They say when you hit rock bottom, there’s no where else to go except upwards. I want to say that sometimes it may be better to rest and rejuvenate at the bottom, and that is arguably better than trying to claw your way up from mid way.
I have been carrying a lot of anger, fatigue and sadness for the past few months for various reasons. One of which I’ve just realized, is that I’ve always prided myself on growth, and that meant creating this narrative that I thrive on change and don’t dwell much on the past.
I do thrive on change. But thriving on change has nothing to do whether there are side effects of growing too fast, too soon, too much. I have not stopped much to heal – even muscles need a break to recover. I have gone through so much change in the past four years that when I look back it is ridiculous. Fast growth is almost never sustainable.
I want to share a quote that I found extremely powerful for me. I stumbled onto this book by accident while I was going through a lot of pain in the past few days:
”Sometimes we may need to stop growing. We may need to backstep and regress. Growth, so often these days assumed automatically to be a goal in psychology and in life in general, can become a sentimental value that overlooks the necessity of such things as stagnancy and slippage. The child is not honored if we always expect him to grow up, because a child is not grown up.” – Care of the Soul
We keep asking children to grow up, as though being a child is wrong. I kept telling myself to grow but I never stopped to look at myself as a child and honestly ask, “Am I okay?”.
I have found the past few days to be profoundly painful and yet empowering. I realized that I have grown strong enough to allow myself to truly bear this pain in its full spectrum without apologies, guilt, or haste. I gave myself permission to just be in whatever state I needed to be. I used to feel so terrible feeling terrible that I would spiral into this vicious self-blame cycle.
This time around, I have found myself some courage to just allow myself to do whatever I need – cry, stay in bed, acknowledge my own pain and ask for help. This is the first time I’m allowing myself to reach out to peers and tell them I am not okay, instead of trying to process everything on my own or pretend otherwise. It is also the first time I am trying to remind myself that I am still loved by my people, instead of getting caught up in my own self-loathing.
So why am I sharing this intensely personal experience publicly? Same reason why I write every other post. It defeats the whole purpose if all I’m writing about is my past or my successes. Being able to document my own story as it unfolds, all light and dark of it, is a privilege I cherish and do not take for granted. Who knows one day I may wake up unable to write anymore?
I am very grateful to my peers for giving me the space, love and support I need. I don’t know how long this particular journey will take. I want to stop ignoring my wounds or denying my anger, some of which I’ve been accumulating for decades.
In spite of it all, I think this will be good for me, because I am giving myself an opportunity to end whatever story I was telling myself and re-write a whole new one again, instead of trying to course-correct a story that was not serving me anymore.