Six Differences A Year of Truth Makes

6 Things Thursday, new year new me in a big way!

Hey you!

Welcome to 6 Things Thursday, thanks for being here!

I know the year has just started and we’re barely three months in, but, let’s be honest, January felt like it lasted for a few months. But recently, I’ve noticed some subtle differences in the way I emote, think and respond to things. I’ve been reminded of how far I’ve come and changed in the last year. I’m leaps and bounds from where I was this time in 2018 and even last year in 2019. Here are the 6 Ways I’m Showing Up as the New me.

1. I’m getting a handle on my Mental Health in a real and big way.

I honestly was in free fall this time in 2018 where I was still suffering from PTSD from the sexual assault of the previous year coupled with crippling anxiety. I’d withdrawn from my friend circle in France and the only time I left the house was to attend classes at the university or go to work.

I was drowning but I still didn’t think to seek help for my mental help. In fact, I felt like it was impossible to explain what was going on with me in French so I suffered in silence. By March 2018 I had a physical health scare that led to me spending a night in the emergency room which led to a diagnosis of what was ailing me physically. Fast forward to 2019, I was feeling better physically but my mental landscape was still a mess.

In reality, I was so tired of suffering from the invisible illnesses that left physical markers in their wake that I sought out mindfulness and writing to help me get through. But it wasn’t a curative approach, just one to help take the edge off and manage what I was feeling.

January 2020, I made it my mission to finally have a psychiatric evaluation. I was diagnosed with Major Depression and Panic Disorder. I’m now on a cocktail of an antidepressant and an antipsychotic and I’m feeling better already. Much clearer, more focused, and in control. Psychotherapy with my psychologist is helping as well. Hope has returned.

2. I’m more comfortable with vulnerability.

Last year I made it my mission to be more open and honest about my life, my issues, my trauma, and my struggles. What happened was I began to thaw from being an ice queen into a person with a wide range of emotions and feelings. I opened myself to love and showing vulnerability. I’m still learning the power of being completely bare with people and not bottling my emotions but I’ve come a long way.

3. I create on a regular basis.

I’ve never written this much in my entire life, well, except for high school, where our English class required us to write flash fiction weekly. I’ve consistently committed to writing on a weekly basis on Medium and it has made all the difference. This month, I really wrote with gusto and while it wasn’t always a hit, getting into the swing of things really helped me focus mentally. I’m looking forward to a continued creative burst in March.

4. I’m trying to be more responsive and less reactive.

This is much in part to be feeling less sensitive and reactive to things because of treating my mental health. Overall I’m focusing on thinking and responding to people as opposed to constantly taking the defensive and being reactive. The latter never serves anyone.

Recently I found myself in a conversation where the person was using a circular argument to constantly harp on my choice to be an atheist. I kept responding to his aggressive line of questioning but when he started using an ad hominem attack to get a rise out of me, I ended the conversation.

That’s growth, because, Nicole last year would have ripped him a new one. Instead, I walked away from the conversation once the quality deteriorated to a point of no return. Responding and not reacting.

5. I’m open to love and trying monogamy again.

For years I practiced solo-polyamory without realizing that I was even doing it. Since my relationship ended in 2006, I’ve felt like monogamy was just not for me. Instead, I dated as often as I want and saw multiple partners at the same time. I was open, honest and ethical with my non-monogamous approach to relationships.

In 2019, I met someone that turned my world upside down. I always thought I wouldn’t find exactly the things I wanted in a partner and I made my peace with that. Then it happened. Out of nowhere, I met the man that released a clarion call to the sapiosexual I am. I’ve since been dizzy. What he’s inspired thought is a possible want for things I’d thought I didn’t want, like monogamy and long term partnership.

6. Embracing change and not fighting against it, no matter the growing pains.

I understand that growth must exist in perpetuity, however, I sometimes long for the girl I used to be. That was a Facebook status I posted Tuesday night but I didn’t really mean it. It was in reaction to confusion over some emotions I was feeling.

The reality is, I have had so many rapid changes in the last few months that I’ve had no choice but to adapt or die. I’ve always been somewhat of a chameleon, able to change quickly and adapt to new situations. However, instead of changing swiftly, my growth has been more of a slow metamorphosis.

I’ve since embraced this change and come into a new understanding that it is necessary for who I must become to embrace my future self. Everything I’ve said here has been connected. It’s a mapped tapestry of where I’ve been, who I am now and where I’m going. I’m excited to see where I will end up.

Share Candidly Cole by Nicole

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