I found a list of descriptions of me that I wrote in high school in an old, forgotten notebook. It is strange to look back on it… And sad as well. There is only one semi-positive phrase, and the rest of it is negative. Well, mostly. The featured image should show you what I mean.
See, some of this is sad, but some of it just strikes me as pretty self-aware. I lament not feeling loved or being hugged by friends and family, but also comment that I am terrified of both love and touch. (They are both tied to vulnerability and being known, which makes them scary.) I note how hard I am on myself and immediately comment that I am my worst enemy. That kind of thing.
So while these insights are still depressing, I can’t see them as bad per se. After all, personal change cannot occur without awareness of problems.
But I’m sugar-coating things to feel a bit better about them. Awareness honestly didn’t lead to change. I didn’t grow as a result. In reality, rather than in theory, I only ended up using this self-awareness as fodder for debilitating self-talk. Signs of my weakness, personal flaws, proof of my inherent brokenness.
That’s the thing- awareness and contemplation are necessary for growth, but they don’t guarantee growth. It’s up to us to choose which path we will walk.
If only I was always strong enough to take the healing route! But there have been, and likely always will be, days when I only have enough energy to continue towards more pain, because the familiar path is always easier to walk.