I know toxic is a buzzword these days, usually for the wrong reasons, but I've discovered something: I am toxic to my own growth.
Now if you've been following my healing journey up until now (start the SoulCare series here: SoulCare: the Reset thebutterflyblogs.site) you know that I HAVE grown. I will give myself that. For a few months now I have been in counseling twice a week consistently and have made major strides with learning myself and how my brain works. The journey has been far from easy, but still it has improved my life in many areas from being more productive and helpful at work, eliminating brain fog and memory loss, to even communicating better in all my relationships. Healing is really revolutionary. Fixing one area of your life can give an overall boost. I can attest to this.
But that's enough fluff...on to the good stuff. So how am I toxic? Well first, let's define it.
Now for the urban definition, toxic is usually referring to a person or thing that does not benefit an individual and even goes as far as dragging them down. I am toxic positive to myself. Yes, it is a thing. As a lifestyle blogger, I strive to always promote positivity at all costs, but I had to realize that being positive 24-7 is not healthy, especially during times of healing. Too much of any good thing, can turn toxic. I've mentioned previously in this series that healing has its days. Some days you are on top of the world and over-the-moon happy, and some days you feel like you're back at square one. Sidebar: your happiness will feel like a stock graph reincarnated, but you're TSLA baby, you're about to take off.
On those days where your happiness may be dipping, though, I've learned that you have to feel it. You have to allow yourself the grace and space to grieve properly otherwise you'll prematurely try to push yourself into the next phase and crash again, maybe even harder. It's okay to take a moment to slow down and breathe. If anything, these "dips" may be a sign that it's time rejuvenate after months to years of neglecting self.
In the laboratory when an instrument or software may not be working we call it "downtime." During this time we have other methods and processes we use to make sure our tests are run. In my experience, the flow of the lab slows down because processing is a lot more tedious when offline, BUT that's because there are more steps and checks put in place to ensure we don't miss any orders. Now relate this to your own life. Sometimes when your capacity fills up, your pace has to slow down to make sure you are still living. Your mental health is part of that capacity. Some days you are too overwhelmed with your own pending tests to be able to run at top speed. That is okay. The first step to healing is accepting this.
Sometimes when we're in these low spaces we try to force ourselves out of them. One of my coping methods this season has been gratitude journaling. Y'know, the trendy practice of writing things daily that you're grateful for. Don't get me wrong, it DOES work and has been beneficial, but you can't force it. Some days will consist of you asking yourself hard questions like, "do I really feel the things I'm writing?" If not, there's no use. It's better to save your thoughts for another day than lie to yourself. Even when it comes to my own prayer life, I try to honestly lament, or spiritually grieve some days. Other days in prayer, I actually have words. You have to be real and allow yourself to feel every emotion through every season - the good, the bad, and the things you hope no one finds out (we all have them, don't be ashamed). The journey is tough, but you don't have to skip steps in hopes you get to the end result quicker. If anything, you will hold yourself back in doing so.