1 Year Reflection: Top 5 Areas of Growth
About 11 months ago, I turned to blogging to help myself express and process my feelings. Over that time, it has become both an important part of not only my healing but my personal growth. I have been able to use my blog as a way to be honest and open with who I am, which has allowed me the opportunity to support myself, and more importantly, a few others. In the past year with the help of therapy, blogging and encouragement, I have grown in many ways, here are my top 5 areas of growth:
- A year ago, anytime I was alone, I would panic and cry. I felt extremely depressed to where it was very difficult for me to see who I was or who I wanted to be. I moved to my hometown and put school on the back burner. Thankfully, by the time the Fall Semester came around, I was re-enrolled. I had a roommate for the Fall Semester, which really helped me adjust back into my old routine, while feeling supported. This really changed for me after the Winter Holidays, and over the last 6 months, I have noticed my ability to calm myself down through breathing and meditation when I get overwhelmed. For the last three months, I have been able to go do things alone, like walk in the mornings, workout, and go out to eat. If you asked me a year ago if I could see myself doing any of that, I would have laughed or cried from anxiety over the idea of it.
- A year ago, I was still self-harming. I lied about it a lot, because I was terrified of being Baker Acted again, which honestly slowed my recovery process in many ways. For the last 8 months, I can honestly say I have not cut myself, taken any pills with intent to overdose, or been close to the moment of partaking in either of those abilities. For most people that may not seem like a lot of growth but learning to fight the urge is extremely difficult. Then, learning to change my mindset to not have that urge at all is one of the most difficult things I had to do. And I did a lot of that on my own, because I was too afraid to open up.
- A year ago, I was in co-dependent relationships with family and friends. I felt like I needed those people to survive. Over the last month, I have not spoken to those people. I finally found confidence to where I did not need anyone else to be ok. And, I was able to see that those people never reach out unless they know I am available to do something for them, which has really opened my eyes to knowing my worth and not allowing others to take advantage of me and my desire to make others happy.
- A year ago, my desire to make everyone else happy made it impossible for me to feel happy. I felt trapped by so many things that I was unable to move forward. I kept trying to get attention from people who only gave me their attention when it was convenient for them. Over the last 6 months, I started really pulling away from a lot of relationships in my life that made me feel stuck and weak. Over the last month, I started focusing on the relationships in my life that make me feel strong and confident.
- A year ago, my anxiety was intolerable. I suffer from severe clinical anxiety, meaning I will start sweating, my heartrate will increase, and I will start vomiting when I feel very nervous or anxious. Over the last 3 months, I have not thrown up from anxiety at all. Last week, I met new people and even had conversations with them without crying first or panicking for hours. I was able to feel comfortable and confident enough in myself to be myself without all the insecurities overwhelming me. I am finally in control of my mindset.
Now that I mentioned 5 areas of major growth, I am going to tell you about a vulnerability / insecurity that I am still working on, because it is important to share growth, but even more important to be honest and open about where you are in the process. Those 5 areas of growth have taken a lot of time and energy to develop, and looking back at it, I am beyond proud of how far I have come in the last year. My next goal is learning how to be vulnerable without a computer screen between us. I want to learn how to not only connect with people, but also cultivate friendships with people who understand what I have been through and work together to encourage each other’s growth. This is difficult for me, because I do have anxiety about opening up, which is why this blog has been instrumental in my recovery. My blog has given me the opportunity to open up and be vulnerable in a way that allows for healing and growth. And, I hope next year, when I do a reflection on my growth, I am able to say I have learned to be vulnerable, open up and connect with people in person without the anxiety of who will judge me or who will walk away from me if I am honest on my mental wellness.
Tell me about your recovery process at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, let’s cultivate growth in our mental wellness.
originally published 6.10.2020