Learning to Love Again

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

This past month, I have had to take a break from my creative endeavors. When the month started, I had so many posts and video ideas I wanted to share with a pre-planned schedule for all of my platforms. But the world has other plans for me. I wish I could say it was something that specifically happened to me or a thought that crossed my mind, but it wasn’t. I just burned out. You know that feeling when you just don’t feel like yourself? When a bad mood carries over a couple of days and then it’s weeks and then finally it’s been a month and you’re like, “Why am I not feeling better?” I know this is not a universal experience, but it is common. While I may not know what the catalyst was, I knew for a fact that I was not right at my core. I had to stop everything.

Unfortunately, I still have to work, but I pretty much stopped everything else. I hadn’t been working out, I hadn’t been eating a balanced diet or even eating on a consistent schedule, I didn’t have any urge to create, and any other routine I used to use to bounce back wasn’t working. For the first time in my entire life, I had to wake up each day and just listen to what my body needed. They may not have been the healthiest options on the surface, but I needed to be still, to do nothing. I didn’t see the point of pushing myself to do things if I did not enjoy them or feel any benefit from them. Sure, I could go for a run, but I still felt off when I got home. I could use my creative outlets as an escape, but then I wouldn’t like what I created. When you’re at a point where you have no energy or motivation, the worst thing you can do for yourself sometimes is try to force it in the hopes that it will fix everything. A major issue that I had to overcome, and am very much still trying to overcome, is the guilt I carried for stopping everything and how it pulled me further to a point where I started feeling a dislike (sometimes hate) for myself.

Why I hated myself for simply trying to take care of mental health, I have no idea. In fact, that’s part of the recovery I am in now. Though today–the day I am writing this–is a more hopeful, motivated day, I’m still not 100% myself. I don’t even feel remotely close. I’m still burned out. But I do know that I have to start somewhere. I went for a run three times in the last week. I started doing Meatless Mondays. I’ve been articulating to my loved ones when I am upset even if there’s no immediate solution for the problem. I’ve just been trying to be more honest in every sense of the word and most importantly with myself. I want to really see myself. Rediscover who I am, who I want to be, and the parts of me I’ve loved but lost along the way.

I am so exhausted of bringing myself to tears when one side of my brain points out flaws while the other condemns me for feeling this way about myself. I don’t know what I need at this stage. I’m sure I just need therapy, but I also need to figure out which part of me is feeling unfulfilled, who-if anyone-is playing a role in that, and how to get back to that point where I used to feel content being in my own presence. I need to learn to love myself again. Though getting the thoughts out are just one step in the right direction, at least I’m finally taking steps. I’m getting out of my stupor and setting out down a path of more compassion, more understanding, more forgiveness, more trust, more confidence, and more security. I’m just ready to be an active and present participant in my own life.
xx, AE

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