how to be gentle and patient

the way your parents brought you up has a huge impact on the adult you grow up to be. sure, there are ways your parents influence your life that will better you forever. but then there are ways in which your parents will break and shatter your life so that you spend the rest of it trying to mend the cracks.

to this day, every time i do something wrong, i mentally scold myself because i was taught to self-discipline every time i made a mistake.
you didn’t do so great on a test?
you didn’t study enough and you should feel dumb for the simple mistakes you made.
you’re sick?
you didn’t sleep enough and you shouldn’t have gotten sick in the first place.
you’re feeling sad and blue?
stop wasting time and make up for falling behind.

every tuesday i sink into the plush vinyl of my therapist’s office and try to undo the knots. it’s a process that i’m definitely still trying to navigate, especially when it feels like i’m taking a step back for every two steps forward.

my therapist goes down my laundry list of bad mental habits, which makes me immediately feel guilty and take fault for not knowing how to treat myself kindly. she fails to mention ways for me to nice to myself. she doesn’t talk about how important it is to foster a good relationship with yourself. she forgets to tell me that learning how to be gentle and patient with myself is so so so important.

and so, i stand up from the plush vinyl armchair, and feel somehow worse. because when you remove something from your body, but you don’t know what to replace it with, your body collapses inward on itself and you succumb to bad habits.

you find familiarity in the manic crying spells that plagued your high school years, the tugging of your heart strings that you thought were already broken, the way your eyelids feel the morning after you’ve cried yourself to sleep.

you forget that healing isn’t linear and sometimes it’s okay to take a step back when you thought you were doing so well.

you hate that your normal doesn’t match up with every one’s normal.

today, i watched someone i felt tender feelings for give flowers to someone else. how could i have misjudged a situation this badly? i swore to god there was something there. there’s no way i could have fucked up that badly.

but then the image of my therapist in her plush vinyl armchair came to mind, chiding me for how mean i was being to myself. it isn’t healthy taking fault and placing blame on myself for something that has nothing to do with me.

but when you take away the blame, i somehow manage to feel even shittier, and it’s because i associate coping and healing with lashing out and placing the blame on myself.

god, how fucked up is that.

there’s only so much weight that i can carry before my body starts giving out, which explains the aches, the mental fogginess and the sad cloud that has made a home in my heart.

i’m trying my hardest to learn how to be gentle and patient with this body of mine, but its hard to do that when you were never taught how. it’s like when you’re trying to unlock your front door while fumbling with the keys in the dark. you know you’ll figure it out eventually, but it’d be way easier if the porch light was on.

it would have helped to make today a bit easier if i could stop the infinite loop in my mind from playing back every scenario of the boy and girl together over and over and over again, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes and you have to go home and wrap yourself in a fuzzy blanket and drink wine with your roommates. sometimes that happens and you just have to tell your mind

we have to stop. please let me rest, just for tonight.

even though i want to spend tomorrow wishing that i didn’t exist and that i could just skip from participating in february 14, i know that fumbling for a little bit longer in the dark won’t be quite as bad as i think it is.