The Evolution of My Healing. I feel like I’ve unlocked something that gives me hope.
“Fear, the emotion of water (cold, winter) is the most yin.”
It’s easy to fall into the pattern of self-harm. Sometimes it’s drastic, dangerous and at times lethal. Other times it’s subtle, it’s slow. The latter is the most disarming kind of self-harm because you forget that you’re doing it. Forgetting that you’re accountable to yourself (and your mental and physical happiness) is really half the battle.
Recently I’ve been noticing several things—how I clench myself, my entire being into a scrunched up ball, in the face of being uncomfortable. How when something is difficult I shut myself down, as a coping mechanism.
This understanding of myself started a couple of months ago when I realized I was holding my breath—literally—all the time. When I was stressed, my breathing was suffering. When I was depressed, I was suppressing my breathing. When I was very, very sad, my breathing became striated, compressed. It’s like I was punishing myself by not breathing properly.
It’s a sadistic form of self-harm because you’re so unaware of what you’re doing… but of course, on some level, sadistically, you are.
I have this habit I picked up from years of suffering from body dysmorphia. It’s when I look at my fat and amass it in my hands, clutching it like it’s something dead, ugly and unworthy. So many times I do that I’m not really saying anything to myself, I’m just feeling it: the rage, the impertinence, the sheer frustration I have for my body disappointing, and betraying me.
We don’t realize how these feelings, how these deep-seated frustrations we have directly affects our wellbeing and our livelihood. It took me so long to understand, that when I felt like I couldn’t breathe that I was doing cellular damage to myself.
“Depression and emotional tension are both cause and effect of a bad stomach,” wrote Naboru Muramoto in Healing Ourselves: A Book To Serve As a Companion in Time of Illness and Health. That struck me, because how often do we think of the ways in which we orient our own demise? How often do we really think of how much control we have over our bodies, and especially over our own health?
It’s something that I’ve been struggling with because some part of me wishes that I had less control. Then I could be lazy and blame it on something other than me. If I start embracing that I am at the behest of my own calm, and definitely my own happiness, then I have to do something about it. I have to change myself.
This year has been an extraordinary year for grieving.
I’ve learned a lot in my grief over the past few months, and most of it is what we do to ourselves when we hurt. Especially how we intensify our hurt and our suffering on our internal system when we grieve.
Getting back to balance isn’t just the methods you take. Acupuncture started to become a true tool in my healing when I began to go deeper and really begin to understand the signs your body gives you when things aren’t working. What ailments come through. It’s wild to think that you could play a part in undoing your own depression, your own frustration, your own sadness.
All of it’s linked.
Constitutional problems are fundamental to understanding who you are. If you suffer from depression—from a proclivity to sadness—it’s important to believe those things can be changed. In the pursuit of learning more about how my body works, and how it’s directly linked to my mind, I feel like I’ve unlocked something that gives me hope. Knowing that I can redirect my healing, that I can control it… and instead of turning against myself when something begins to feel off again has been important data for me to accept.
Because that’s what it is, it’s data. You do with it what you will, but store it in your mind, and nurture it. It might take you years to act on it, but that’s ok. Build on that data, learn more about your body’s constitution so that one day you're ready to act. I promise you, one day it might come in real handy.
About The Author
This guest post was authored by Fariha Róisín, a talented writer based here in Brooklyn. We are indebted to Fariha for sharing this experience. We are humbled to be in service to such a brave, strong & beautiful human and it is with great gratitude we are able to share Fariha’s writings with our community.
Fariha Róisín has written for Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Vice, Fusion, Village Voice and many others and additionally has previously written a self-care column on The Hairpin. Fariha will also soon have two books published and currently has an astrology column for them. We encourage you to discover more:
Visit Fariha’s Website.
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A Note From Garden Acupuncture: