Do you remember what it’s like to see the light at the end of the tunnel?
I have been spending the majority of my time since my mom’s death honoring my sadness and confusion. I have been taking the time to breathe and allowing myself to heal. I have been grieving.
In some ways it feels like it has been hard work. It has been exhausting to feel so much sadness. Through most of my adult life I was so used to running away from my problems that it became second nature. I am still new at dealing with my pain. I’m still not great at sitting in my hurt. I am learning to be comfortable with my discomfort.
My therapist has explained to me that part of the reason I had my gambling addiction was that I was immediately comforting myself when I felt bad. It was like continually picking up a crying baby. I learned that I would stop crying when I gambled. I would always run away from my feelings. I would distract myself with something bigger than the pain I was getting away from.
Being aware that I was creating a bigger pain was frustrating for me. As I was growing up my mom would tell me that she would “give me something to cry about.” In my adult life I didn’t need her there to beat me up. Turns out I learned how to do that for myself.
Now I’m learning to sit in it. I’m taking the time to breathe through it. I’m dealing with things in a healthy way.
And it’s amazing to make it to the other side. I never had this feeling from gambling. I always ended up feeling even worse, even when I won. I would chase my wins or losses, panic and then start the cycle all over again. I am so grateful to be past that part of my life.
Today I felt better. Is it possible that my self care is paying off?
Yep. I have worked hard and I understand now that I deserve to feel good. I don’t need to have the instant gratification. Patiently waiting and truly healing is a much more clean and healthy feeling.
So, what does it feel like?
Well, I am happy. I feel lighter. I have more energy. I am encouraged that things are going to be ok. I am proud of myself for living through the dips and forgiving myself for not being perfect. The snow falling outside is beautiful and I’m grateful to be in my warm, safe and comfortable home. I’m even willing to ramble in a post. I am truly tickled to share that I actually cleaned part of the house today. It’s nice to feel like doing something productive. It’s nice to smile again.
Things are looking up. Thank you for being part of it!
P.S. Please be patient with yourself as you work on feeling better. You are perfect in your imperfection. You do deserve to be happy and feel better too. You don’t need to beat yourself up anymore. You have done enough harm. I hope you choose to be kind to yourself!