My Choice to Finally Let Go
Updated: Apr 3, 2019
I have recently learned, through my various experiences with family and friends, that regardless of what I do in life, I cannot avoid external judgment or criticism. Regardless of what I do, and regardless of who I choose to be, someone will always have something to say or criticize. I have learned that these external judgments are out of my control, and because of this, fear of facing this criticism should not prevent me from fully living life. I am the one living life, and life isn't being projected onto me. I am the creator of my story, and I can choose to believe my truth.
Even if I know that my intentions for acting a certain way or engaging with people in a certain way is pure and for the purpose of spreading positivity and joy, it's possible that people may perceive my actions as attention seeking or fraudulent. I have learned to be more firm in my truth. To recognize and remember that if I know I am acting out my truth and being whatever it is that my authentic self draws me to do and be, then that should be enough for me. It should be enough for me, even if others choose to judge and criticize me, even if others don't recognize or understand it as that.
At the end of the day, it is my life that I am living. I have the agency to choose what to believe, and I have the agency to stand with my truth, even if the people around me fail to do so.
This idea of creating my own truths stems from the concept of taking charge of my mind and thoughts, which has arguably been one of the most powerful lessons I've learned in this recovery process. I truly believe it will take me a lifetime to learn how to master my thoughts and beliefs in a way that serves me and allows me to live the most fulfilling life that I can. However, I am extremely grateful to have had to learn this lesson now in life, and my passion to inform others about this profound realization is what drives me to fight my mind everyday.
I have never dealt with stress in a healthy way. In high school, in an effort to avoid feeling stressed about my academics or grades, I would start studying for projects or exams far in advanced and often overstudy to ensure I was as prepared as I could be. In college, this avoidance of stress was projected onto my body and insecurities around my self-worth. I became fixated on controlling my environment and appearance in order to avoid the stress that came with feeling inadequate in myself. Whenever I was feeling stressed about academics or felt any painful emotions, I would immediately engage in disordered behaviors that would temporarily distract me from feeling sad or fearful.
Emotions are adaptive. Even the painful ones that feel unbearable to sit with. Each emotion is like a wave. It will rise to a point where its intensity is felt greatly, but just like most things in life, the intensity will subside and it will pass. I have learned that everything is temporary. Life is a series of uncontrollable, temporary experiences, thoughts, emotions, or sensations, and to accept that fully and not push it away is the key to living the most fulfilling and satisfying life. Running away from emotions through avoidance or distractions doesn't work - trust me, I learned the hard way. Like injecting CO2 into a bottle, painful emotions will only build up until they cannot be intensified further, and have the potential to fully overwhelm and destroy a person, inside then out.
I am learning how to let go of the need to control everything. I can only study so much, can only try my best, and the rest is out of my control. I can only focus on myself and work on myself, and cannot control others' perceptions or judgments of me, that is out of my control. On the cellular level, I cannot control my body or hormonal responses to my manipulations of behaviors, to a great extent, that is also out of my control.
I am learning how to let go.