I woke up in a cold sweat on a warm night. My eyes scanned the room for any perceived threat, my breathing labored. There was only the fan blowing humid air around the bedroom.
‘Why? I thought I dealt with that side of me,’ my thoughts flitted around my mind. ‘I’m not that kind of person!’
I took a deep, calming breath as I looked at the clock on my phone..
It was after three in the morning.
I laid back down and draped my forearm over my eyes in a bid to get back to sleep.
Sleep never came.
I hate nightmares.
Aside from the terror they bring, it reveals my flaws and inner-malice that I had suppressed so deep that it’s nearly foreign to me.
It pulls all the unsavory thoughts I have about anything to the forefront of my mind: friends, family, people, the world, and myself. Once one of those thoughts reaching my conscious mind, it can lead to a downward spiral until the only thing I can see is the depths of despair.
My dark side is not nice, to put it lightly.
So, of course, like any rational human, I suppressed it. I rejected that darkness as a part of who I am. I didn’t want to hit rock-bottom again and I liked the bubble of contentment that I made for myself.
Why intentionally feed the beast inside you if you can starve it into nothing?
As you may have guessed, this approach only made things worse.
I had taken to meditating regularly to help manage my anxiety. It was recommended to me by my older sister when she saw that it had benefits to her own issues.
My intent was to use it to understand triggers for my anxiety and develop healthy coping mechanisms. This introspective work had the undesirable–to me, who was trying to avoid it–consequence of unearthing all of those flaws that I didn’t want to acknowledge.
It all accumulated into that traumatizing night of serial nightmares that kept me from sleeping.
I didn’t realize that, by opening myself up through meditation, I had tasked myself to establish a balance within myself and my connection with everything around me. This included accepting my flaws and strengths.
It’s easier said than done, and something I work on every day.
I have to tell myself that my darkness doesn’t define me. I have the choice to not give it power over my life and move forward with what I know is right.
I owe it to myself to do so.