Toward the close of 2022, I was burnt out. It was a year of rapid transformations, new findings, new beginnings, and new friends.
While it was an upward stride of new discovery, it was paired with a downward plunge into what I did not want to see. The things I had repressed for two decades began to boil over the pot, a dish I had a very tight lid on. But, as I began to embrace new and renewed discoveries about life, I unconsciously loosened my grip on that lid.
Bit by bit, the memories I had unintentionally compartmentalized began to resurface. Picture an archives library: you have a collection that all folk come to look at, marvel at and celebrate. But there is a department deep underground that not even the keepers of the archives know of. It was as if someone had gone in and unlatched this department and slowly leaked it to the press (me, I am the press).
As one can imagine, these memories are eerie moments of my past that I had tucked away in the “too hard” basket, and instead developed mental health conditions to cope with it instead.
*upside down smilie face emoji*
The moments of reliving these memories I had forgotten about, gave me crippling anxiety to the point where I had forgotten where I was. I would find myself disassociating in social situations, and became (what I call) chronically independent. I sought independence as a cure but it soon became lonely. When I would try to articulate my mental health needs I would be stuck for words and gave up asking a hand to reach out.
This year I am promising myself to stray away from the false “I’m fine’s” and the burnouts simply because I haven’t stopped to decompress and access my body as a whole, as a being beyond the physical.
This particular post has been hard to write. Reflecting on a challenging year is never easy.
I have given myself the challenge (and also would encourage anyone who is reading this) to embrace these little awakenings. Sit with the tough memories and do what is best for your being. We owe it to our younger and future selves to heal and come out the other side with power.
Healing from what we don’t want to feel anymore will hopefully enable us to become better people for those we wish to leave an impact on.
I am writing this rather selfishly to give myself a sense of accountability for the year. But if this resonates with you, I encourage you to also get on this journey with me.
Shawn, it’s time to be enough for you. You are enough validation for yourself, you can love yourself enough.