Restless, Irritable and DiscontentBy
Living in the struggle, trying to overcome depression and abuse I had a lot of questions like “what is the point? What am I doing here? There must be more to life then this so what is it? What is the meaning of life? And there was that ever present feeling of having to “survive” so that I can…… WHAT?….. So that I can do “what” with my life? Raise another generation? WHY? What is the point, what is the purpose? What was I born for?
In the beginning of recovery all I knew was that I wanted something better for my life, I wanted to feel more alive, be more engaged and to know there was some reason for being. I knew that I wanted more out of life way before I found the answer to my longings which were so deep.
I thought I was chasing a rainbow; that recovery, freedom from depression and personal wholeness were not really possible. I thought I was ungrateful and selfish; always wanting something more but I didn’t think about where those doubts and those negative thoughts came from. I didn’t question if they were right or wrong. I didn’t think that maybe those thoughts about wanting something better or wanting something more out of life came from my inner being, my spirit or maybe even from God himself. I didn’t consider that maybe it was my longing for real life or that I really was missing “real life” and that life was meant to be fulfilling. Instead I thought that maybe those thoughts came from my ingratitude towards God.
I thought that I should KNOW by now what “life” is all about and to admit that I did not know would be like admitting failure. When I wasn’t feeling foolish that I didn’t know, I thought that the greatest joy should be about being in service to others, making a difference, being selfless, and showing love to all others but the problem was that I was not doing any of that for myself and had never actually been taught to take emotional care of myself.
Not having a proper foundation for emotional self care means that it is really hard to provide that for someone else. You know the old saying “you can’t give away something you don’t have”.
So ~ the world’s universally known recipe for a happy and fulfilling life, which is something about serving others~ didn’t work for me. So I was stuck. I would not only to serve others, I would try to live for others, and I would fall. Sometimes the ‘falling’ looked like a serious depression. I would give up and give in and go to bed and pull the covers over my head. I would plead with God; “Why can’t I just be happy? What is wrong with me, why can’t I just be normal?” And then I would answer my questions with a stream of mean and unsupportive answers “because you are ungrateful, it is never enough for you, you are selfish, you are self centered and there must be something really wrong with you that you keep on ending up here hiding under the covers”. (metaphorically speaking)
One of the first things that I had to learn was that I did not love myself and that I kept hoping that I would find someone to love me ~ to prove to me that I was lovable or worthy of being loved. In retrospect I realize today that that I believed if I could find someone to love me then I could love me. This is a left over from not being valued as a child and a belief that I carried with me into my adulthood. I thought someone else could provide my worth and provide my worth because it was defined for me as a child. I had to learn to define my worth and value for myself.
It was a shock and a relief to accept the truth that
a) I could learn to love myself
b) People did love me, and it didn’t change anything.
c) No one could ever love me enough to prove to me that I was lovable.
Self esteem had to come from me and for me; recovery began when I decided that there was more to life then the depression I constantly struggled with and there was more than always trying harder, and I was determined that I was going to find out what that “more to life” was….. and I did find out.
Living in the Truth means knowing that I am worthy, loveable and equally valuable!
I welcome everyone to share a piece of your journey, victory or struggle; please comment.