All right, so now we’re getting into those complicated things that are really difficult to describe the how-to. I have no strategy for this. I have no good answers on how to build your sense of Self. But I’ll try to give you an idea of my journey, what I’ve done and which parts has been important to me.
My journey of building my sense of Self began about five years after my mom died. I think it took me all those five-ish years to grieve, get rid of most of my anger and rage. My life spiraled downwards, and I was about thirty years old or so, when I broke down completely.
In my last video, I spoke about the glass container (metaphore) that contains my sense of Self, and how it shattered and everything that is ME was everywhere and nowhere.
How does someone go from there?
That’s a very good question, and not one I have an answer to. I can tell you it took me years and years to patch myself up to some sort of functional level. And as with most kind of trauma that results in depression and other sorts of mental health issues, one needs to be functional at some level before the healing and recovery process can take place.
So what I did was to.. well, to even exist, I had to patch myself up. Took me years, it did, and after putting one plaster on, another one fell off. Repeatedly. It really did take me years and years to get anywhere with this. During those years, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, type II.
My turning point came with therapy. Not even trauma related therapy, but just.. therapy. I had a very good therapist, and while I consider myself very good at healing and recovering on my own, this therapist really helped pushing me a long way ahead.
There are few really important things when it comes to building a sense of Self. I’ve already mentioned a few – such as finding boundaries, a framework for who one is and the understanding that you and I are separate beings.
But seriously, building a sense of Self is no easy task. It requires intense soul searching, and quite possibly intense pain and despair before one’s getting anywhere. In my experience, however, the Self is actually in there somewhere, hidden beneath layers and layers of pain, fear, being lost, dissociation et cetera. I think that what made the most difference for me personally are… finding independence, inner strength (and a spine), allowing myself to have boundaries and understanding the difference between being merged with someone, and staying individual.
A while ago, I watched a video with Richard Grannon where he spoke of core values as a very important part of building Self. When it comes to those, I think the most important one for me is the right to my individuality. I am very much an individualist, both politically (liberal), spiritually and personally. Considering how I grew up, I don’t think it’s that odd, to be honest. I fought extremely hard for my individuality – and I think that’s why people always told me I had such a strong personality and integrity. Little did they know.
But back to those core values. I, too, think they are important – and they, too, require all that soul searching. Everything requires hardcore soul searching. Finding what’s important to YOU in life is important – and difficult. Especially when you have to acknowledge and validate these things all by yourself. For me, that has been extremely difficult as I have needed my dad to validate everything for me, and even then I’ve been insecure.
What I can say about finding my sense of Self is that I am never going back to being Self-less. It’s not easy, because (again; Richard Grannon said in a recent video) – I used to be a non-person. I have dissociated my entire life to a certain degree, and I still do. I am rarely present, but buried rather deep inside my head. I find it extremely difficult to connect my body and my soul – but when I do, I feel really, really good.
Up until quite recently (a year ago or so), I thought I had to be “done” to be at peace, to be human, a person. I have come to realize I don’t. I don’t have to be “done” at all. Life’s a journey, even for those who grew up with normal parents, and I don’t think anyone ever gets “done”. What’s that – being “done”? It’s like saying one is normal – what the hell is that? 😀
That being said; I do feel more at peace with who I am. I do consider that glass container whole. Patched up for sure, but whole. I am still wobbly and I do feel insecure in a lot of areas, but I no longer feel that I need to ask for permission to be who I am, that I need someone else to validate me for every single, tiny thing. It is very liberating.
To wrap this post, I’d just like to say that I am writing this being reaaally, really tired. If it doesn’t make sense to you, that’s probably why. 😀 I apologize if I am somewhat incoherent today.
Until the next, hopefully slightly more understandable post.
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