When we get into recovery from trauma, or depression, or addiction, or from an eating disorder, we start to come to terms with how much we’ve missed.
Struggling with trauma, depression, addiction, or an eating disorder takes an ENORMOUS amount of energy.
Many survivors don’t even realize how emotionally AND physically exhausted they’ve become.
And when we’ve spent YEARS trying to live through those struggles, we miss stuff.
We miss opportunities to develop who we are. We miss opportunities to BE who we are.
Emotional and behavioral struggles rob us of the opportunity to really be ourselves, sometimes for years.
By the time we finally decide to get into recovery, some of us don’t even know who we are anymore.
Who is this person whose life I’m trying to save by getting into recovery, anyway?
Why do I care about them?
Many people reading this have had virtually their entire lives defined by emotional or behavioral pain.
We literally don’t know what it’s like to be without it.
I realized as an adult that, while I knew what it was like to feel good, I probably didn’t know what it was like to be NOT depressed in the big picture.
I wondered, what would “non-depression” even feel like?
To me, it would feel like non-existence. I had gotten so used to being depressed, that to imagine a world in which I wasn’t depressed was to imagine a world in which I didn’t EXIST.
We get attached to and identified with our struggles after awhile.
Then, when we get to a point where we know we have to make changes, we feel overwhelmed— because to consistently feel a different way would basically mean to become an entirely different person.
How on earth are we expected to do that? Reinvent ourselves? Now? As an adult?
Many people decide there’s just too much water under the dam to do that.
But there’s not.
The truth is, we CAN create a life far less entwined with the pain and the struggles we’ve gotten so used to. That IS possible. It happens. It’s real.
But it’s going to be scary in some ways.
The process is going to be intimidating sometimes.
There will ABSOLUTELY be times when we question whether it’s worth it, or even possible, to create a life worth living out of what’s come before.
Consistently feeling good requires a lot of work for some of us, particularly if we were born with certain vulnerabilities, or raised in certain environments, or if we had certain things happen to us.
Doing that work is worth it, because we DESERVE to feel good.
But it’s intimidating.
Let it be intimidating.
Let yourself be scared.
Let yourself be trepidatious.
Let yourself feel the things you feel when you’re looking at this project.
And then— take the next step.
Do the next right thing.
And then the next one. And the next one.