“Nothing goes away until you tell us what we need to know” ~Pema Chödrön
We are all a work in progress.
We all have skeletons in our closets that we never want to leave. We all made mistakes. We all make mistakes in the future. We all have scars.
None of us can come close to that mythical “perfect” state.
None of us should consider ourselves fully evolved. far cry. There is always room for improvement in some aspects of our lives.
Truth be told, most of us are a contradictory combination of the elements that make us who we are. Life is not all black and white. There are many shades of gray in between.
Being human isn’t always simple, tidy, and beautiful. Being human includes trying to adapt to ups and downs, challenges, heartaches, struggles, and losses. There is no manual for how to live our precious life. There are no hacks or shortcuts to help you get through some tough times.
Breakdown or Breakthrough?Personal challenges and battle scars
Here I would like to share a story that I have not shared in writing elsewhere.
For a few months in late 2021 and early 2022, I had what I would call a full blown breakdown.
During this time, I was covered in a blanket of darkness that seemed to be self-made.
The breakdown left me in a sleep-deprived paranoid state and I started having auditory hallucinations (i.e. hearing voices). At some point, I was drawn into the paranormal world and convinced that I could communicate through my mind with other people who were trying to harm me or my loved ones.
I was normally a thoughtful, fairly thoughtful person, but my heart was starting to turn against me.
This is the first and hopefully the last time something like this has happened to me. Never had an experience like this in the past.
What was most frightening of all was that, at least for me at the time, this experience seemed like a sudden, sudden event.
But looking back, the signs were there that something was about to happen. I didn’t see them or heed their warnings in real time.
I was mentally and physically burned out. I was running on cortisol and stress for too long, but my body had enough. So they started shutting me down in the most unexpected and surprising way.
Subsequent internal work I did also shows that I tried to suppress emotions, including anger and sadness, without fully processing them. He came back and let me know that he wasn’t done yet.
deal with pressure
Writing is a passion for me, but it only pays part of my bill. Acts as an independent consultant to the organization.
This work is often high pressure and time constrained. In addition to this, I can also put pressure on myself even if the client doesn’t. I sometimes go out to
In the months before the mental health episode, I was working hard and not giving up. Running towards the finish line that kept moving.
I was starting to keep my body tight (tight chest, rounded shoulders, shallow breath). My body was giving clear signs that it wasn’t happy, but I got through it nonetheless.
My energy wasn’t where it should be. No matter how early I went to bed, I continued to feel general malaise and fatigue. My enthusiasm for the things I used to enjoy began to wane. I became more agitated and annoyed and immediately blew the fuse.
I felt I needed a break. I didn’t just want it, I felt I really needed it. And take a short break.
All these signs were there. what did i do I tried to push them through, push harder. I tried to suppress them. drink more coffee. push. Meet the next deadline. push. the team needs me push. clients need me push.
Instead of acknowledging what my body and mind were telling me I needed deep rest, not just for the weekend, I moved on. And I paid a heavy price. But it could have been heavier, so I got lucky.
Coming Out The Other Side
where am i now
Glad you got the rest you needed (I took 3 months off for travel). I sought professional help under the guise of a therapist (which wasn’t what I thought I needed) and other medical professionals.
Rather than believe I had to do this all by myself, I asked my wife and family for support.
I redoubled my efforts to take my self-care practices seriously. I incorporated new self-care techniques into my life (breathing exercises, formal meditation, walking meditation, etc.). I am making this time a priority in my life now.
I took a good look at my life and ditched the things that didn’t serve me in a positive way. I am trying to understand myself more fully. Trying to discern and recognize the trigger more acutely allowed me to explore what it was telling me.
I feel more energetic now. I got my spark back. Things that used to excite me again: music, writing, exercise, being in nature, long walks.
In short, I feel like myself again.
I don’t want to be defined by that singular experience, but I also don’t want to forget the lessons it holds. It means accepting what happened to me. And it can happen to any of us. How I answer is now up to me. And I am determined to respond in a positive way by making changes that will benefit me in the future.
I was lucky. Others are not so lucky.
walk the path of life
The inconvenient truth is that life is a struggle. Life can be difficult. We will all face significant challenges. None of us can escape it.
Yours is different from mine, but you will face your own demons from time to time.
So what can we do?
We can do our best to move forward step by step and make progress. Understand that progress can be slow, progress can be small, and you can feel stuck. Sometimes not losing is the most necessary victory.
We can try to learn lessons from the past, but we can commit to the present. Focus on developing and supporting our future selves. I value being true to myself.
You can celebrate your successes, big or small.
we can be thankful for everything.
We can live a life of contribution and find our own small ways to serve the world around us.We can find purpose and value in our day to day life. .
We can invest in developing ourselves so we have the inside tools we need to live our best lives. You can adopt practices that support living this kind of life.
You can get serious about self-care. Planning and making time for technology that works for us. We are committed to protecting this time as a valuable investment, and we understand that in order to act to help others, we must first act for ourselves.
You can rely on others when you need them. We see this as a necessary component of the human condition rather than as a weakness to avoid.
We can learn about our own emotional states and feelings, stay curious, and ask ourselves questions. What do our emotions tell us? Is this just a temporary feeling, or is it trying to convey something or protect us in some way?
Get to know yourself on a deeper level.
We can receive light, share light, and be a light to others.
We can love and live the best way we know how.
We can try to reconcile ourselves with the fact that fighting is what it means to be human. The journey isn’t easy for everyone, but you can find many rewards and joys along the way.