Dealing with your self by Laoise O’ Reilly

"Have you ever felt numb to your core? Do you wake up and feel nothing all day? When the thought of anyone doing anything for you makes you feel guilty because you feel worthless. I’ve been there." by Laoise O Reilly on how she navigates in dealing with her self.
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Have you ever felt numb to your core? Do you wake up and feel nothing all day? When the thought of anyone doing anything for you makes you feel guilty because you feel worthless. When you are merely existing, doing the absolute minimum to be considered a functioning person. I’ve been there. 

Ro and Laoise

We will all go there.

I’ve cried hysterically into the mirror because I lost myself. I sat under the hottest showers, leaving my skin to burn and felt absolutely nothing. When I was younger I was much more violent with myself but as I got older I somehow channelled it into emotional torment and I, myself was the tormentor. I isolated myself from people, to be with the bully inside my head. The year I turned 11 was the year that I lost more people in my life than I could really comprehend. In May I lost two dear family friends four days apart. The years that followed, come January 1st I would pray that no one from my immediate family would be taken. Every year for the next 4 years I lost wonderful friends and family. It felt as though life was doing a spring cleaning for me but the only thing it was getting rid of was the people I loved. I watched people die in hospitals and at home. I’ve watched people go in peace and go in a panic mode. It overwhelmed me with emotions and simultaneously left me numb. For a long time, I blocked the hurt. I didn’t deal with it because I didn’t know how. From an early age, I was isolated in my feelings.

A fucked up acid trip when I was 15 was the tipping point. In a matter of a few hours, my life changed. Firstly, acid at 15? Not cool, especially in the dingy setting I was in. At that point in my life, I was waiting to move to Dublin to live with my sister who was living in London. Just before my trip kicked in, I got a call saying It wasn’t going to happen. I had taken the tab, I’m in for a bumpy ride I thought to myself. Feelings went haywire. The same night, I lost my best friend to an abusive boyfriend. I knew I had been tested before, but not like this. The months following were a whirlwind. My whole life was affected. My cross-continent plans were canceled. It was as though I was sitting at the bottom of a well. I had no idea how to live. My anxiety was heightened, my depression on.

Fast forward, we’re on level ten and my anger was through the roof. My external reality made me further hate my internal reality. I stopped speaking to both my sister and my best friend. I let my misery consume me. I very quickly became even more unpleasant to be around. I’m always the friend that people vent to and I quickly stopped doing that. I was shitty to be around. Shitty to my parents. Shitty to my friends. In essence, I was an asshole. However, I was the biggest asshole to myself. Hating took up so much of my energy. I hated myself and If I met you, I probably would have hated you too.

Besides that, what made me extremely insecure was the fact that as I was doing all of this, I was not gaining anything. I wasn’t getting wiser or more knowledgeable. Rather, the opposite. I was so engulfed in being a shitty person to myself I overlooked my physical health. Bad sleep, not enough food. I couldn’t do anything productive because my brain felt like mush. It got to a point where it felt as though I couldn’t remember If I was even thinking. It was a vicious cycle I had to break out of.
It got to a point that I began to realize that I would get really ill if I didn’t do anything about it. Very gradually, I forced myself to get shit done. Apart from that meant getting rid of the toxicity in my life, especially within myself. It was challenging to start to do that when I had so much undealt with baggage. I also carried other people’s baggage and it was taking a toll on me. There was no choice but to drop everyone else’s shit that I was thinking about and focus on myself. I began to drift away from people I once was close to. I was prepared and dealt with each situation accordingly.

Now that my consciousness was focused on what I guess you could say it was ‘self-development’ and  I made myself begin to effectively deal with my feelings. There’s no “how to” because it’s different for everybody. I slowly began to be nicer to myself. I’d hear myself out. If I needed to cry I’d cry but I didn’t let myself wallow after. I would write letters to myself about how I could be a terrible person, but I have to actively make the decision to do so. I began the mass grieving process for my loved ones that I will continue for the rest of my life.

Every day is different. Some days are harder and others are easy. Some days, I’ve done a page of bullet journaling and meditation and I feel really peaceful. Somedays I am overwhelmed by stress and anxiety that can turn into sadness. I rekindled relationships with people, but boundaries were set. My sister and best friend re-entered my life. I let myself go through these things. I cherish being happy and deal with being sad when I am. I’ve learnt that we just gotta go through it and its OK. My relationship with myself is not always positive but I truly believe that you have to recognize yourself for everything you are, even the bad.