Unlearning Bad Habits Is Part Of Making Peace With Your Mental Health
There comes a moment in the battle with your demons that the other side is no longer fighting. They’ve put down their swords and rested them before you. It feels like a fluke and the biggest blessing wrapped in one.
The moment didn’t come without work, you challenged them in ways that helped you — therapy, writing, calling them by their name. You created boundaries that you learned to enforce.
And yet, somehow, moments after their swords are dropped you find yourself holding the same weapons that were once used against you.
You can’t remember when you picked them, or why, but they’re there. Palm up, you stare and wonder why you can’t just drop them.
I’m learning that this is the second half of the challenge. The first half includes figuring out you have demons, naming them, learning how they were born, finding ways to create space between you and them. The second half finds you needing to unlearn behaviors that were your norm. Not normal, but your norm.
It’s hard and feels a bit like walking in the dark. You’re finding your way to a new normal that’s yet to be experienced or invested in. I think it starts with learning to separate guilt from what makes you feel happy. You’re allowed those moments and owe them to no one.
You’ve been a part of these paradigms, the other half of a dance that turned too many actions and thoughts into instinctual movements. But being a part of something doesn’t mean you have to stay a part of them. You get to set boundaries with others and to unlearn behaviors that impact your day to day life.
You’re allowed to choose how you want to treat yourself.
I’m the founder of toodamnyoung.com. You can find me talking about mental health, grief and work-life on Living Vulnerably: https://medium.com/living-vulnerably
I also host Creating Espacios, podcast for the next generation of Latina trailblazers.
Follow along as I condense essays into 140 characters: https://twitter.com/vivnunez