As I come to the end of my graduate education I have been thinking about what has changed for me over the past few years. I think I have become more okay with who I am. I have come a good way towards separating myself from the emotional reactivity I once experienced with Mom. I still struggle with it sometimes. I have come to realize the catastrophizing and personalization I’ve done has severely hindered my ability to take risks and trust in myself. It still prevents me from doing some things but I am working on combating distorted thinking by opening myself up to talk to people. If I can talk to people I can dispel the nightmares I often create for myself. It is often difficult for me to keep that in mind when I am in the midst of an anxiety storm. It is often difficult to see my way clear but I think the storms are not as frequent anymore. I think sometimes the storms are not quite as intense and sometimes, every now and then, I am strong enough to alter the storms rather than cowering as I wait for them to pass.
I still struggle very much with creating relationships with people or perhaps I struggle with creating a relationship with myself. I look to fill an ever present hole in my heart while at the same time knowing I have to do that for myself. Love, security, and comfort first have to come from within myself. I cannot look to others anymore, as a child might. Though my heart aches for that metaphorical and literal hug.
Sometimes we come across people in our lives that our soul or heart seems to recognize. We may not be very much alike but we still have an odd connection. That connection may be one sided or not but I think each and every one of us searches for that connection. It may be a few minutes long, a brief meeting of souls, or a few decades long in the case of a true friendship or partnership. Or maybe it is only those of us with holes in our hearts who search endlessly for that meeting of souls.