Hesitating before I peeked in the mirror this morning, I knew what I would find because I could feel it in my body: Bloating, water retention, digestion issues, an aching back. I knew I had let go this entire weekend, and I guess I gave myself permission to because of what I experienced on Friday, but it’s not okay. Just because I am used to hurting myself when others hurt me, does not mean it’s okay, and each time I betray myself in such a way, I drift further from my ultimate goal of recovery with little to no relapse.
In theory, and as my therapist would say, this is not an easy feat. It is not something that will happen because I will it to. It will not happen any faster because I feel urgent about it either. Ironically, the only way it will happen is if I allow myself to ride the waves of each storm and still have the will to go out onto rocky waters again, until I decide to make them calm.
Making them calm requires me to be willing to feel any amount of pain at any time, regardless of how bad it hurts. Sitting through despair is not easy, it’s like feeling your head burning and wanting to find something to immediately snuff it out, but it doesn’t work that way. I’m supposed to feel my wounds and lovingly bandage or stitch them up, depending on the severity. I have to be willing to treat them with ointment and pay attention to their healing progress. I have to be willing to open them up sometimes and re-examine why they are not healing properly. This is all a tedious process that is all too exhausting sometimes.
This last blow with my mother has proven quite daunting, and I know I’m not allowing myself to feel the entire gravity of this situation. Right now, I’m just radio silent with her and that in itself is fending off some pain, but I know eventually I will have to face this and I am so tired.
All I can do today is to continue forgiving myself for not being kind and gentle through the pain. What I did this weekend was equivalent to hearing a baby cry, and leaving it in its crib to suffer. It sounds cruel when done to someone else, but all too often we do this to ourselves.
Courage takes practice, healing takes practice, and loving ourselves takes the most practice of all.