I struggled a lot with this post. One of my blogger friends said I have lots of things to say (and really!) and she told me to say them well. Well, I tried my best with this one and this is what happens when I’m writing while having a panic attack:
This post is written for the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion movement, I stumbled across a while ago. Lots of you may know that my initial goal with blogging would be reagining and developing my real self. This is a hard and long journey of mine, but I have to tell I feel very enthusiastic about it.
Compassion has always been one of my strongest traits. Or empathy, the two of them are equal to me. And not only these two, but also acceptance and support, loving a person for who they really are. These all fall into the category of compassion in my dictionary.
Ever since I was little I could feel sadness and sorrow for anyone, starting from a homeless person, through the sadness in the eyes of a little child and even towards a movie character. I had a strong desire to help anyone I could, while I forgot about the one person I should’ve taken better care for. It took me years to realise that while I am able to support lots of people in my life, I was completely incapable of being compassionate towards my very own self. I took all of the pain I had for granted just like breathing and seemingly, I accepted it as a solid part of my soul. Seemingly.
For so many years, I got told a lot that I’m weak, far too fragile and sensitive, and also that besides these, I don’t have any other problem so I shouldn’t say a word. Without noticing, I began to take over this attitude but only until I got the diagnosis of my panic disorder and I decided to start therapy in order to put an end to it. I remember, my very first ‘homework’ given by my psychologist, was to look in the mirror, examine myself deeply and say this right into my face;
‘My family and friends love me, God loves me, and even I love You, Adrienn.’
When I looked into the mirror I saw a face completely emotionless and fearfully strange to me. I thought to myself, I don’t know who this person is, and besides, who does this person thinks she is to say anything like this? I was supposed to repeat this single line a few times every day in front of the mirror. Yet at first I couldn’t even finish the sentence, I burst out into tears. For the time of the blink of an eye I managed to notice something really painful hiding in the depths of those dim and dark brown eyes, something that reached my heart. I saw the little girl living with her mom and sister after leaving an abusive and alcoholic father. I saw the little girl who was only 4 years old when said to her to let her father take more money to go back to the pub instead of having her mother hurt. I think that was the first time, I realised how sad, desperate and how broken I was. I cried because I pitied myself, as if I was looking at somebody else. I cried like a little child, like that little child who went through the hardships I tried so hard for years to forget. But it doesn’t work like that. I had to learn that these became the part of me and accept what others rejected, because I rejected it too. It was me who was unable to accept myself, so naturally, how could others do it for me? I also had to look at my naked body which was as horrible as looking at only my face.
And yet, despite I often felt no empathy towards myself, especially considering my mental illness, I never forgot how important being compassionate and supportive towards the struggling is. Or towards anybody. Probably it was because I longed for these feelings so much. Also, I couldn’t understand what those people were thinking or feeling when they told me those rude words. I still can’t. We all have problems and weaknesses but that’s fine, it is the part of learning and development as humans. Also, we all are unique and different. For example I went to university to another city so I had to go there and back by bus that took two hours of my live every single day. I hated it but didn’t have any other choice so I accepted it. It exhausted me like hell, as I usually had to get up at 5 am and got home at 8 or 9 pm. Once I told this a friend of mine, who shrudded and told me he did this for years. Yeah, for him it wasn’t a big thing, but to me it was too tiring and I couldn’t focus on my studies properly. When I told him that okay, then that’s him, and I am me he didn’t reply. Yeah… Maybe commuting was easy on him and hard for me but I wondered, would he be able to live with panic disorder for years? I never asked him but as far as I am concerned, it’s sure like hell that I would choose years of commuting instead of years of suffering on my own.
As for acceptance, sadly, it is a very rare thing to accept people for who they really are. We all tend to either look upon them, we make celebrities and stars out of them, thinking that ‘Oh, they are so unique and such rebels! How cool!’ Or the on the other side, we belittle those children who are a bit different from the ‘normal’ saying that ‘Oh! (s)he’s such a freak and so weird.’ Or am I wrong?
True, I rarely felt being supported or loved, yet I am willing to give others what I didn’t get. I do believe that there are people who think like me, and WordPress became a place not only precious to me but also the one that proved that wonders do happen. 🙂