October Theme: Facing Darkness

09/29/2014 · 5 comments

in Facing Darkness, Monthly Theme, Noa Gavin

LOFB - NoaWhen I planned this project, I wrote out all the themes I’d write about in March. At the time, I didn’t put a lot of thought into them. I really just thought they’d be good themes to write about.

What they ended up being was serendipitous to my own life and the things I was going through. This allowed me to share more with you than I anticipated, allowed me to be more real. Allowed me safety and vulnerability.

This month’s theme is Facing Darkness, and goddamn am I doing that right now. I’m not quite ready to share just what that is yet, but know that I’m going through some shit that I really thought I’d never have to. Thought that happened to other people, but not to me.

The hardest part about it is that I know that this darkness is of my own making, and indeed, what I want. It’s darkness to a light end. It’s darkness toward happiness.

It is a motherfucker to deal with though. My own PTSD is not a fan of me right now. The second I start feeling bad or unsafe, it jumps the fuck in and tries to deal with shit. It’s not that good at it. It’s just a lot of panic attacks and sleepless nights. It’s that friend that tries to help but just fucks all the shit up instead.

When darkness strikes, the only thing that gets me through is realizing that this is not forever. Darkness is as temporary as anything else in life, if you work towards the things that you want. Darkness is not lasting. Darkness is fleeting, and deep.

Some of the best advice I’ve heard so far is from my therapist, who knows my tendency to ignore my emotions and just push through until things are better. She said, “Noa, you’re going to get through to the other side no matter what. One day, things aren’t going to be so hard. But you know what? You can either do this the unhealthy way where you ignore it and let your PTSD take over and yeah, you’ll probably get a lot done, but at what cost? Or, you can be healthy. You can get a little less done, and you can feel. You can process things as they come. It will be hard, of course. But at the end, you can be healthy and in the light or you can be a wreck in the light. The choice is yours.”

What a kick in the ass that was.

So, for now, I ask you to take the healthy way though your own darknesses. Take stock of how you feel, what’s going on. Sit back, and get to the bottom of things. Feel. Live.

Because you’re gonna get through to the other side no matter what. You might as well be healthy when you get there.

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Cyprium September 29, 2014 at 12:50 am

You’re amazing. And strong. And you have made me laugh until my sides hurt, and you have held my hand when I was facing my own darkness. PTSD is such a son of a bitch to live with. But getting beyond it feels like the sun shining on your face. I’m not beyond it, but I feel the tiny victories. You aren’t alone. But, I know with certainty it feels like that.
Something that has helped me (completely to my own surprise) was getting two dogs. I got one. She was a pain in my ass. She whined and cried and pissed in my floor. She needed me constantly. I was forced to get out of bed and deal with her. Then I decided maybe she would be less of an emotional fuck up if she had a dog companion and we got another dog. That actually kind of helped the emotional dog cheer up. And it gave me twice the love in return. This isn’t a fix. And it isn’t a cure. But it is a path through my own darkness. Now I find myself looking for things to do for/with my dogs. If I get stressed or start to get too agitated they love on me. (Or piss in my floor)

nova September 29, 2014 at 7:41 am

That’s funny, I wrote about this topic yesterday. Must be something in the air. http://ablogaboutanova.blogspot.ca/2014/09/talking-your-way-out-of-dark-place.html
nova recently posted..talking your way out of a dark place

Josh September 29, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Noa,

Don’t give up. Don’t give in.

Shari September 29, 2014 at 11:56 pm

Your therapist has a point. For me, at least, darkness is reflective; when I find myself surrounded by it, it tends to become what I impose on it. If I’m afraid, it will magnify my fear until I think I’m losing my mind. If I fill it with despair, it becomes suffocating and stagnant. The light is so far away I can hardly remember what it looks like.

But if I can find a still place in the darkness, if I hide myself away and let myself feel what I have to feel, whether that’s grief, or pain, or loneliness, or fear, and I accept that it’s part of me, I find that darkness becoming a place(?) of rest and healing before the long climb back out.

If I don’t quite make it to that point, then my husband is usually there to help me acclimate and cope as best as possible. If I do, though, I become my own damn light.

Shannon October 2, 2014 at 8:52 am

Um, so I’m just gonna borrow your therapists advice since I figured you were going for the whole ‘sharing is caring’ thing by telling us about it in the first place. I’ll pair it with some of the best advice my best friend ever gave me – Stop trying to push it off, and just sit with your stuff. Every time I catch myself trying to move forward instead of moving through, I repeat those words to myself. Now I’ll also remember that even moving through isn’t enough to aim for, you should also aim to move through and remain whole. Thanks, for the gazillionth time…
Shannon recently posted..A Sedimentary Lifestyle

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