Trigger Warning: Triggers are different for everyone. You never know when they are going to show up. I am sharing in hopes of helping others.
I am on the path of self discovery and healing but sometimes I get triggered and the depression takes over. I often have circular thinking where I spiral downward to the point that I quake in fear or to where I can’t get out of bed. As I have been exploring it I realized I have a mental closet where I shove everything I don’t want to deal with or don’t know how to deal with.
This is clearly going to be a rough post to write as my body is shaking as I type and tears are running down my face. But I can do hard things. I have chosen to share to help in my own healing and that of others. Thoughts become things and the thoughts and feelings we had from experiences in our life become our reality and the lenses we see our world through. Replacing the negative thoughts and feeling takes daily practice and sometimes we fail. Recently my mental closet became too full and came spilling out.
I was paid a few complements after teaching a class to a group of women. I was taught to be gracious when someone complements you, but I was not taught to believe it. So the complements triggered me, the following thoughts flooded my mind: “Thanks but you have now I idea who I really am.”, “I am not that good.”, “You are a phony.”, “You have everyone fooled.”, “You don’t deserve admiration.”, “If they only knew everything about you.” and on and on. I tried pushing them back in the closet and continuing on with my day, but the thoughts kept sneaking back in along with lists of things I need to start doing again. As my list kept growing I became overwhelmed, where do I even begin to be the person I want to be.
As the day was coming to a close I decided to share some of my thoughts with JJ. I think during my depressive state I tend to have half of the conversation with myself, in my head, before hand. So that when I spoke to him, it came across in not so great a tone of voice. That lead the conversation in the opposite direction than what was intended and I can’t even tell you what happened from there.
I spent the night battling monsters and skeletons from my mental closet. I was fighting my X, bullies from my youth, my parents and siblings. None of it made any sense, it just left me defeated and hopeless. My alarm went off, I woke up exhausted, numb, and frozen. I could not get up. I could not explain what was happening. I felt ashamed, worthless, hopeless, and overwhelmed.
As I pushed myself to get out of bed and face my day there was still a looming cloud of shame, disgust, fear, and sadness hung over me. Once again, I had failed to keep my crap together. “How can I progress and live a life of joy, abundance, love, and possibility?” The thoughts of failure, hopelessness and sadness continued to spiral making every effort to get back to possibility impossible. “I am a fraud. I am a liar. I am a failure. Don’t talk about it. Just deal with it.” “STOP! I get to choose.” I could not turn off the voice in my head, so I just went through the motions of the day. Doing what needed to get done. Luckily the kids didn’t have to go to school so it was working and preparing meals.
I spent the day analyzing all of the pieces that came crashing out of my metal closet. I realized all of the emotions and stress that I have been cramming in to the closet during 2015 and 2016. My mother in law was very ill, hospitalized, and never made it out of rehab. She passed away in July of 2016. Blue got very ill in June of 2015, has been in the hospital 3 times, has had 4 different surgeries, and was finally diagnosed with a rare incurable disease. She has several doctors appointments, therapy, and tests. Each family tradition on both my side and JJ’s side of the family where slowly ending and I was trying to be strong for everyone else while I was crumbling inside.
The words from Frozen ringing in my ear. “Conceal don’t Feel” “Don’t let them see”. So with every complement I beat myself up more for all my faults and short comings. Now my worse fear had just happened, I couldn’t keep it all together and I need help. I NEED HELP!!!!! Time to walk away and regroup, but where do I start? (I will continue to write later.)
I have been trying to put the pieces back together for a week and a half. I am still fighting to get out of bed, but I have started exercising, praying, meditating, studying my scriptures daily and using essential oils. It is time to finish this post.
Part 2 – When JJ got home I decided it was time to come clean about all of the things that I shove in my mental closet: My fears, my monsters, skeletons, faults, and weaknesses. I half expected him to be disappointed and reprimand me, but that is not what happened. He asked me to consider I judge myself harsher then anyone else, that I see myself as less than. I can see how that is true, but I don’t know how to change the pattern of self destructive self talk.
How can I shove everything back in the closet? How can I return to stats quo? Wow, I am crazy. I don’t know how many times I have repeated this cycle of possibility, creation, growth, overwhelm, breakdown, depression, then shoving it back in the closet and trying to create something new.
As I write this there is an aha moment, when I am taking care of myself by exercising, getting proper sleep, using the essential oils that support my emotions, and spending time doing things I enjoy I am able to see possibility and not everything wrong. Over the last little while I had just been going through the motions doing what had to be done, running on fumes. With that I had stopped sleeping so I was too tired to exercise. I was not supporting my emotions with essential oils, so I was slipping back in to depression and when I am depress I stopped enjoying things. Every little thing seems exhausting and like a lot of effort.
Not only do I need self care, I need to start dealing with those things that have continually shoved in to my mental closet. I need to take on my monster and skeletons. I need to stop beating myself up. Once again I am reminded that healing is a daily practice not a destination. I decided to listen to You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero and she quotes Lao Tzu
“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
Aha moment #2 I cycle between depression and anxiety flipping back and forth between shoving crap in a closet and not dealing with it but letting it haunt me and fear of the future crippling from being present and peaceful. What will it take to once again be present? Going back to basics, taking care of myself, exploring and cleaning up what I can from my past (I will need help from my therapist for this one.), and creating new possibilities through thoughts, intentions, goals, and actions.
Today a few things at work made me so anxious I once again started spiraling. This time not because of depression, not because of my past, but because fear of what the future holds with changes at work. These changes are not bad, they are actually good and some my own recommendations. But it is the additional hours and the plan to accomplish the changes took me out of my comfort zone. Nothing is set in stone nothing was decided, but just the discussion freaked me out. Once again my thoughts and the conversation in my head lead to JJ and I having a disagreement. What a mess!
40+ years of shoving things shoved down in a mental closet + a chemical imbalance = Breakdowns = Breakthroughs
This breakdown and depression cycle has brought me to a few breakthroughs, as well as things I can see to work on. Being able to acknowledge that my way of dealing with hard things is to shove them down, not talk about them, and pretending that everything is okay is an unhealthy cycle, one that I am choosing to change.
I am grateful JJ is patient, gentle, understanding and truly loves me regardless of my depression, anxiety, and skeletons. He reassures me that he is not going anywhere. I had shared my past, monsters, insecurities and skeletons with him before we got married. I wanted to make sure he really wanted to be with me. I know I would not be where I am today with out him and his support.
I hope that through my sharing other can see they are not alone. The fight is real. As Jared Padalecki says, “Always Keep Fighting”
Everyone has his or her own journey. We each have our own triggers and interpretations of life. My intent is to add in the healing process not cause anxiety or pain. Our experience may be similar but they are each unique. Even though many people could have been at the same event each person experiences and remembers those events through our own eyes and will recall the event differently. My blogs will be from my perspective of my life. I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend. I am not a Doctor, Counselor or Therapist. I believe it is important to work with Doctors, Counselors and Therapist along with Essential Oils, Energy Healing and spirituality to find health, healing and balance.
The essential oils I use for self care are the Life Long Vitality Vitamins, Minerals, and Omegas. I also use a blend of Balance, Vetiver and Serenity. When I am anxious I love to put a mixture of dōTERRA Balance with Lime on my wrists so I can smell them. When I am depression I am drawn to the aromas of the Cheer, and Motivate blends from the dōTERRA Emotional Aromatherapy System. I have also supported myself with Deep Blue. I apply them on my wrists or put them in a diffuser.
One thought on “My Mental Closet”
I loved how you evolved through this post. I wanted to comment “no! You can’t shove everything back into the closet!” but I smiled when you broke the cycle. I hope you continue on that path – I’m a true believer that breaking the cycle and facing demons is the only way to get through it. I’m mean, that’s why the saying is ‘get *through* it’ anyway! 💜