I am a survivor of complex trauma. The cult I was raised in did really f—d up things to my brain, and I am still unraveling that. I may always be unraveling that. And then there’s all the other “non-cult” stuff as well.

I am also fine. Really fine. Not even fine, but good. Really good.

Most of the time I live in ease and self-love and adoration. Most of the time I find joy. Most of the time I navigate my brain and point it in directions that soothe me. Most of the time I do what I know I need to do to stay out of the downward spiral in my thoughts that used to be my norm.

And sometimes, I can’t right away.

The other day I slipped down that slippery slope into darkness. I could feel my brain turn in on itself, like it used to often, and I simply Could. Not. Stop.

I felt it engulf me. I felt the old pain and circular warped thinking. I felt the engrained behaviors of hurting myself, blaming myself, and hating myself.

Damn, but that hurt. A lot. I know that dark place, and I know that I don’t want to be there anymore. I know that I don’t have to be there anymore. I know that I’m very rarely there anymore. I know that I’ve worked hard to heal and whole and find happiness, so that that dark place is mostly a thing of the past.

But I was in it, and, in that moment, there was seemingly no way out.

Which is when it’s time, as soon as I can, to breathe into the tight spots. To, once again and as always, put my hand on my heart and tell myself I love myself. To remind myself that I’m okay and that I will be okay. To say to myself – thank you Tara Brach – “It’s okay sweetheart. Of course this hurts and of course it’s scary, but it’s okay. I am here with you.”

To reach out, when I can and when it’s safe, for help and comfort and to feel love and compassion poured on and into me from someone else. To be strong enough to ask for help and comfort and love. And to shower myself with as much self-love and self-compassion as I possibly can. To love myself first, most, always, forever, and no matter what. To fill myself with all the love I can muster. To remember, as soon as I can, that it will pass.

To breathe into the tight spots.

I was in a really tight spot the other day. It was time to breathe.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Photo by Alyssa Sieb on nappy

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