Journal Date: Wednesday, December 9th, 2020
It’s later now, around 4:40pm.
I’m back in the office, after laying down to meditate and rest.
I’m reading still about trauma, but this time from Pete Walker’s CPTSD.
“As emotional recovery progresses, the mindfulness…begins to extend to our emotional experience. This helps us to stop automatically dissociating from our feelings. We then learn to identify our feelings and choose healthy ways to respond to them and from them. Such emotional development illuminates our own natural preferences, and in turn, aids us in making easier and better choices.”
After that quote, Walker shares a reflection from one of his long-term clients, who said that for the first time in his life, he actually knew what he liked, what made him happy and what did not.
He had spent his entire existence up until then pretending (or maybe even believing) he liked the same things as his macho brothers and community members.
Yes, this has been my story, too.
I was so good at erasing myself I hardly noticed that I didn’t actually care for the things I was doing, watching, or thinking about.
And I thought that was just normal. That everyone else must be living a lie too, right?
In the past 9 months I have been intensively focusing on my healing, and I’ve undergone a big shift in my habits and priorities.
I’ve unfollowed over 600 accounts on my personal instagram, and muted plenty more on my facebook account. And I’ve added many more to replace these that are truly more aligned with my interests and my values.
It might not seem like much, but I really believe it’s had a positive impact on my mental health.
I had followed all these people (especially these LA party people) that I (secretly?) thought were stupid, shallow and completely obnoxious…
And yet–whenever I saw any of them post anything, I would quickly jump up to compare myself to them, and beat myself up for all the ways I was not like them, and never would be.
If I were to be completely honest, I actually thought they were empty, pathetic, narcissistic losers. I was a little disgusted by the way they lived, by their values, by how they related to each other.
But every day, I would still beat myself up for not being more like them.
Maybe I was just desperate for approval.
Though I’m not sure it would have meant much for me, had I actually gotten it from them.
My thought process never really made it that far, though.
With these people, and with countless others, the facts of the matter were almost irrelevant. I had the same pattern, the same reaction when I encountered difference almost 100% of the time: “I’m wrong.”
I could never miss an opportunity to prove myself unworthy somehow.
I’m still far from resolving this, but I have to say that I am at least grateful that I now notice it. I can catch myself in the act, and can give myself the opportunity to do things differently.
Most importantly, I’m getting clear on exactly what my values actually are.
And I’m moving in the direction of embodying these values myself.
What is important to me is no surprise: magic, language, psychology, philosophy, tarot, astrology, literature, etc.
I’ve always been this way–I just didn’t want to admit it out loud.
I’ve never actually turned away from my intense esoteric and obscure interests.
I just tried to keep it quiet as much as possible.
It was something I allowed myself to be passionate about in private, but definitely not in public.
I’m not hiding who I am anymore.
It’s not always easy to go against the grain and be different. And maybe it’s true, maybe a lot of people aren’t going to like it.
But those aren’t the people that matter.
I refuse to keep listening to people who only want a version of me that is a lie.
For one, I’m finally ready to start living with more integrity.
Second, I want to be around people who I find interesting and inspiring.
I’m done with these half-hearted attempts at normalcy. I’m tired of seeking “acceptability.”
I’m ready to take a chance on living out loud.