Updated: Nov 12, 2021
Growing, that's a big word you know? How do I know that I've grown? How do I know that I'm working towards growing? There's never an absolute answer to this. And these are some questions I ask myself, more often than not - to reflect, understand and centre myself.
I've always been a kid who was ambitious, had goals, knew what life was going to look like for the next few years. I had a plan. They tell you if you have a plan, you're going to succeed.
I went to the college I aimed for, got the grades I wanted, did things I wanted, everything was well on track; till one day, my plan fell apart. I have always been about making my close ones proud of me, but here I was, with one big disappointment.
What you ask? It might seem trivial to you, but for me, it was the biggest setback I could have ever had. A job rejection, my first ever rejection in life. I was so consistent on the winning path, that I had never seen this side of life.
The Only Way Forward is UP!
I didn't know what these feelings looked like, they were never at the forefront before. I sobbed, questioned myself, doubted myself, felt like a failure, wanted to kill myself for not being able to make it. And this, was the start to my mental health journey.
This was a domino effect, I did not want to meet people, didn't want to face anyone who knew I was rejected, did not want to get out of my room, would cry myself to sleep and wake up and cry again. This went on for months, till one day, I woke up so exhausted from this feeling, that I decided to put my ego down and ask for help.
I got myself together, booked a session with a therapist, and went without thinking twice. I did feel quite liberated, but like most of us, I wasn't consistent. My insecurities got the better of me and I was back again in my room. I couldn't do any more job interviews. Once college finished, I decided to go back home, not to plan what's next, but to fix myself and pay attention to my brain and what it's saying.
I've been in therapy, tried various ways to understand my brain but have been inconsistent. It's going to be 5 years now, to this journey of understanding myself. I've not been the most perfect at it, but I've understood myself through it. I've understood what I feel, why I feel and when I feel. Not completely, but definitely a lot better than where I started!
My Self-Care Routines
On a regular day, I've learnt to prioritize my mind, I've learnt to listen to my body and what it's saying about how I feel. I go for sunsets, they make me the happiest, the colours of the sky have some effect on me.
I try journaling too, not consistently. But over time, I've realised that a pen holds the great power of an emotional release, and I feel so much lighter. I've also started doing a happy dance when I wake up in the morning, just 5 mins of that, gets me more energy than any coffee in the world!
A very important thing I learnt here at BecauseYOU, and as Daniel and Binita quoted in one of the sessions, " You've gotta name it to tame it".* The power to be able to name your feelings out loud, makes it a lot better. I do that more often now. My feelings love being acknowledged, and once I do, they feel at peace too.
I have a long way to go, but to me, this is what growth looks like. Starting, losing interest, getting back willingly, falling, getting up and starting over.
This is a little snippet of my mental health journey, I'll be on it for a while.
*'Name it to Tame It' is an approach pioneered by Dr Daniel Siegel