laughable. Contrary to my former ‘doormat’ self, I am snappy AF. But the moment something or someone disturbs my peace, I implode. What looks like a little retaliation on the outside is a crumbling of foundations on the inside.

Yeah, that sucks. You see, I am quietly – extremely – stressed. On the outside, recent days have looked like this: I wake up fresh-faced and optimistic, go to work, do a pretty damn good job of it, have an anxiety attack, drain myself out, get home, snap at someone, apologise, try not to cry, meditate, and sleep like a log.

On the inside, it’s more simplistic: I’m clutching on to positivity, and fending off anything that might steal it away. And with old wounds still wide open, it’s quite easy for the outside world to get under my skin.

Put simply, since everything went off-piste, I’ve become very, very vulnerable.

freud

But I have, until right about now, lacked patience for my vulnerable self.

The thing is, I’mma need a boatload of patience, because that shit isn’t going anywhere. Vulnerability is inherent, no matter how well we hide it.

Now mine’s on full display, Hell, I might as well run with it.

But here’s the uplifting bit: my vulnerability makes me far braver than I’ve ever been before. I feel called to appreciate that I’m not the naïvely acquiescent young lady I once was. Rather, I’m a woman who has survived rejection, and still holds true love in high regard.

Self love warrior

Gone are the days of perfectionism, and the need to fill a void with unhealthy habits. I no longer keep my emotions under wraps, and I work extra hard to be grateful for who I am today.

So no, I don’t think I’ll be the same again. But I’m not sure I want to be the lily-livered, people-pleasing wallflower I was before. I loved her, don’t get me wrong… but I love the courageous, self-loving, warrior-freakin’-goddess that I am now waaaaaay more.

In a rather dumbass move, I’ve made myself as vulnerable as possible by way of ditching meds. As such, I owe it to my body and brain to practice unconditional self-love. Thankfully, I am surrounded by people who all exhibit the patience of saints. I am really lucky in that respect.

I don’t really know how to end this blog post, except by saying, when bad things happen, and in real life, they do… it’s really shit. But vulnerability is good for the soul. It is the soul. It’s unavoidable, so you might as well become better acquainted with it. Coming at it from an angle of self-development and spiritual growth, exposing your soft underbelly is an inevitable step in the healing process. So it serves us well to appreciate the little light that comes through when the cracks begin to show.

Peace, love and happy soul searching x

For more on vulnerability, check out the genius work of Brené Brown!

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