‘Stop looking for happiness in the same place you lost it’

There I was, wanting to write a post all about zoos, the pros and cons and get people thinking about a huge and controversial part of our lives – who doesn’t have an opinion on zoos? – yet here I am, writing another post on me.
I have had three of the most challenging days of my life. Not the hardest days, not the toughest days, but the most challenging.

I wrote a post about trying to change and break out of negative behaviour patterns (I think…I’ll check and if not, maybe include one at some point!) and last night, I had to force myself to do just that.

There is a particular situation I’m in that I don’t want to publicize, but at the same time, need to get off my chest. I don’t know if anyone will find this post relatable because it’s likely to be a bit jumbled.

Yesterday, I was confronted by something huge, something I did not like one bit. There was two real options from the confrontation, and neither are what I wanted. Either I give up something that made me happy long term or I give up something that I thought would help keep that happiness while it’s struggling. I mean really, what kind of choice is that?

My usual reaction in that situation is to force it to go my way. to make a third option that says ‘do what I want.’ That didn’t happen this time. There was no compromise, no middle ground. It was lose one thing or the other.

I, somehow, held onto my anger. It was crushing but I forced myself to stay as calm as I could and to just sit through my feelings. This is something I have never ever done before on this scale. I’ve never kept control and ridden it out. I’ve always reacted immediately, and usually defensively. This reaction, although good for standing up for yourself, when you’re fully aware that someone is trying to take advantage, is not healthy when you’re not sure what is right, or when you know you’re in the wrong, but this was my reaction to everything the second I felt threatened by any kind of situation. It’s like my brain was a tiger, happy to live alongside side someone until they move too close, or too far away, and then I hit out. This time, it’s like my food source was ripped away from me, but instead of hitting out, I waited.

I waited for all the usual thoughts and feelings to wash over me. The feelings of hurt, anger, devastation, more anger, upset, resolution, more anger, resolution again, etc. to wash over while I sat there quietly, hardly saying a thing. Anyone who looked at me could have physically seen the struggle across my face, from a silent tear to a frown, to probably going red, and then another tear and sadness.

This is such a huge, huge step for me. I’m still dealing with the situation that sparked it, and I did get to a point where I had to spill a little to get through the darker feelings that flooded me later on, but I still did it in the calmest way, no accusations or anger, just being open about how it all felt and why.

I don’t know if I have the strength to stick to my current decision or whether emotions will take over at some point and It’ll be too much, but the fact I was able to make that decision without reacting in my normal way gives me so much hope, and makes me so proud of myself. I’ve proven myself to myself in the last couple of days. I feel vulnerable as hell, but stronger than ever at the same time.

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