Stop Travelling Backwards
Posted by mindingbb
3rd Nov 2015

Despite this being a perpetual theme running throughout this blog, the concept of staying grounded is indeed a proved benefit for each and every one of us. If the act is practiced to its fullest, it generally becomes a valuable privilege throughout our day-to-day routines. Particularly, though often evaded, those with mental illness'.
Having those abrasive, fatal moments when your entire world collapses due to our reflective thoughts of tomfoolery; kills. Essentially, when we are struggling, reflecting on our past, brutally comparing ourselves to who we used to be, only strengthens your self-hatred and in turn, impregnates a 'shitty' little goblin into your brain.
It's likely we've all experienced this and that's okay, it's human nature after all. Not necessarily with the goblin of course, but with those intrusive thoughts which you cannot help but believe to be true. It is clear that perhaps in your darkest moments, looking back on the old you, does not give you determination to return to that place once again. But instead, we compare what we used to be with disgust and helplessness as we are demoralized by what we have become.

I for one am willing to admit that I endlessly cycle through these thoughts without even realizing I'm doing it. But earlier this week, it hit me. And bloody hard at that. The realization occurred during a midnight conversation with my mother. We had quite a few setbacks that morning concerning any hope of my own well-being which ultimately lead to an expected breakdown, as it would with anyone. Anyhow, as I sat curled up beside her in rather unpleasant, snotty sobbing; my life fell apart at the sudden flashback to my previous self.

"I used to be happy, bubbly, excitable and enthusiastic. I used to have friends, travel, sleepovers and laughter. I used to be fortunate enough to have people who loved me, cared not for my appearance, and believed in me. I was healthy, sporty and helpful. But most of all, I used to have a life.
Now I am the complete opposite. I lost all of that, and in turn lost any hope of returning. I am worthless, undeserving and a failure. I have not turned out how people expected me to be, and have not lived up to their expectations. I have no purpose and am a waste of a life."

Sound familiar? Well, perhaps not so specific or intense, but we've all reflected with a similar outcome. And consistently without fail, those unsettling thoughts are then wedged into our minds and stab us with the littlest of relapse. Instead, this is what we should be teaching ourselves.

"It doesn't matter who I used to be, because we are forever evolving and are effectively a different person than I was a mere minute ago. If I hadn't been through all that I had, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I have learnt empathy and sympathy. I have learnt to care with compassion, appreciate the happiness of those who surround us, and breathe with a conscience. When I look around me, the earth dances with life as my chest rises and I inhale the crisp, striking air. The value of all living organisms thrives through the senses, proving the world to be a beautiful and nurturing adventure. To give up, means predicting the future, and that is impossible. The future is uncertain, and I am okay with that. Because within this very moment, I am alive."

It is certainly true that ourselves are improved through bad experiences. Being suicidal gives us appreciation and passion that no one should suffer as much as we had. Being isolated for a substantial amount of time gives us a sense of wonder and intrigue when approached with new relationships. Having anxiety gives us appreciation for the moments we are at peace. Having an eating disorder gives us curiosity and gratitude for food, health and for people who are able to sustain and thrive. Being psychotic or delusional gives us admiration for those who are content with their appearance, engage and can tell the difference between right and wrong. Being lost and hurt, gives us reason to continue the journey.

This is why mindfulness is so essential to our lives. Not doing so allows for lost life, and lost hope. Next time you find yourself in a bad place and comparing what you used to be, just stop and breathe for a second. Take note of what you are doing and stop it from escalating any further. Think of what goodness/ positives you have gained, not what you have lost. Focus on each of your senses in the present moment and allow it to fill you with the ultimate love for what surrounds you. You deserve the now, don't waste it.

“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” – Henry Miller

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung

“Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives. It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment. We also gain immediate access to our own powerful inner resources for insight, transformation, and healing.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

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