Saturday, 30 March 2024 11:25


Recently, I have felt as if I am unraveling. I am watching myself fall apart mentally, emotionally, and maybe even physically. It’s uncomfortable and I am resisting. I want to feel whole again. I want to be in control of my life again. Just when I feel that I have a grasp on this thing we call life, another wrench is thrown into the proverbial smooth running machine. 

I’ve been on an official healing journey for over three years, but really, the journey began many years before that. 

I feel as though I have unraveled many times throughout my life. The first time I didn’t understand what was happening, for I was only a little girl. When my mom died, my family unraveled in their own ways. I picked up on myriad states of grief–depression, anger, confusion, disbelief, and sadness–and, in turn, formed an anxious attachment style when it came to relationships. This meant that I was constantly in fear of more of my family members abandoning me, just like my mother had. 

The fears followed me throughout my childhood, and when I reached high school, the critical voice we all have in our heads that enjoys telling us lies about ourselves, like we are not lovable, worthy, or valued, got louder. The anxious attachment style and the voice’s criticisms made me believe that I needed everyone to like me (I tried my very best to do everything I was told). I thought that I had to go out of my way to please other people (I kept my opinions to myself because I didn’t want anyone to get mad at me). I allowed significant others to belittle me and tell me I was being overly sensitive (I tried to keep my feelings to myself). If these conditions weren’t met, then I thought I would be abandoned and left without anyone who loved or cared about me. 

When overwhelming thoughts and fears of the future paralyze or trap us, it can feel like we are falling apart at the seams. We think we will never feel whole again. We fight them, or succumb to the torment. We naturally tend to listen to the negative parts of ourselves because we mistakenly believe the voice is trying to keep us safe and in a comfortable state. We convince ourselves that we are fine and we should stay where we are. However, this isn’t what happens and instead, the criticisms do the opposite of what we think they will. They convince us of our flaws and that there is something horribly wrong with us and always will be. They are like quick sand in that, the more we struggle to break free, the more they bog us down. 

I was and still am in constant state of unraveling. I battle with uncertainty about who I am and what I want. I can't make decisions for fear of making the wrong ones. I have doubts in my self-worth, and second guess everything. It caused anxiety, worry, and insomnia. 

The good news is I learned that these states of mind are not fixed and we do have the ability to change the voices in our heads and replace them with a more optimistic, compassionate ones if we put in the work. It’s easier said than done and for some people, being mindful and meditation helps. But I never had the patience to stick with a consistent practice, so instead, one day I called in reinforcements in the form of an imaginary friend I came to call a spiritual ally. Before you stop reading and deem me as a total nutbag, please hear me out. 

Believe it or not, having conversations with an imagined figure that you look up to (alive, dead, real, or not) can help combat the critical guy. I practiced with this a little bit in California at the healing retreat when our insrtructor asked us to call those ones we lost on a rotary phone and have a conversation with them as if they were truly on the other end. I can’t explain how or why, but this woowoo act actually worked to relieve a lot of the feelings and words I had buried for years. 

If it works for grieving purposes, why wouldn’t it work for anything else? One day when no one else was around I said, “Okay, I’m tired of being told I’m not good enough and there’s something wrong with me. I need some help from a spiritual ally that can stand in a fight for me when this mean voice pipes up. I need this spirit ally to tell the mean voice to shut up and stop saying that crap that isn't true. I need it to be ready to fight at a moment’s notice whenever the mean voice rears its ugly head.” 

I imagined an iridescent figure coming into my mind and body and stationed itself inside me, waiting to attack anything that would come to do me harm. It took a few times to get used to this, but eventually, it became so easy that all I had to do was think of the spirit ally and it appeared to fight off the critical voice. 

Someone recently told me that unraveling is necessary for growth, lessons, and healing. Though it's too soon to be sure, maybe that’s what this current unraveling is doing for me too. 

Sometimes unraveling can be overwhelming and make the critical voice stronger in our minds. But when we look at unraveling as a way to teach us something about ourselves and listen to our loving, caring and compassionate voices, then we can start to believe in ourselves, our strength, our own innate possibilities. 

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