Seasons of Healing 

By: Veronica Janik

 

The other night,

my partner mentioned something about living off the grid somewhere in South America. For the past few years I’ve dreamed about living away from people and working from home (which I now do). I sort of surprised myself when he mentioned doing that and all I could think was, “No actually, I don’t want to do that at all anymore …”

About 6 years ago if you had asked anyone I was close with to describe me, most would have said I was a free spirit, wild, outgoing... I was. I loved being the center of attention. I was confident, pretty fearless and pretty competitive. I loved work because I wanted to achieve. I loved school because I dominated intellectually. My life was sort of ruled by the high of mastery. Can you see how I landed myself in extreme burnout? Ha!

In 2010 when I began suddenly suffering with anxiety and depression after my abortion, the years that followed sort of tumbled down into a space that changed my perspective quite a bit. Illness, grief, heartbreak… all of those forms of suffering force a person to go deeply inward and my extroverted tendencies quickly morphed into a shy introverted girl. 

The illusion of what my life was supposed to look like made me feel like I had gone backwards.

I simply changed, and it happened rapidly. This was hard for me, but I think it was even harder for the people close to me who felt like they no longer knew or could relate to me.

  It was the metaphorical shedding of the snakeskin.

I felt like this hard shell around me crumbled and out came a raw sweet hidden girl.

In hindsight, even though the past 5 years felt like I was simply at my weakest state, I see now that I was actually just rebuilding the entire time. I was rebuilding a belief system that wasn’t founded on a need to constantly prove my self worth to other people.

Over the past year and a half as my health has begun to majorly turn around and my anxiety and depression have healed, I find parts of me resurfacing. There is balance in everything. Every coin has two sides. To be whole, it important to honor our lightness, but we cannot forever neglect the work with our shadow-self. As I’ve begun to feel better I’ve found that the thing I want most right now is to rebuild and renew friendships and just spend time with people again. To bridge from there, approaching friendships from this whole new space sheds so much light on my growth as an individual. I don’t necessarily want the same type of social life I once had, actually not at all. I don’t even particularly want the same friends I once had. I am just consciously acknowledging and welcoming the transition back into a healthier more balanced version of myself; feeling it spill back into me and moving with it like it never left at all.