One of the key features of my episode was my complete loss of resilience. And now one of the key features of my recovery is my ability to identify and express my feelings. It is strange that I went through some many years of ignoring my feelings and compartmentalizing myself and managed to keep going for so long. I experienced a feeling yesterday which I tried to identify, initially it was surprise, then it was fear, then it was panic, then it was shame and then it was confusion. I was having lunch and someone i knew from a while back passed the table. I greeted him in a cheery way and then began to feel odd. He had said some very unpleasant things to me in the past. My reaction yesterday was a remembrance of that feeling which I had to release by relaxation and meditation later in the day.
I realised that as a child I never learned to express my hurt and confusion and I have carried it around for years. Last week I was stood up. If you are reading this you know who you are. Hmmmmm was not a happy bunny initially and felt hurt. This time last year I would have reacted badly, I would have cried and bottled it all up. Instead I rationalised it and let it go. I did not project. I realised that I was regaining resilience; an essential component of myself which was missing. It is amazing to free of the feelings of shame and inadequacy that haunted me for years. On the outside and to most people I was capable and strong but to the few who met me at my worst and those close to me I was an ineffective and weak. I have learned that no one has all the answers or even all the questions. We change constantly, others change, situations change. It is only by staying with yourself and with your own feelings, by valuing your own worth that the essential component that was lacking from my life returned. I am still upset by mean and hurtful comments but I do not have to carry them with me. I can trust myself again. I now know when I don't feel safe and can understand why that is. I wonder how much more realisations will come to me over the course of the rest of my life. I keep thinking this is it I am better now and then I fall down again because of some upset. I recognise that I must work every day on my well being and by doing so I will help my children value themselves also. My daughter displayed remarkable self respect recently and I am very proud of her. She would never have allowed herself to be that powerful had I not shown her how. I hope that one day I can forgive my parents fully for all the things that happened to me that I held onto well into adulthood. I know they were not perfect, as I am not, I just hope I have learned in time to listen to my children in a way I was not listened to and to help them to become resistant and happy adults. My journey is never ending but today I feel like I can pause briefly to reflect on how far I have come and to give thanks for experiencing the episode. I am now the me I have always wanted to be. I feel no shame, no guilt and no fear today. I do not need to feel these things all the time and can leave them in context. Those emotions are there to guide us and not be a constant part of our person. I have learned to use my emotions to guide me rather than to control me and it is like walking down a sunny path through a meadow of bright flowers, instead of a bed of fire in a scary woodland.
So today go off down the sunny path and say away from the scary woods filled with lions and tigers and bears.