On the other side of the door

On the other side of the door

Click, click, click… The familiar sound of the keys, funny enough, sounds a bit foreign. It has indeed been too long.  I like to feel the smoothness of the keyboard, the sound as I press down on each key begins to feel more comfortable, inviting even… As if they want me to continue typing, writing, sharing…

It seems to be a pattern for me to start my blog by sharing how much I have missed it… If I love it so much, why do I not blog more often?  Quite truthfully, I just don’t make time for it… I started prioritizing my focus on academia. Overall, however, I was prioritizing my focus on Ana. (Yes Ana, I am talking about you… shut up and leave me alone) …  As soon as she notices that I talk about her, her voice fires up and she opens the door to all the dark places in my mind… The beauty of it, nowadays at least, is that I am standing at the opposite side of that door (as opposed to being in there with her, at the edge of that door, wanting to get out but desperately clinging on to her) … On this side, further away from her, I see some light…. I don’t really have the urge to venture past the door (or the urge is not as latent) and lose myself in the deepest corners where she resides… As I sense this new feeling of authority over her, I try to remember how I got here, how did I manage to cross that threshold… To be honest, corny, cliché… I crossed that threshold with love… Love for life, love for my hobbies, love for my time… Love for myself.

It’s odd… It’s difficult to express it… I figured it’d be easier now, now that I can say it out loud… Say it without feeling selfish, ashamed, embarrassed, self-conscious or guilty… And yet, I still feel hesitant to write this…

I look back to when I started my master’s degree… That’s when I started to feel her getting stronger, I couldn’t fight her, I let her win… I thought she would help me… She always seemed like the best and only option… Two years later- sixteen years later, if I’m being honest- I am finally breaking free, we’re in different sides of that door… that premise where she has taken residence and refuses to leave… where she encompasses all my insecurities and holds all my fears and triggers … Though I am further away from her, we are still holding hands… She still calls to me, she still lures me to where she is… I don’t listen as much anymore, I am stronger and better able to keep her where she belongs… Away from my happiness, away from myself…
So what has changed? The answer to that is, again, love… Self-love.  To most people it’s obviously simple, I suppose… For me, however, it has been harsh and complicated to accomplish, to admit and to continue to practice… It turns out, as, in other relationships, self-love is an everyday practice (an everyday battle for me) … As I continue to type, I begin to feel awfully exposed and vulnerable… as if all my nerve endings were exposed… naked and raw…

I used to hate the reflection in the mirror… I’d be disgusted by it… And her voice would start (still does) to attack that reflection, making me hate it even more… It started as a joke really… A “what would happen if I told myself that I love myself” moment… I plucked up what little courage I could manage to approach the mirror (she gets louder the moment she sees that reflection) … after a few failed attempts to get myself to say those words out loud… I was finally able to say them “I love you, I love myself”… The world stopped, that deep dark hole that consumed me-that filled me with an emptiness that became an abyss within myself, where I felt lost, alone and disconnected- finally began to change, to repair itself… I felt complete, I wasn’t empty anymore… I continued to say them out loud… to my reflection, to myself… And I felt every crevice of my soul healing a little… After so many years of self-loathing, self-torture… I am finally able to see myself… I was able to breathe and not feel like I was becoming undone (as how it felt back then, with your absence, when our story ended) … I can breathe in deeply and come back alive…My soul is not empty anymore… And I figured that was it, the end of the drowning darkness where Ana resides, from where she still calls to me… It turned out to be the breaking point of self-discovery…
I still struggle with Ana… It’s hard to say no to her, to not listen to her… overall it is quite difficult to stay on my side of the threshold and keep her at a distance. She can be so tempting and inviting… But it is a beautiful thing to know that I don’t need her, I don’t want her… To know that I want to break apart from her and discover this new journey of self-love and self-acceptance… To embrace the defects, she hates and constantly points out… To be able to look at myself in the mirror and admit that I love myself is such a sweet feeling… And though I have just started, and I am aware of how easy it is for me to fall back. Knowing that she will always be there to catch me, she is always hoping I will go back… a weirdly twisted form of loyalty… As I stand on the other side (scared, excited, hesitantly venturing towards self-discovery and self-love) I smile, take a deep breath and I realize that, indeed, “to be free is very sweet”…



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