In the last 24 hours I’ve had a few conversations with my closest friends and they’ve all congregated into one idea: it’s time to rip off those emotional plasters that I’ve been holding up my identity with.
I was asking a friend for advice on how to get over someone and I said I felt like I’d ripped a lot of things from my life recently and it all felt like a bit too much. She said “keep going, keep breaking yourself down and rebuilding. Keep tearing all the s**t out of your life”.
I feel like I’m standing on a platform and I keep breaking off bits of it, the bits that are no longer helpful but now it feels unstable, like I could fall off the tiny piece that I’ve left for myself. I’m clinging onto this tiny part of my identity because I don’t know what’s down there in the void. But what if I jump off the platform, let go of that last shred of me, and the void happens to be a wonderful place? My friend would advise me to stop living my life based on ‘what ifs’ and go for it. If you don’t try you’ll never know, rip off that emotional plaster because you might find that the wound has healed and you’ll wonder if it had ever been there in the first place.
Another friend sent me a thought for the day by a guy called Eric Charles called ‘Maybe you’re not broken?’:
For those times in your life where you were treated unfairly, where you felt you had your heart crushed, where you felt you had your light snuffed out…
They happened and maybe you feel like some kind of damage still lives on in you, still burdens you, still haunts you…
But maybe you weren’t broken… maybe you weren’t damaged… maybe there is no “real” wound…
Maybe all that really happened is that you stopped bringing your joy, your light and your enthusiasm to that part of life…
And maybe… now… you can make the decision to start bringing your happiness, light and joy to that part of life again anyway… despite what happened…
Maybe you’ll decide to open the flow up internally again… maybe you’ll decide to allow your joy, happiness and enthusiasm to flow into your thoughts and actions again…
Maybe you’ll decide to be happy again anyway.
I’ve been questioning reality a lot recently. Did it really happen? Has my perception of events been skewed? Did I manipulate my memories or did someone else? I’ve come to the conclusion that it no longer matters. All that matters is my next step. I need to rip off the emotional plaster that is the memories I’m holding onto. Because sometimes I’ll use the good memories for one side of an argument and weeks later I’ll be using the bad memories for the other. Maybe I need to rip out all of those memories so they no longer form a part of my identity.
I’ve got the opportunity for a fresh start when I move away from home and start my internship. When I meet new people I can decide what I tell them, what version of myself I show them. Why tell them my entire back story, about the abuse and the ill health? What if I decide to be happy instead?
Though it seems contradictory, illness can be a plaster. It is there to help us when we need a break or to take a long hard look at our life choices. But we don’t often see it like that. We see it as an imposition and we fight against it which just hurts us more. What if we accepted it as a plaster? A breathing space to heal some area of ourselves which is damaged but then we have to remember to rip it off again. We don’t need that plaster forever, once it’s done its job we no longer need ill health or bad behaviour or ‘bad luck’ and we can get on with deciding to be happy.
Finally another friend sent me a song called ‘Concrete Feet’ by Apologies I Have None. One of the lyrics is: ‘gotta let some parts die to let other parts grow’ and it seemed very fitting for the thoughts I’ve been having. Maybe it’s time to rip off those plasters holding on a now ill-fitting identity, maybe it’s time to let those parts of me die so better parts can grow. I remember my first experience of counselling, I said I felt like my head had been so full of awful things that nothing good could come in, but the talking was like opening a tap and removing some of the bad stuff and then there was room for the nicer things and I started to feel better.
The song ends with these words which are pretty important to remember:
‘There is always an answer.
There is always a lesson.
A lining of silver around every situation.
And asking for help is not the same thing as failing.’
Title image source: https://uk.pinterest.com/sosovee/kawaii/?lp=true