Notes to My Younger Self

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[Me: circa 1978]

*
If I had a time machine and could go back in time to give myself advice based on what I know now, it would be this:

1. You have an insightful mind, a caring heart, strong personal ethics, and a stubborn streak and the reason your family had it out for you is because you challenged them and they didn’t like losing control.  The loss of their love wasn’t personal, because they didn’t see you as a person, but as a blank screen they can project all their disowned junk onto and a scapegoat they can blame.

Learn to love yourself, even though they made it hard for you.

2.  Learn to say no when people want to drag you into their drama.  I know you want to help, but they need to help themselves.  Your wanting to help restore peace for others interferes with you finding peace for yourself.  It’s related to a misguided need to feel powerful and in control in a world that has lost its mind.  You have your lessons to learn through adversity, and so do they.  You can’t deny them their right to learn from their mistakes.

3.  Do not be so attached to outcomes.  When you are not attached to the outcome, you are much more able to accept “what is”, you can avoid disappointments and you can give up the need to control.  When you give up the need to control, more creativity can blossom.

4.  Don’t be afraid to seek counseling and Al-anon, because you would have avoided becoming an enabler and you would have support for what you were dealing with and you would have avoided a lot of pain and resentments.   Despite what you may think, you can’t fix everything yourself.

5.  Don’t deny your truth, for anyone.  Be careful of those who try too hard to convince you of theirs, no matter what their status.  You know what’s best for you.

6.  Trust yourself more.  Whether it was in the laboratory, or in relationship, or in mothering you have great instincts and you will find a way through the rough spots.

7. Learn to trust women.  Despite your early experiences with women (mother, sisters and girlfriends), there are some very wise and caring women out there who aren’t out to hurt you (like your stepmother).  Look harder to find them.

8.  Widen your net to find the kind of support you need.  While it’s harder for you to trust, and you have many non-mainstream values, there are others who can help you without making you lose yourself.

9.  Discover the power of art as a healing tool sooner.  You’ll be glad you did.

10.  Take care of your needs – eat good food, rest more, learn meditation and yoga, spend more time in Nature, do some inner child work and dress comfy, but don’t be afraid to dress like a girl (you really do feel better when you don’t dress in jeans and sneakers all the time).

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About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
This entry was posted in Complex-PTSD, Emotional Intelligence, Meditation, Personal growth, Soul, Soul wounds, To My Younger Self, Women, Women helping women. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Notes to My Younger Self

  1. thenerdyscribe says:

    All of this is fantastic advice! I am glad you posted this. Many people can benefit by reading this.

  2. Thank you TNS.

    I talk to myself a great deal anyway. It used to be a lot of negative self-talk, and it got to be I became addicted to the negative feelings, but I’ve done a lot of work to show love, care and compassion for myself and I found something out. I LIKE feeling happy. I LIKE feeling like I matter. And I discovered something more important than mattering to anyone else (there’s never any guarantee of that), but I found out I matter to ME.

    And when you matter to yourself, you’ll take better care of you.

    I have started visualizing my inner child (these old pictures I got when I saw my dad and step-mother a few years back helps). I started allowing myself to feel her pain. I started allowing myself to re-mother her. To give her the comfort she needed and still needs. To tell her I know she did the best she could. And since she’s still wary sometimes, I have to hold her hand whenever it is we will make friends again with someone and she gets afraid.

    And, well, I’m sure I’ll have new lessons to learn, but I can handle it. I do feel whatever I need will become available to me if and when I really need it. I’ve found numerous resources already (books and meditations and such).

    I really like listening to Clarissa Pinkola Estes books on CD. She’s one of those “wise women” that I found. I had a book of hers years ago, but I must say, there’s nothing like hearing her talk.

  3. great stuff. yeah. had i even realized there was a mental health community out there. how did i miss that for so long?

    • Casey says:

      How did you miss that for so long? The same way many of us do – by being afraid to look. 😉

      The long-standing stigma of mood disorders has had all of us frightened of being carted away by the men in long white coats against our will, so this stuff is hard to talk about.

      But, the tide is changing. While there are still people with the ‘old-mindset’ that mental illness is a scary and permanent condition, there are many that believe that’s not true and more than that, that it’s a portal into a new way of looking at the world.

      I just shared this on another post, but I’m going to share it again, it’s important.

      “The most successful people out there have bipolar or some other mood disorder.

      You might appreciate Douglas Eby’s website about Talent Development. A great deal of his site is devoted to creativity, developing multiple talents, succeeding despite (or even because of) depression and bipolar.

      http://talentdevelop.com/

      Here’s a whole page devoted to bipolar. You’ll be happy to know you are in some great company and there is a lot of new support for bipolar that you may not know about:

      http://depressionandcreativity.org/

      I really need to make some posts about this site…I think this is an invaluable resource.

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