I am having a hard time identifying my emotions lately, much less how to express them in words. Things had been going well recently. I had been feeling good. But it only takes a one thing to lead to another, and another before that downward spiral begins.
Summer is a time in which a lot of emotions come up for me. Although the abuse I went through happened several years ago, I most often associate the abuse with summer, so there will be some moments I am enjoying the sun, grass and warmth as it is now in the present, but then, for whatever reason, I am brought immediately back 15 years to my teen self and I start to feel out of control. Summer means warmer temps. My body does tell everyone of my SI. I can’t have that right now, especially around family or my peers at school or co-workers. This always brings up anxiety-trying to keep such a noticeable secret. With the summer clothing comes the negative thoughts about my body and how I am not what I feel I should look like. These are all the thoughts starting this downward spiral.
Then to top it off I am trying to get something done for school in which I have to wait on someone else to make a decision about an opportunity I want to pursue. My patience is running thin, and the more I have to wait on this person, the more I begin to think “what is wrong with me that they don’t want to give me this opportunity, or at least have the courtesy to say “no thanks”. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if this opportunity didn’t determine how much longer I have left for school, or if this wasn’t such a major requirement of my program. The negative thoughts are leading me to once again feel like I am unworthy, and that that I can’t do things, etc.
On the other hand, I want so much to do well and progress. I can see myself doing well with the career I want to pursue and making an impact. Even if I get turned down for one opportunity I can see that it may leave the door open for something more suitable for me, and that just because I get turned down does not reflect my character or abilities. I can see myself proudly living with my SI scars knowing that I am in recovery and a stronger person now, and maybe even sharing that with others. I can see myself enjoying life and accomplishing the things I want – even the smaller things like planting my own garden. I can see all this and be motivated. But these thoughts only last a fraction of what the negative feelings last. How can I reverse this? I don’t want to SI, but it is always such an easy path to go down sometimes. Right now I see it for the purposes of self-punishment, and maintaining some control (since right now I feel like I don’t have much of it – especially with how some things are going at school). But I know SI will not accomplish what I really want – forgiveness of self, the ability to prove myself with this opportunity with school, validation that I have the abilities to do what I want to do, and compassion and understanding from someone else.
I feel like I am in difficult spot and I am trying to practice self-compassion, but with almost 30 years of being so negative with myself, to reverse that in moments like now is difficult.