When you stop looking outwardly for validation.
When you stop expecting people to fill the gaps of loneliness or pain inside you. When you can look inside, really take care of the pain, rejection, humiliation, disappointment, shame then you can really begin to build your life to be one that feels content.
It is so scary. To start the process of accepting and acknowledging the things we carry inside. The things about us that we are too scared or ashamed to share. These are things that you and only you alone can begin to fix.
I had a conversation last night with a friend and I told him I could relate to how he was feeling. How I had spent years of my life in a pit of despair. I was consumed with hatred for myself, full of shame of who I was. I tried everything I could to control how I felt. Not eating, binging, purging, drinking myself into an oblivion, drugs, casual flings and all of it made me feel empty. I felt like I had a bottomless pit of dark energy and emotion. I was so angry. Frustrated at life. Tired of painting on a happy face.
I spent all of my 20s slowly building myself up. Piece by piece. I was in outpatient therapy at an eating disorders clinic for 18 months. I began to work on my physical health and eventually made the decision to go sober almost 2 years ago.
It has been a tough and long process.
Addressing a number of mental health issues along the way. Navigating children, divorce, bereavement and general life along the way. But wow. It has made me so resilient. Things that would have sent me into a complete spiral before barely phase me. I am content in myself. I do not seek validation or approval from other people to feel complete. I carry the feeling of I AM ENOUGH in my heart and I remind myself daily how strong I am. How I got through SO much and flourished.
For those who have not yet begun healing those dark parts or for those who are struggling. The hard work pays off. Life can be stable. You can be content.