Just a little about where I’ve been
Wow friends, it sure has been a while! When I started this break from writing and Instagram, I wasn’t really sure how long it was going to last. I knew I needed a break, but I also knew giving myself a timeline was only going to make me feel pressured without leaving time just for rest. It’s the first time in 2 years that I’ve taken more than just a week off of social media and I can’t believe how grounding it was. I had decided to step away for a minute because to be quite honest I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. The beginning of this year has been quite the whirlwind in and of itself, but I also did a really good job of overloading myself. I had so many ideas of things I wanted to do and pressured myself to put it all out at once. Looking back now, I can recognize that I definitely should’ve taken my time. So many things and so little energy to fully dedicate myself to all of them. Starting a new job, showing up online everyday, and just living normal life was definitely giving my anxiety a run for its money.
I love the community on social media but, navigating the day to day images became too much for me. When you show up everyday, it’s hard to stay grounded and appreciate the good things social media can bring. For me, it quickly became a space of comparison, anxiety, and stress. Questioning myself everyday why my numbers weren’t where I though they’d be. Questioning if I was doing it “right”. And questioning if my voice really belonged in this space. I needed some time to really ground myself and reconnect with my purpose. I began this journey last year to share the ups and downs of life in an authentic and vulnerable way and it’s meant everything to me. Through this time away though I’ve also realized how much energy it takes to show up vulnerably day in and day out. As I began to put more into writing, I started to disconnect my feelings from my experiences. When the vulnerable parts of you are put on display, I think it becomes a natural defense to want to disconnect from it a little because it makes it easier. One day I sat down to write and I suddenly didn’t feel that deep connection to my experience. I didn’t feel anything. The feelings attached with my experiences are everything. They are what allow me to connect in a real way and I knew I needed to get that back.
Another big thing happened in the last month that really showed me how much work and growth I still have to come.
At the end of February, I had a car accident. I was rear ended and although my car had some damage in the scope of accidents it was pretty minor. Despite the damage being minor, I had a major neurological response to it. Immediately following the accident, something happened and I lost my ability to speak. As I tried to speak, nothing came out. I had the thoughts in my mind and knew exactly what I wanted to say but simply couldn’t verbalize it. At the scene, officers and EMT’s chalked it up to just my anxiety but being that I’ve dealt with anxiety all my life I knew this was different. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. I was taken to the hospital and was admitted overnight. There were no changes in the first 24 hours and as I struggled to communicate even my most basic thoughts I was terrified.
After they ruled out any physical injuries, the conclusion came that it was definitely something more neurological and emotional. They explained how past traumas can be triggered by a particular event, resulting in my brain entering this sort of “escape mode.” Over the next few days my speech progressed and it’s completely back now but I have to say it was the most terrifying experience of my life. For three days, I was unable to fully communicate anything I was thinking. It also left me with so many more questions. Questions like:
If it happened now, will it happen again?
Do I have more work to do and deeper things to dive into?
Can we every fully heal from traumas?
I’ve now had time to sort through some of this with my therapist and she’s been able to make me feel much more at peace with all of it. She affirmed that the trauma response I had is common. We’ve worked on breathing techniques to bring me out of it, if it happens again, and we’ve started a new journey of healing.
In the last month and a half, I’ve also had a lot of realizations about how to show up vulnerably and what that looks like for me, at this point. I think it’s easy to think that sharing everything equates to vulnerability. But as I continue my healing and growing process I’m realizing that true healing and growth comes from being able to keep certain things just for ourselves. Giving ourselves space to process it just on our own. I found that as I continued to retell certain stories to even my closest friends, it gave these experiences more power than they deserved. It kept the wounds open and painful. I’ve posed this question before, and now the answer makes much more sense to me. “Why do we have to journey to the other side before we often share things?” And I think the answer now is, to love and honor ourselves. We have to be able to give to ourselves, before we can give to others. I’m still working on the balance- the balance of being vulnerable and honoring the space that I need to heal. It gets easier to notice the things that are ready to be shared and the things that still need healing, but I’m learning more and more every single day.
Thank you guys for sticking with me through this one. It was a long one, but I wanted to let you guys in on where I’ve been and what have been some really important moments of growth in the last month. I’m so excited to get back and I really have missed connecting with all of you. This last month and this experience has given me new perspective. It’s given me more freedom. And it’s given me more appreciation for this beautiful, fragile life.
Sending love, always 💛