The Art of Letting Go

“Just let go.” That’s something I have been told quite a bit on my path to recovery from a traumatic brain injury. From what I can remember about the beginning of my recovery is that everything was out of my control. I needed to be watched while I ate to make sure I was swallowing properly. If I wanted to get out of the house, I had to wait on my mother or see if she could fit a drive with me into her schedule because I couldn’t drive. My own body was foreign to me. I couldn’t maneuver the way I wanted.

Once I woke up from my walking coma everything that I could control I “tried” to. I felt like I needed to know everything about any situation I may enter & if I’m being honest that still remains to an extent. Needed to know everything so I could have a false sense of control but also because of my PTSD. I didn’t want to be caught off by anything. Unfortunately this whole “control” thing only progressed more & more throughout the years of my recovery & took a sharp turn for the worse when I couldn’t make sense of why things had happened the way they had. My wreck. The abusive controlling relationship. The unanswered questions from family & friends on why they weren’t there when they knew I was struggling. I tried to “fix” my problems & be the person I thought I “needed” to be to make things go better for me. To get the answers my heart desperately needed.

The only thing I could control during this time was food, my appearance, & my fun. I didn’t think I was worth anything. I didn’t think I “deserved” to have fun or to have any enjoyment. I was consumed with hurt, shame, & the false narrative of myself that was put there by my abuser. So during this time I lost a lot of weight. I tried to perfect my appearance & personality thinking this would bring me happiness. It would bring me answers. It would bring closure. Well, I was wrong. It only brought me close to death & confusion. I was deeply confused about why my “fixing” wasn’t solving anything. I was following the false narrative put in my head by my abuser. I was working on becoming the woman I was told I need to be/look like to be “good.” It took years with my neuropsychologist before she was able to start to break through that false narrative in my head & get me to believe this “control”thing was just an illusion and that if I didn’t just let go, I would kill myself.

I’m now years past this time. I’m at a healthy weight, & I have ejected that false narrative. Today I feel as close as I ever have been to truly letting go. With that being said unfortunately parts of that false narrative remain. I’m now able to identify those thoughts & eject them, but the feeling of shame that is brought on with those thoughts still remains. My neuropsychologist has helped me see the big picture when working through my shame. Helped me to stop taking my anger from feeling this way out on myself. I’ve learned that the walk towards recovery is a step by step process. I’ve learned it is a long walk & that if you want to truly experience joy & happiness again, you must take the long path. I’m now towards the end of the path, & I am the happiest I have been in years. I don’t know if there are any who identify with this “control” concept & taking your destructive anger out on yourself. I do know that a majority of us struggle with the feeling of belonging or being “good” enough. I do know we all want to be accepted for just as we are. Today is the day to realize you were made for more & allow yourself to believe you deserve to experience the joy of life because you do, we all do.

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