Yesterday, I talked about how healing takes time. And that is annoying. Healing also occurs in layers. And that can be frustrating. At least it was for me. Every time I thought I was in a good place, I found that a new layer in my healing was about to be uncovered.
As I’ve grown in my recovery, I’ve done so by shedding layers, like a snake (see Shedding Old Skins). It hasn’t always been easy or comfortable. Yet it has been a necessary step in my healing journey.
The reason for this, I think, is that my mental illnesses have gotten very good at hiding behind my scars. The layers I am uncovering are wounds that have scarred over before they were ready to heal, allowing my darkness, the demons of my mental illness, to hide behind them. Peeling back those layers has allowed me to shine a light into those dark places. And as I’ve said before, the demons of mental illness hate it when you shine a light on them.
Peeling back those layers does more than just allow me to heal though. It allows me to understand and to learn more about who I am. It allows me to meet myself, the me that has been buried in the darkness of mental illness all these years, surviving with maladaptive coping strategies. It allows me to be my most authentic self.
Just like peeling the layers of an onion, there might be tears along the way. It isn’t pleasant, it isn’t comfortable but it is necessary for me to live in wellness more often than not, to be the best version of myself more often than not.
There are still many layers to go, but I know that it is the path I must take. And if you find yourself on a similar path, peeling back similar layers, know that you are not alone.