Growing up, I had a very dark life. It was filled with emotional and physical abuse, and horrible intimacy issues.
I was consumed with all the negativity and resorted to more negativity to dull the pain.
The more pain I encountered, the more numbing I needed.
Coping mechanisms are extremely healthy.
Mine, not so much.
I became self-destructive. I didn’t care about my place in the world. Most importantly, I didn’t care about myself.
Looking back, I was a completely different person. I chose to run away from my problems. I chose to hide.
I decided to invite them for tea and let them crash on my couch, eat all my food and dirty my washroom.
I let my demons define me.
When you let your demons define you, everything around you falls apart. Nothing seems to work quite as well.
Relationships crumble. Work isn’t satisfying. Life isn’t fulfilling.
Then, a switched clicked.
I don’t know what exactly happened, but something changed, and I decided to battle my demons. I decided I couldn’t stand for anymore and started taking steps to eliminate the pain.
Instead of dulling it, this time, I would triumph over it.
I began to ask ‘why?’
“Why am I the way I am? Why does it have to be this way? Why am I in these circumstances?”
When you start to question your existence, I mean really question it; you find the answers pretty quickly.
The answers are always life changing.
Through correct questions, erupt answers.
When we have answers, we have perspective. And with perspective, all the negativity in the world can’t hold us down and stop our progress.
I thought I was one of few to have a dark past. In my own head, I thought that the majority of people grew up with stable support systems, a great life and every little actual problems.
But when I started asking people ‘why,’ they opened up.
My dark past pales in comparison to some of the people I’ve had the opportunity to interact with.
We all have a horrible past that weighs us down, crushing us with the power of negativity.
But when we lose focus, and let our demons define us, we lose the battle. We can play victim, cry and stay in our horrible circumstances, filled with unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Or we can begin to explore our existence with the most powerful questions that can change our lives.
When we begin to ask that simple three-letter word, we will start to notice rapid changes.
Even if you are not coping with a dark past and just want a breakthrough, ask why about all aspects of your life.
“Why am I in school? Why do I constantly push people away? Why do I surround myself with certain people? Why can’t I quit smoking?”
When you ask why, you give yourself permission to have an answer.
I learned a valuable lesson—everyone has a dark past. But it is our personal choice to be defined by it. Equally so, it is our personal choice to use it to propel us forward.
Now my coping mechanisms are healthy because when I invite my dark past for tea, I make sure to show it out after.