After facing some of my most critical beliefs, I emerged out of my therapist room with some pep in my step: a mix of a frolic in the meadow and Rocky’s ascent up those famous steps. I had done it. I felt empowered. Bye, stupid false beliefs!! You’re not gonna get me again….Haha!!!!
Then, I got home.
In the midst of celebrating my new found freedom, doubt crept in: self-defeating thoughts began circling my good vibes like vultures. I was knocked back into a dark place, but the weird part was that I never stopped feeling happy. I was being stretched between two extremes.
I woke up the next day emotionally hung over. I was immediately greeted by “who the fuck do you think you are?” Oh! Okay! My anxiety was extra bitchy this morning, violently shaking me, demanding answers. “Not today!!!” I bellowed, jumping out of bed. I declined the invitation to tackle this profound existential question; instead I exercised my right to dodge pesky robes. Damn! Can I have coffee first?
As you’ve probably gathered by now, my beliefs were not impressed by my zeal to annihilate them; instead they showed up on steroids, tormenting me relentlessly. I longed for the years a shot (or four) of vodka magically wiped out my somber thoughts. Today, I frown upon such reckless attitude; when it comes to healing, I’m committed to do the work: the unpleasant, makes me want to quit life, kind of work.
Admittedly, my catharsis was a double-edge sword: grief and relief. I grieved the years I wasted believing every demeaning thought that crossed my mind, while simultaneously experiencing intense happiness. What the fuck is going on here? The conflicting emotional state was making me question my sanity.
Vacillating between two extremes, without reacting, proved to be a grueling exercise.
Then, it dawned on me.
I was trying to control a natural process. Maybe these two feelings were not contradictory after all; they must be necessary for healing and transformation to take place. So, instead of warding off unpleasant emotions for hours, I will try to welcome their presence (with occasional eye rolls, of course). Baby steps.
I successfully averted a descent into madness. At least, that’s how I’m going to justify eating ice cream at eight am.
As I indulged in the delicious treat, guilt floated over my sugary bliss.
Not today, guilt! Not today.