The Storm that Passed and My . . . How it Feels Freeing

I wanted to take the time to update my fellow WordPress bloggers and readers of the bliss that I’ve gained after surviving a tornado of emotions. Partly to show I’m alive and still kickin’ and partly to revel in this newfound joy of making it through one of the darkest moments in my life thus far.

I’m sure there will be many more trials ahead, but I am feeling confident that I have the tools I need for those future hardships and if not, I trust my inner voice will hold on long enough to tug me in the direction of my therapist.

Like I said in my last post, “this depression is far more challenging than I’ve ever dealt with in the past,” and I stick by that saying. It really took me a long time for me to feel like myself again. And I was transitioning too. Something in me was changing and as much as I wanted to hold onto my past and as much as I feared about the change to come, I was able to let go and embrace what was coming. I feel transformed. A part of me feels like my old self, but at the same time, I am not who I used to be.

I feel like I have grown drastically in such a short amount of time. In allowing myself forgiveness and time to fully feel everything, I was able to get to the roots of my depression. At first, I thought it was because of the chronic pain like the many times before, but it took me four (maybe even longer) full uninterrupted, tearful, difficult months to get to this form of clarity.

Mental and emotional health are not to be taken lightly. You have to continually work at it and make time for it, otherwise it’s easy to slip into all kinds of mental health issues. It’s not something to be ashamed of either. I love how open mental and emotional health are becoming. When it comes to taking care of your health, the quad health components takes precedence. Yes, I just made that up. I mean, it could be a thing, right? Quad Health Components? Well anyways, we were all taught about physical health from an early age, which is equally important, but we often neglect our spiritual health. Most people probably assume this is religion focused and in a way sure, but it’s more than that.

Spiritual health, to me, is beyond religion. It’s connecting to some form of higher power and/or a higher spirit. Faith isn’t about seeing or physically touching it. Faith is a belief, it’s a feeling, and it’s an experience. You can’t see love and you can’t physically touch it, but you know about it because you’ve experienced what love feels like. And that’s what faith is; believing in the impossible. Believing in something far greater than your current circumstances. And believing that everything happens for a reason and everything will pull through as it was meant to be, all in good time.

Believing in some higher power has helped me expand beyond what I thought myself capable. I was raised Catholic, but my viewpoints have changed over time and even more so during the past few months – I still believe in God and Jesus, but through this hardship, there is so much more. This darkness I faced brought me even closer to the Lord and I have to say it is the most freeing feeling I’ve ever felt. I feel at peace, truly more at peace than ever. I feel calm, uplifted, and energized.

I went through a spiritual transformation on my own terms and through my own beliefs. I haven’t joined a cult or anything like that if that’s where your mind went to, nor am I trying to force my beliefs onto you. I’m still an attend-mass-at-specific-holidays type of gal – LOL – I just feel drawn to share this little bit of woo-woo feeling I’ve experienced and the transformative peace that followed.

For the first time, I finally understand who I am and what I was made to do. God has equipped us all with the tools we need to implement our purpose. There may be temptations that lead me astray. I might even cruise on the wrong path now and again, as I’ve done for so many years, but I finally feel like I’m on the right track.

I have always found it difficult to answer these two questions to others and to myself, “who am I?” and “why am I here?” They drove me crazy, a downward spiral of “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know” with even worse cases of shutting down and crying, “Ugh, I’m just a burden to the world, I have no purpose, I should just die!” The not-knowing always freaked me out. Fear of the unknown and fear of the future, yep that’s so me.

It took me a long time to realize it because it’s been bottled deep inside of me, always there, lingering – kinda like depression itself – just waiting for that perfect moment to strike and drag me back down. It’s one of those things that I had a hard time seeing was the problem.

Photo shot by: Clay Boutte (IG: @clayboutte)

Identity and Purpose. Lots of people struggle with this, especially around one’s birthday, so I thought it was just a natural course of life. I knew it was something I struggled with throughout the past 15 years or so, but I never once imagined it be the center of all that heartache and emotional turmoil. Now that I’ve opened the box to the knowledge of it, I feel like so much weight has been lifted. I feel like I can address it better moving forward if and when the internal pain rises again.

I don’t think my struggle with the “who are you?” question will ever permanently go away. I think with enough reminders I tell myself I can rewire my brain into knowing who I am to the core. I struggled because the “What’s my identity” can get really confusing; it’s a very vague question because who we are is more complex than to answer a question like that. We are more than the labels society puts on us. We are more than our genders and our race. We are more than our jobs and our careers. We are more than a seemingly simple question. I had to toss out old thoughts and replace them with new ones. I had to learn to be content and full with who I am in the present. We as humans are always changing, metamorphosing based on our circumstances and our environment, from trials, and experiences to everything in between. Our life can change in an instant and there’s no control over it, so our identity always changes throughout our transitions in life. You know who you are, you just have to feel it and believe it to be true in your soul.

Finding my purpose was another thing. As I was navigating life without my dad, I kept getting conflicted with who I wanted to be and the expectation he wanted me to be. Because deep down, I had the same dream and the same passion since before I could remember, which was to be an author- a writer. And the conflict was the Asian-ness in me that I only just realized was a thing. So I was processing my entire childhood on top of trying to understand my identity and why I even existed in the first place while stepping into my truths.

The whole societal pressure, the Asian-ness pressure of family and the guilt that followed closely that I wasn’t enough or made my parent’s proud or the constant thought of not having a “real job”, and so on. I put so much unrealistic pressure on myself to be someone worthy of success. It was a lot and it was overwhelming.

Little by little, I was able to make sense of it all. Slowly, I began to heal. And I owe a lot of my healing through faith. Acknowledging a higher power at work in my life. A lot was internal too. I had to relearn and rewire my thought process. I had to nurture my mental, emotional, and spiritual health. I had to make space and time for myself without the distractions that tore me away from feeling my emotions and reflecting deeply on my past and who I want to be.

I accept I am a work in progress, but who isn’t. We are all trying to make it in this world. Trying to see where we belong. Trying to discover what we are meant to be doing. We are all on some kind of journey. Sometimes it may look similar to another’s, but it’s the belief that we are all different that sets us apart. We have different paths, different weaknesses, and different strengths. We are all uniquely made with a gift just waiting to be unlocked. Some may have the same gift, but no two lives are exactly the same. Embrace who you are, flaws and all. The pain you endured are your greatest strengths. We all have a purpose, we just have to learn to fight for it and not against it.

Thanks for reading and continuing to follow me on this crazy journey of mine! Much love to each and every one of you.

❤ rebeccanne

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