looking back at 2018, a year full of lessons

*5 am* nights are getting quite chilly here in Mumbai…and my cold is back!

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I read a quote on Instagram yesterday which was related to on a deeper level. It goes –


“It is so disturbing to think back & realize the stuff you allowed people to do to you simply because you didn’t respect yourself enough to not let it happen. 

@theartidote

This one stuck for hours. It reminded me how I’ve transformed over the last year in order to restore my sanity and self-respect. So, I thought of writing a recap of the year that has gone by and celebrate the journey of my growth.

It all started when I came out of a serious relationship in mid-2017. I was deeply involved in it, so the break-up led to a broken heart. I was shattered. My dream of a happily ever after was no longer going to come true. And I had never contemplated how life would be if the person I was involved with, left. My life had been perfect, and suddenly it felt like it wasn’t. I had become so comfortable and dependent in the relationship that I had never really lived for myself or by myself. I had planned my entire life around the person, thinking that break-up was never an option.

But suddenly, there I was, standing alone- unsure of how to continue living.

It led me into a dark phase of self-destruction for most part of 2017. Although I started the new year with hope, positivity and resolutions, I continued my self-destructive behaviour of excessive drinking, being around some not-so-decent people, even sleeping around when there was no need to. Basically, making all the wrong decisions. I didn’t realize I was wrong or was indulging in “self-destruction”. Back then I thought I was doing all the right things to overcome my grief of what life had so mercilessly thrown at me.

Through-out this phase, my parents and friends were always there to hold my hand. But something was always missing. At first, I thought I was “missing” the person I ended things with, the void they left in my life needed to be filled with anyone who could make me feel loved or wanted. And with that thought, I took decisions under the influence of alcohol. I just didn’t want to feel guilty, and more importantly- I simply didn’t want to feel alone.

The need for acceptance and the need to belong to something, to someone- or literally anyone overtook my senses. I let myself down the drain because I thought that is what I deserved. The emotionally difficult break-up made me feel that I wasn’t worth anything good. I constantly blamed myself for everything that had happened to me. I was scared of life. It went to a point where I started getting anxiety attacks, sudden pangs of restlessness that led to headaches, sweaty palms and an overwhelming fear.

Some part of me knew that I needed a cleanse. I knew I needed to take a pause, reflect and get my life in order. But it usually happens only when you hit your lowest. So before reaching the reflection part, I wasted quite some time erring.

I don’t really remember the exact moment when I was at my lowest though. But I remember the day things changed. It was the day I went on a rafting trip with my colleagues. In the middle of the river, I jumped in, floated on the cold water and stared at the boundless sky. It was the calmest moment I had experienced in a long long time. The peace of that moment must have brought it all back – the motivation I was missing, the realization of the damage I had done to myself and the need for me to get my life together.

After that trip, I realized the “missing” thing was “me”. I needed to love “myself” and be a whole by myself. I didn’t need anyone else to complete me. I started caring for my mind. I started respecting, admiring and encouraging myself. The first and the most important thing I did was tell myself I was in no way responsible for the failed relationship. I told myself repeatedly that I wasn’t a bad person and didn’t deserve bad things. I applauded myself for everything I had done to save it but also consoled myself that despite my efforts, it was over.

And guess what…

I started seeing the bright side. I finally started to feel happy from within. It wasn’t easy & it took a lot of time. It is never all rainbows and unicorns. Anxiety still happens, only now it is less severe. Life always throws some or the other problem at me as it should and there still are some mornings when I hate to get out of bed; days when I walk in to the office with zero motivation or nights when I feel like crying my lungs out.

But I don’t run to alcohol, hook-ups or any form of self-abuse to find the solution to these things. I simply deal with the “problem” that is causing me emotional trouble, which then helps in fighting the anxiety.

I have learnt to deal with the problem by dividing it into small components which are then resolved one at a time. I am not held back by my problems anymore. Its over. I’ve conquered it.

Lastly, I just want to say that I’m being loved now like I should be. There’s care, respect, admiration and encouragement to be better. And all of this is a result of me having found happiness by loving myself first and without expecting another person to make me happy. I am glad I learned the lessons and understood the importance of respecting myself more than anything.

To an insightful 2018, I just want to say – Thank you.

2 thoughts on “looking back at 2018, a year full of lessons

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