Healing is one of the most beautiful processes you’ll ever go through. That smile that you catch yourself emanating the moment you realise you’ve moved on and learned so much in the process and emerged out of it a stronger and more graceful person, is honestly worth all the pain that you go through.
I read this article by Filter Copy ( http://www.filtercopy.com/posts/14-beautiful-things-to-remember-while-you-heal-and-pick-up-the-broken-bits ) this morning and it turned out to be the most relatable, true, sensitive and sensible thing I’ve read lately. For someone who fought depression and anxiety recently (and refused to let it consume me), I could relate to each word written in this story. And since I’m a huge promoter of mental health awareness, here are a few things I would like to tell you about healing that I’ve learned along the way.
1. I recently heard that not seeking help is the stupidest thing one can do. And I couldn’t agree more. You may have friends or family around, but they may not always understand, also because sometimes they are directly involved in the story and it is going to be hard for them to digest realities too. Moreover, if they figure they have been partly the reason you are where you are today, they might feel guilty when they don’t want to.
Further, seeking professional help and sticking to it is essential because you’re getting an outsider’s perspective and this outsider knows how life and relationships work, and this outsider is not going to tire of helping you; the only need here is for you to stick to it and tell yourself that you need help and you need to change your life and thinking and continue going for therapy without giving up. People discontinue therapy/ medication because half the problem with depression is that you’re denying yourself your own feelings, and getting out of the comfort zone of feeling pathetic is one of the strongest and hence the most difficult things you will be required to do. So just accept your feelings, DO NOT DENY to yourself and everyone else around you what you’re feeling. If you love someone that you’re not supposed to, for longer than required, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. But just don’t deny that feeling to yourself. Don’t. Because if you’re scared of losing the person and deny your basic feelings in the process, you will first lose yourself.
2. Don’t let anyone trivialise what you’re feeling. No one knows your story completely but yourself. So many people who don’t know my entire story thought I was being really stupid for being blind to the realities in front of me, and not being able to let go, and that I was crying over some random guy who can’t love me back the same way or feeling painful about everything in life despite having a great job.
The truth is, different people go through different things in life that make them what they are. Maybe someone else had been in the same situation that I was in, but I took it way harder because I find it difficult to let go due to the things I faced in my life earlier. After I went to therapy, I realised that my problem wasn’t the current one. My problem was my entire life. And that’s when I was glad that the trigger problem happened to me, otherwise I would have never figured out. So when I started healing, I started healing for the last 24 years of my life. Not just the last 7 months or one year.
3. Don’t put timelines to your healing. It’s just wrong and it doesn’t work like that and I’ve come to learn it the hard way. My therapist used to keep saying ‘but you felt Soooooo much pain, don’t you think you need your time to heal?’. Another important person told me ‘I think you’re making a hasty decision’, when I just declared that my healing process is done just a week after I decided to actively take a step towards it. Now that I think about that, I laugh at how stupid I was. The truth is, healing takes time. And if you’re putting deadlines to wrap it up, you’re not working on it completely. So take your time. It’s okay. You may have to let go people and things that are very dear to your heart, let go for real, not on the surface, but you’ll eventually learn to fill that void and like a friend of mine said ‘face your loneliness and that’s when you can get out of it’. So face it. And you’ll realise that life is not so bad after all.
4. You might find yourself to be negative and cynical initially. But that’s okay. It’s going to be over soon, your anger will reduce and you’ll see the other side of things, become more compassionate and understanding. I did hate. And I told my best friends one morning as we watched the sunrise together ‘you know I don’t hold anything against this person. I just don’t want to wake up every morning and cry about why this happened and hate this person for leaving’. And I told them that I think I will be completely fine the day I stop feeling negative about this person. And certain things happened that made me see the situation from the other side of the fence, soon after, and I stopped hating. I started feeling pleasant about the whole situation; that I gave it my all and I have no regrets left. Sorted is the word i’d like to use for that thought.
Also, a lot of people might tell you that you have become bitter and selfish and you don’t care anymore, through this process. Someone who knew my entire journey very well messaged me one day saying ‘ive started to notice that you’ve become selfish and you don’t care, I’ve been testing that for a couple of days’. I care when I really need to be there for someone and that itself takes a heavy toll on me and so when I know that the other person is fine, I retrieve into my own cocoon. So anything small and not so important, I decide to stay away from. And it’s always good to stay away from drama. The kind that makes mountains out of molehills. Everyone blamed me for being bitter at some point. I actually even felt guilty. And I couldn’t handle things happening around me anymore because I am just healing from within, and I cried like a baby the other night and then someone told me that I shouldn’t feel guilty for staying away from drama or refusing to deal with or empathise with everyone’s problems, ‘you are protecting yourself, and that’s never a bad thing’. So yes, protect yourself at any cost. Don’t feel like opening opening that message that someone sent you with an inconsequential problem, then don’t open it. My favourite person always keeps saying ‘i don’t like drama of any kind, so I run far away from it and from people who create it in general. But when it comes to people who you really care about, you can’t help it. I realise you have to be there.’ So yes, be there for people who really matter to you if they’re going through something terrible but don’t let that make you fall in the process, remember you just came out of something and you’re still soft and sensitive somewhere inside. Hold on hard to that and build walls around it until you know that side of you has become stronger.
5. And finally, don’t feel like it’s not cool to talk about this. It needs voice, honestly. Just give it that. Like I hate how it is considered ‘uncool’ to talk about your feelings these days. And in the process, so many people bottle it up and go through terrible things. So talk about it, just like I do. And one day, when I have the time, I am thinking of writing elaborate posts to help everyone deal with the process, on my blog.
Also, like this article says, “Find people who will sit with you in silence. Who let you be. And most of all, who stand there, rock solid, when you need them most.” . Also, puppies, puppies help a lot. 🙂