The path of recovery and change is long and hard.
You can spend twenty years working on a dysfunction, doing everything you can to learn how and why it happened, work to make sure it won’t happen that way again, but end up with it thrown right back in your face. It starts with a simple error in judgment and can easily start to run away from you. You get sucked up into the emotions that you thought you had overcame a long time ago. They fuel more bad decisions, you don’t listen to the people you should, and you only look forward with blinders.
The next thing you know, you’re staring at yourself in the cracked mirror that you thought you had fixed years ago. All of the horrible feelings that went along with it, all of the crushing blackness of depression and self-loathing, is sitting right there on your shoulder again. It laughs and mocks. It digs and picks at you. It will try to throw you straight back down into the hole you spent years climbing out of.
But, you have to forgive yourself. You have to acknowledge you’re human and will make bad decisions. And it doesn’t mean you are less of a person or stupid. It’s just the nature of the road that leads to self-improvement. The best approach is to own it, do your best to repair it, and move past it.
In related subject matter, I can’t tell you how stupid I used to think adjusting negative self-talk was. Like many people, I would colossally fuck up, look in the mirror, and tear myself to pieces. Many moons ago, I did end up learning from a therapist that it can play a major role in helping to alleviate future crashes and depression. The more you dwell and focus on it, even in using negative language against yourself, the more fuel you throw onto the fires so they can burn hotter and longer.
So for the people out there who think the idea of positive self-talk is stupid (which I did for many years), it’s really not. It’s just no one really explains that it helps adjust the whole way in which you perceive yourself and deal with your mistakes. It’s not a one time thing and it’s not going to drastically swing things for the positive, but it does make dealing with the lows a bit easier. It’s one small piece of the overall picture.
You’ll have setbacks, you’ll make mistakes, and ghosts from your past may come back to haunt you from time to time. The important thing is to not dwell too long on them. Acknowledge them, work to repair the damage, and move forward. And try not to be too much of an asshole to yourself when it eventually does happen; because it will.
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