Life has a way of presenting us with unexpected challenges, especially when it comes to the realm of adulting and mental health. We often find ourselves grappling with unresolved wounds and seeking solace in the relationships we hold dear. We may find ourselves asking, our loved ones, Why am I not normal? What is wrong with me? As if feeling anxious or sad is a defect of our very human character. However, part of growing up involves taking accountability for our emotions and experiences, recognizing that our healing journey is deeply personal.
Throughout our lives, we encounter moments where our wounded inner child demands recognition and comfort, sometimes catching us off guard. It is crucial to remind ourselves that we have evolved beyond that wounded state, and at some point, we must take ownership of our emotions and experiences rather than relying on others to do so. This realization represents the unadvertised aspect of "growing up" that we often overlook as we navigate the complexities of adulthood.
The concept of adulting has traditionally been associated with milestones like employment, independence, education, relationships, and familial responsibilities. However, the reality is far messier and more nuanced than these societal expectations suggest. As we gain awareness of how trauma impacts our bodies and minds, we recognize that adulting entails grieving past wounds, establishing boundaries, validating our emotions, managing triggers, pursuing happiness, seeking work-life balance, and embracing our authentic selves. It is an ongoing process that demands our attention and resilience.
Whether you are just beginning your mental health journey or have been actively engaged in it for a while, here are four essential truths that are often overlooked in discussions:
Your growth is not linear: Expect to experience periods of transformation, where you move through cycles of growth, introspection, and even moments of uncertainty. Embrace the ebb and flow of emotions, as they contribute to your overall evolution.
Getting triggered is not a 'bad' thing: Triggers can serve as valuable indicators of areas in need of healing and self-care. Approach these moments with gentleness and compassion, taking the necessary steps to ground yourself or engage in activities that bring you solace.
Therapy will not 'fix' you or your problems: Recognize that therapy is a collaborative journey, and its purpose is not to magically fix you or your circumstances. Embrace the understanding that you are not inherently flawed but have experienced challenging events. Your therapist can provide guidance and support, but true transformation requires your active participation.
The pain may not ever go away: Engaging in therapy or personal growth does not guarantee a life free of pain and suffering. Accepting that pain is an inevitable part of the human experience, alongside joy and happiness, is part of the healing process.
There is no such thing as a ‘bad’ emotion: Instead of categorizing emotions as good or bad, focus on reshaping your relationship with them, allowing space for acceptance and growth.
Remember, your journey is unique to you. While the internet and social media may offer a plethora of advice and solutions, it is crucial to find what works best for you individually. Trust yourself and the process you are navigating. Resist the temptation to compare your journey to others, as it often leads to a shame cycle. You are doing the best you can with the tools and resources available to you, and that is something to be celebrated.
Embracing the complexities of adulting and mental health requires courage, self-compassion, and a willingness to explore the uncharted territories of our inner world. As we embark on this journey of self-discovery, let us remember that healing is not a linear path, but a continuous evolution. By honoring our unique experiences and finding solace within ourselves, we can cultivate a sense of resilience, well-being, and authentic living.
Take care & self-care!