In my long, painful journey to find rest from the anxiety and depression that, from time to time, crushed the life out of me, I found one seemingly universal truth:
Human beings need connection.
Deep, meaningful connection with other human beings.
We need to be seen. Heard. Valued.
We need to matter to someone else.
And in order to forge that kind of connection, we must be vulnerable.
It just so happens that I am bad at the latter.
I mean, that’s not rare these days. I think many of us are. Maybe most of us. At least those in the developed world. And I have some ideas as to why that is: social media, regular media, trauma and the lack of understanding of how to process emotions in a healthy way, leading to chronic emotional turmoil and a difficulty in trusting and communicating. And social and cultural expectations. Seeking for our worth outside of ourselves.
Things like that.
About 8 years ago I committed to healing. To digging and searching and finding solutions to my issues. Then I would apply those solutions, become happy and healthy, and then share those answers with the world and help others who were struggling.
That was my secret goal.
Even kind of secret from myself. I never really dared think it, let alone say it out loud.
But underneath, that was the goal. The dream.
And as weeks turned into months, and months turned into years, and I became more and more exhausted and more and more discouraged.
I mean, not all the time. It has been said that healing is not linear. That’s for sure. I mean, I guess I don’t like putting expectations on what something has to be or can’t be. So it can be linear if it happens to be linear.
But it hasn’t been for me. It’s been up and down and back and forth.
Sometimes I have felt amazing. And then it has come crashing down on me like a ton of bricks.
But improvement has been made. As tired as I am, improvement has been made.
I learned so many things about what contributes to or causes mental illness. The gut/brain axis and damage to the gut and imbalance in the microbiome. Poor mental habits. Emotional environment. Physical environment. I’m not such a proponent of the genetics explanation because there are so many other factors and we generally feel powerless and therefore adopt a victim mindset when we blame genetics for things. (Genes, I think, do play a role, but genes can be healed, too).
Then there is trauma. I think that trauma is the biggest causal factor.
Dr. Gabor Mate defines trauma as the separation from self and says it happens when we feel unsupported during a painful experience. When we feel alone. Isolated.
I find it interesting that trauma happens because of isolation, and healing happens in healthy connection.
I could go into a lot more depth about all of these things, but that’s not the point of this post.
The point of this post is connection.
To whatever degree that can happen here. In a blog post. On the internet. With someone you can’t see or hear and probably never will. With the barrier of computer screens between us.
I guess what I’m hoping for is to find, in whatever moments I can, with those who maybe also feel a little disconnected, a little lonely, a little isolated, some connection in vulnerability and compassion.
I’m not sure exactly what that means yet, or what form that will take in the end. But for now at least, there are my words. And your eyes as they dance down the page, alive with light and life that maybe nobody else seems to notice.
But it’s there.
It’s always there.
And maybe for some moments out of some of your days, I could make you feel something good. Something hopeful. Or happy. Or even sad, but not a hopeless kind of sad. The kind of sad that feels good. That feels safe and restful. The kind of sad that comes with feeling heard and seen and validated.
That’s my goal with this blog. To feel something myself and to share that in my voice, clumsy as it is at times, and hopefully to ignite in some people that same feeling. So that we can be connected in our imperfectness. But our kindness and our compassion, too.
So if you want to, if you feel moved to, please subscribe by clicking here and I will send you email updates when I write new posts.
And if you don’t want to, that’s totally okay too:) I wrote a post about how annoyed I get with online marketing and sales people, so I totally understand if you don’t like someone else trying to convince you to subscribe to their thing or buy their product haha. I just try to be as authentic and sincere as I can, while also acknowledging that I need to make a living, too.
Thanks for sharing these few moments with me. I hope you felt something nice.
Oh and here is another terrible sales-pitch haha. I wrote a little book a while back called You Are Enough that is just my letter to anyone struggling with anything, but especially mental health stuff. I know it well. So you can buy it here. Or not if you don't want to. I will still like you:)