How Listening Improved My Mental Health

What’s Wrong with Me?

 

When I was a child, I had deep feelings of sadness and didn't know where they came from. I could not understand it, but it was very real for me. When I got the courage to express my feelings, I received words of rejection and criticism from family members, which made me feel deeply guilty and alone. 

 

My reaction as a little girl was to believe that there was something wrong with me and that I was not a good daughter for making my mom worry so much.  

 

I also received negative responses from my family when I expressed my interests because they were taboo to those around me. I decided to try to numb my feelings and avoid expressing anything that was happening within me. I opted for trying to become the “perfect daughter” even if I was giving up a part of myself.

 

Learning to Listen to Myself

 

Several times while I was growing up, some glints of my authentic self came up to the surface, and I got to experience and feel what it was to listen to myself. 

 

It felt great to discover different parts of myself and explore them. However, since my interests were not considered conventional I felt rejected by those around me. I continued to shut down, looking for approval and love outside myself. I was not only hiding my feelings but also denying my genuine interests and dreams. 

 

I created a reality where fulfilling others' expectations was the only goal. And I learned to live that way, at least that is what I thought. 

 

When Mental Health is a Struggle

 

Throughout my life, I continued to struggle with sadness and began to wonder if I was somehow broken. I kept asking myself: Why am I so sad? Why can't I be happy all the time? What is wrong with me? 

 

I had a false impression that people are meant to have the same mood and feel the same way all the time, but I was not able to accomplish that. I was also not expressing my true self, which brought another layer of sadness and dissatisfaction. I just kept putting my feelings and dreams aside to be what was expected of me, or what I believed was expected.  

 

This behavior sank me into dark places where I could no longer fake my feelings. At a very early age, I was diagnosed with depression.

 

The Easier Path

 

It seemed easier to label what I was experiencing through my depression diagnosis, continue ignoring my feelings, and put myself to the side to obtain a quick explanation of what was happening in my life at that moment.  

 

It seemed easier to say: “that is what is wrong with me” and finally have an answer.

 

Digging into myself was not something I was ready for, and blindly listening to others explanations gave me some comfort because I got to fit in the way they saw things. This worked for me for a long time, and I really thought I had figured everything out.

 

The Turning Point

 

As an adult, I got to a point where that explanation no longer resonated with me, and I took charge of my rediscovery! I went deep within myself to find out where my feelings were coming from while reconnecting to my body and my soul. I started to deeply listen to myself, just as I had done in moments of my childhood. 

 

My process of reclaiming myself gave me many more answers than the ones I had and provided more love and comfort than I could have ever received before. 

 

The process took me to a completely different place in life. Believe me, it did not happen immediately and had different difficult moments in between, but I know now that it is what I needed and what brought me to a completely different place in life.

 

Now I know I am an empath, that I deeply feel for others, and that when not well managed, can affect me negatively. I also know that it is OK not to be OK all the time; I am not a robot and cannot expect myself to behave as one, or just not feel at all.  

 

For a long time, I tried to escape from a reality I did not see myself fitting into, leading to depression. Now I have learned that I do not need to be like everybody else, and my feelings and interests have value even if others think differently.

 

Embracing the Self

 

I am constantly evolving and rediscovering myself. Many days it seems as though I am going backward, but then I realize there is no such thing. In difficult moments, I pause, feel, listen, and love. Getting to a place where I can be congruent with myself.

 

Listening to ourselves can help us to understand our needs and connect with our essence.  

 

We each have unique stories. The key is not to disregard others, but to listen and acknowledge them realizing that each person is different. Our soul helps us determine if what we are listening to is aligned with ourselves or not. We are constantly changing, and it is valid to shift what works for us and what does not. It is o.k. to be imperfect, and every day is a new day. 

 

 

Be heard. Be seen. Feel connected.

What if you could cut through the noise to gain clarity and hear your own inner wisdom come through?

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