So, I have always had this practical “need” to feel “in control” about my state of mind. To feel in a good amount of control of my recovery and mental health growth curve. (Everybody does, you say? Well.. Not a very functional need, nonetheless!)
And this “need” of mine to be able to honestly say “All under control. Am doing fine!” had perhaps unwittingly manifested in me still retaining a residual outer shell of a “mostly sorted” survivor, who had survived and won very many battles.
“Survived” – in the Past tense! Current status? – All under control. Current face? – “been there, done that!” kinda calm, smiling. After all I am running an “Awareness blog/program”. I am the “Founder – Editor – Activist”. I am a strong survivor.
However, seems the Big Force Up There had secret plans to push me to the next level of Naked Vulnerable Authencity. (Right! How much I Love that cataclysmic phrase since last year! Don’t even ask why!)
Somehow, even after a few weeks of severe depression and inner chaos, which made me go, “WTF is this fresh low that makes it look like I have learnt nothing so far, grown not an inch, rather backslid?”, I was still not seeing what it was gently inviting me to step into.
Until, the (perhaps bewildered? Lol!) Universe decided to ‘spoonfeed’ me again and dropped a rather direct truthbomb question “What are you hiding from?”
Even as I was trying to solve that question, next It popped up before my eyes certain personal writings, dripping with real time, raw struggles, of some likeminded random stranger.
Two put together – BAM!
Four or more weeks of my suspicion – Confirmed! I had been hiding away from the world the Next Level of the Authentic, Naked, Vulnerable Me! Version 2.0.
That Me, who, inspite of being all of that “Awakened, Warrior, Activist” in her own right – yet, till date struggles and battles real stuff – just as any other individual, who, having a long dysfunctional history, and only more recently committed to recovery, might still struggle.
But until now, I perhaps had still not understood that word in its entirety – Authenticity! And had yet to fully embrace it. (Ummm.. Who else had said this to me?)
At least not this Version 2.0.
I had successfully come out of the closet, years back. I was, now for long, speaking openly about my survival and victories. In retrospect. Sometimes even in real time, especially on this blog. I recall having written several blogposts here, while struggling real time, and finding catharsis by the time I would complete each penning. All that has always been absolutely authentic. All cool!
However, when I am REALLY messed – like messed AF – bawling my eyes out in blues or churning in anxiety and chaos – in such raw moments, till date I Simply take off from the Battlefield. Sudden, yet deliberate M. I. A. mode.
Reason? To avoid overwhelm. To avoid explaining myself. To avoid looking like a mess! To avoid being bothered with patronizing pity, prodding questions and unsolicited “help / advice”. For truth is, when I am Overwhelmed inside my head – I Effing cannot take any extra stimulus. Nor do I want you to see me in that “unsorted” state! Too much attention! Thank you. But EFF OFF!!
But, this time let’s do this differently.
Authenticity version 2.0.
After all, that’s the cryptic Invitation the Big-U was sending through such dreadful relapses! Got the message. Here I am. Showing up. But showing up one layer of skin less. One glare of nakedness more.
Showing up while feeling unwilling AF to even show up and post this.
For more than last four weeks I have grappled with deep, deep depression – like a MF!
While being unable to figure out why. (Add that to the frustration list!) Doing things right. Keeping busy. Attending intense workshops. Working on Self. Working on projects. Doing all the daily happy things. Realigning. Meditating. Singing. Dancing. Sleeping. Sexing. Cooking. Eating. (No. Wait! Make that “junkfood binging!”)
Yet, a depression, despair, and dis-illusionment, that had no easy-to-trace rhyme or reason, raged on. Driving me increasingly into my typical hibernation and a misplaced misanthropy.
Same time, the questions “WTF is wrong again? – and WhyTFFF am I ‘preaching’ fellow survivors about mental health and happiness when I can’t even lift my own vibes up for weeks?” was constantly irritating the hell out of me “the Activist”. And with that, I had begun feeling repulsed by the idea of sharing even one piece of personal wisdom with half a “struggling” Soul. No motivation whatsoever! (Still hardly!)
That feeling of “Let it all go to hell!”. I needed a breather. I wanted a break. I was struggling. I felt raw. I felt sore. Not just psychologically or emotionally, but quite literally, physically too. (with a sudden bad relapse of Mastalgia and fibrocystic aches). I needed to just Be for a bit! I didn’t feel like doing any hallowed activism, pathshowing, serving, motivating, inspiring, preaching, teaching, effing nothing!!!!!!
For I was so tired. So dreadfully depressed. So down in the dumps. I was battling fresh despairs that had no real basis. I was warring with deep, sad, nameless emotions.
Of course I knew, I would again deal with these and come out “sorted and victorious” sooner or later. But, until then, I couldn’t be bothered with sharing or caring! Where does “sharing about my victories and Light, to motivate others” fit into all this mess? Nowhere, you bitch!
Or so I thought!
While, through it all, I now see, and believe, the greater Invitation was/is simply this –
“Level up!! Drop even the last threads of that veil from over your face. Let them see that you, even after so many victories, still incur wounds and weep. Wail too, at times even like an effing wild wolf!
“Let that controlled voice of a Leader loose its firmness. Let them hear your intermittently tired, irritated, human screams too. Your muffled cries. Your momentary peaks of frustration and angry curse words.
“Let them know that one can legitimately be an ‘Aware Mind, a Woke Soul, a Warrior’ and so on, and still cuss in rage, while sitting and processing through all their unresolved pain. Heck! Let them even realize that you still have some of that. Have what? Unresolved pain!
“Let them see, through you, that there’s NO once-and-for-all “been there, done that, finally graduated to the sorted side and so I now show up to show you The Way!” – NO such thing for anyone – not even for all the SoaB level Masters. You “be there, do that” in continuum, in progression towards stronger climbs, and greater victories, every single day.
“You learn. You soar. You show others the way. BUT also – You fall. You fuck up. You yell. You fail. At time fail even at applying all that you’ve already learnt – momentarily albeit. For a while, you forget. You sulk. You self-judge. You self-doubt. You wail. You grieve. Then. You get again tired of that familiar but long disowned dysfunctional choices. You remember. You get up. Cuss some more. Wipe your face. Give Life some credit, give It your trust back and your grinning gratitude – and you get back on the goddam path!”
Yes. That’s how it goes. Yes. That’s who I am. That’s the Real Authentic Me. And perhaps that’s all I had always needed to show up as!
Question was/is – Can I embody that fully, openly, without fear, without apologizing, and without feeling the need of “not showing up until feeling all sorted again”?
What an Invitation! Btw, dear Life, was that pretext of four prolonged weeks (and still mildly on!) of dreadful depression really needed? A handwritten instruction manual directly dropped on my pillow perhaps would have felt nicer. What? Ah, Ok. Yes, I can see You nodding off the word “spoonfeeding”. Thank you!)
How and when exactly did I again forget? The tiredness probably comes with “needing to always sound sane and strong”. The social burn out possibly stems from all our cruel self-push to each time “show up sorted”.
The raging indifference I was (still mildly am) grappling with vis-a-vis my will and my role and my need to speak for any cause, was perhaps the voice of my Innate Intelligence calling my own (baseless) bluff – of keeping intact remnants of that old “I feel fine! All under control!” face.
Isn’t that, ironically, even exact opposite to the core message of my own project that I was, same time, hiding parts of me away from?
“To have the courage and hold the stance of being raw, real and speaking up about our deepest, AND EVEN ONGOING, NOT JUST PAST, struggles, with naked vulnerability!”
And, I being the Founder / Activist, the one spearheading such a message, myself fell into the “Am doing fine!” trap??? Like seriously?
So yeah. Whatever this mini F-Up was! I own it! And turn it around! With the truthbomb.
For the last five months, I have gifted my dear Self personal victories after victories. I have met unexpected, unprecedented psychological and practical breakthroughs. Quit a major addiction. Broken out of old patterns. Same time, professionally performed. Met deadlines. Attended intense therapy workshops. Healed. Grown. Shown up. Nonstop. Without a break. All to a warrior’s glory! Great!
But. Now, the same glorious “Warrior” me had been feeling dreadfully depressed. For weeks. Despair and dissatisfaction swirling around, for no good reason. I had been frequently breaking into squeaky sobs. At times, even gut wrenching ones.
Both are Real Me.
Luckily, there is no rule in Leadership or Motivation which demands that I shy away from honestly saying –
Yes, my depression recently returned severe. Along with myriads of baseless despair, dissatisfaction, some old wounds, some new challenges, and loads of deep deep emotional stuff.
All the while, without a break, I had still been busy addressing some deep core issues, facing and healing significant parts of me. That process is never painless. I too, naturally, had been hurting through all the healing.
I am allowed to “show up” to honestly say, I am currently not feeling super sorted.
And I am here to “show up” and simply say, “I currently don’t even feel like showing up at all!”
Lately my body too had been battling some very painful physical conditions. Lately my mind too has often felt scattered and overwhelmed.
So while I feel exhausted, I can say “I feel effing exhausted. Not now, please!”
While I feel all scattered and lacking motivation, I shall simply say “Currently I don’t have any clarity myself. Hence, can’t offer it to anyone else. Later, please!”
I must say, that my being a warrior, or any “Enlightened” Soul, or a survivor-turned-happy-thriver, or an Activist, even a Founder of an Awareness drive, and an Editor of a mental health magazine – has NOTHING to do with me pulling off any “infallible, impeccable” psychological, personal or even ‘spiritual’ stunt round the clock. No such thing exists!
Paradoxically, the more one grows, the more one learns that challenges prevail, and so does transcending them, towards tasting newer heights of happy growth.
So. Authenticity – version 2.0 —
Even after all these years of training, therapy, learning, recovery, growing, taking back my power, “Waking up”, spiritually maturing, being a warrior, a motivator, and so on and whatever else – I am definitely not “all sorted”, and still struggle, at times AF!
I still drown. I swim up. I drown again. I cry. I wail. Then I wipe my face and smile at Life. I laugh again. I get confused. Often. And AF! I yell at Life. At myself. I then kiss and make up – with myself. Also with Life. I doubt my Self and Life. I choose my Faith in these again. I doubt my strength. I deep breathe and flex my inner muscles again.
Basically, I do this Sacred dance on a rollercoaster of Being human and being Alive, of meeting my deepest darkness and finding my unending Light, Daily. At times, even hour by hour. In all its glory and gut wrenching bits.
That’s who I am. Currently.
And that’s all I have to say for now. For now, nothing more.
For now, honestly? I wish to be quiet for a little longer. Be with Self. Bask in solitude. Smile at roadside wild flowers and stray dogs. Go for solitary walks. Sip hot tea beside my bedroom window. Sleep. Hum. Sigh blissfully in silence.
Until perhaps when I am again feeling all motivated and ready to brandish my sword and share aloud something more meaningful.
Until then, I shall be this Me. Unapologetically “unsorted”. And standing naked and honest in that too. Perhaps that too is a service. That too a motivation for someone out there struggling to find the courage to do the same.
So, until next time,
Love and Light!
Author and © : Nivedita Dey
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