Derwayne M. Wills
- 19 Articles
- Age 25
It's February 2018. I didn't make many News Years' resolutions. Those things usually get dumped by mid-January anyway. I did, however, make one promise to myself: give myself room to heal. There wasn't anything wrong with me-- at least not physically. I did, however, have a lot of emotional pain that I needed to treat with seriously. 2017 was a heavy year.
Emotional pain is sometimes overlooked. We expect people to just get over it and be fine but it doesn't work like that. If there's a knife in my arm I feel it, I see it, I know it's there. My senses will hardly let me forget, but the emotional pain goes deeper. It requires self-examination and self-reflection. It helps to get someone you trust and who understands you to guide the process.
Emotional pain requires asking ourselves hard questions about the things that we've endured because those things might still affect our lives, but I don't always trust myself to be honest with myself.
Asking difficult questions is important for emotional healing. It really isn't immediate. Healing is a process that can't be forced, and emotional healing is no different. It's important to understand what triggers us, how we react to those triggers, and try to think about how those triggers leave imprints in our minds and eventually manifest into different thoughts of sadness, helplessness, despair, and anger. I can say this so confidently, but I'm still learning to do it. I heard on Grey's Anatomy that, "we teach best the lessons we need to learn."
If there's one thing I've learned about being on social media in 2017, there are a million lurking triggers for emotional trauma in my newsfeed. It helps to just turn off sometimes. Sign out. Take a walk. Go out and meet a few people. Sit in a park or any green space you can find. Sit somewhere you can be detached for a minute or two.
Living in a hyperconnected world means there's hardly any cut-off point that allows us to rest, recharge, and restart our emotional receptors, but we have to learn to position ourselves and our self-care in everything we do. And sometimes that means receiving the world in manageable portion sizes. Be kind to yourself.
I'm still mapping out my 2018 in my mind. I'm not sure as yet what's going to happen, but I know this is the year I graduate university. Yay! But aside from that, thankfully I don't have any failed resolutions to feel guilty about. What I do have is my continued commitment to finding myself in all of this noise, and learning to position my own well-being as important because I am worth it. Audre Lorde said, "self-care is an act of political warfare."