When I read back over my entries on this blog in the last 2 years, my first instinct is to judge myself for the ups and downs I have been through. I think to myself about all the times I thought I was on the right track when actually it was a minor lift in mood. I get so angry about being so naive when I was, in fact, so far away from any semblance of healthy.
But I think the truth, and I hope that I'm not just being overly optimistic here, is that all of those minor lifts have led me to the bigger insights I have been working through this past couple of months. I hope that it's true that all that work I did then laid the groundwork for this tougher stuff I'm dealing with now.
For the most part, things are better. I can see real, legitimate, healthy thoughts and behaviors beginning to creep into my daily life. I feel more positive than I have in a very, very long time. And this positivity feels so different than the things I felt and wrote about before. This positivity is from my core, not just a surface-level fix I've managed to maintain for a bit. I feel like I have CHANGED. The kind of change that only an earth-shattering event can do for you. And, unlike cancer, I hope that this change brings me peace with reality, rather than hatred of it. I am learning to come to terms with this: I am both weak and strong, independent and needy, beautiful and ugly, peaceful and angry, sad and happy. I am such a dichotomy, and for some reason I have not been able to forgive myself for that before now.
But the change has not come without a lot of pain. I still fight that regularly. Reality is so very painful sometimes. It is frightening how badly I can want and will myself to have something, and how often I can let myself be open to it happening, literally putting myself in the exact position I need to be in to receive it, and be denied time and time again. At some point I have to muster the self respect to let go and accept that this thing I want so badly may never come to me. And if that is so, I need to make the choice to either accept it and go on living the way I am now, or decide I deserve a better life, not always waiting for what I think I need.
These are the kinds of changes I'm talking about. These are not just tricks to see the world in a better way this week, these are totally new eyes with which to see the world. They don't always feel like they fit or belong to me, but they are mine now, nonetheless, and I am learning to love them. Because they were waiting for me the whole time.