Accepting The Beauty In Breaking Down
Sometimes there is beauty in breaking down.
I watch movies I have seen hundreds of times when I feel overwhelmed.
The familiarity, as well as knowing what comes next, is soothing.
I accept that trying to control life is absurd, yet I long for it. I hate uncertainty as much as the next person. But over forty years of living have taught me to catch myself atleast half the time; I lose my mind over something I have no control over.
During the quick walk between meetings, I kept thinking about a conversation I had with my doctor.
I answered to her, "How is life?"
"I have no life other than work and crawling into bed at the end of a long day exhausted."
I told her how an event from the beginning of the year had pushed me to redefine how I look at life.
I said, "I want to go and do things and meet people. I do not want the fear of getting hurt to stop me from living, loving, and laughing."
"There is no easy way around this other than pushing yourself with intention." Said, my doctor.
"The most important part is to accept and normalize being broken." She continued.
I smiled and told her that it had been the way I had always looked at life and everything in it, including myself. But I feel that me is broken now.
As I walked in the cold, I remembered my little girl had written and left it on a calendar I kept on the coffee table.
Live, Laugh, Love.
I saw it just before I got out for the walk.
Then words started popping up.
Patience, compassion, kindness.
Followed by sentences.
I am broken more than usual right now.
I have been putting the pieces back together, one by one.
I have been impatient with the time it is taking.
I want the deep wounds to heal fast.
I want shortcuts.
I want to forget the unforgettable memories.
I want. I want. I want.
Then the alarm went off. The one I set to remind me to walk back.
When I returned, I sat down and wrote down every "I want" statement that popped into my head for 10 minutes. It filled two total pages.
As I went back and read it, it made me laugh.
I write on paper with a pen, longhand.
By writing down, I found acceptance and peace for not having any control over all the things I wanted to control.
You have come across the quote, "No one will love you till you love and accept yourself."
It makes me wonder, are we saying we are not lovable by another because of our struggles? Because of our brokenness?
That does not feel right.
So, it's time to normalize saying we are not okay when we are not.
I understand it's easier to pretend to be okay and hide the brokenness; wear a false smile and fake.
So many of us are running around to find parts of ourselves that we lost. We don't know if we will find all those parts and be able to put back together our old selves.
We will never be able to return to who we were after a life-changing event.
This new me feels strange to me. At times I can not recognize myself.
This is when panic sets in.
I know this time will pass.
I remind myself that it will pass.
My body doesn't believe it always; hot flushes, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, and panic attacks are close to my heart by now.
If you struggle with panic attacks, you know how it feels like you are dying, but you know you are not dying, which makes it worse.
This is when I resort to my past.
I disagree with the advice of forgetting the past.
For me, the past says, "I have been here before. I have done all of this before. I can do it again."
I leave little reminder cards everywhere around the house.
Knowing and remembering things in a time of crisis are two very different things.
The little notes help me not to give into the false narrative my brain is creating.
You see, the past we lived through will not lie. It is a testament to our ability to survive and thrive.
Figuring out a way to remind yourself about this is the hard part.
But you can do it.
So take a deep breath.
Accept the beauty in breaking down and building back up.
Be kind to yourself and keep moving forward.
There is beauty even in brokenness.
We are lovable even on the days we can not love ourselves fully.