All it takes is one seed to plant a forest in your mind. Twenty-one years ago, I walked away from a steady paycheck and good benefits because of one seed. And ever since plans and ambitions have been ruined due to one seed. Over the decades verbal abuse and growing self-hatred planted seed in my soul. Seed that to this very day, ruin plans and cause avoidance for otherwise sound judgement.
None of this came about overnight, it all started with the verbal abuse I endured at the hands of my peers and the ignoring of the problem by my family. Call it being a product of that generation, call it what you will. But telling a child to “suck it up buttercup”, only plants more seeds of self-doubt and low self-esteem. Compound that what cognitive health issues such as low levels of serotonin. And you can see how the seeds of depression and anxiety bloom.
Over the last two decades I’ve spent the better part of my life searching for answers. Using a failing mental health system to just barely function. Being put on one medication, then another, like a lab rat in some nightmarish experiment. But I endured, until I found one qualified psychologist with enough wisdom and patience to put me on a course of medication and therapy that has worked for several years.
Still these are often no more than a bandage on a still open wound. Along with my course of treatment, I have used various forms of mindfulness training to search my issues. Having been raised in an Evangelical Christian home, the answer was to always pray your sin away. Unfortunately, I’ve seen more than my share of friends and family die waiting on those prayers to be answered. Through mindfulness and compassionate listening, I have learned that by giving myself the compassion I so desperately needed as a child, I am slowly becoming whole.
My point in all this is pretty damn simple. Don’t take what you hear as the gospel to be true, especially for yourself. I have spent nearly half of my life searching for relief. And while I may have stumbled upon an answer that works for me. There are still moments, such as now, when those answers aren’t doing a damn thing. You are your own best advocate, don’t give up no matter how bad you want too. There are answers, all it takes is your time, and a damn sharp ax.