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Self-love: I am starting the third decade of my life on a brighter note

Back shot of a woman with blonde hair on a grassy area under the sun

I turned 31 last week, and I celebrated by focusing on myself. I took a couple of days off from work and spent the day by going about it slowly. I stayed in bed for as long as I wanted to. I cooked brunch and ate while watching Big Bang Theory. I had plans for the day, but I didn't set any specific time for any of these plans so there was no rush for anything.

After my slow morning, I went to the mall to renew my driver's license and get highlights. This was my ultimate birthday self-care treat: to have a slow day, have my hair colored, and give myself a little makeover. My slow day allowed be to pause and breathe, while my time at the salon made me feel good inside and out. I think I deserve this treat because I've been quite stressed at work and a bit overwhelmed by life as a whole, but I am still here living one day at a time. I rewarded myself with a hair pampering session because why not?

I've also been working on addressing my deep-seated issues of insecurity and that gnawing feeling of "not being good enough." My therapy, along with medication, really helped me deal with it. I've been working on this for years, and now, finally, I have learned to love and appreciate myself more. And with my new highlights looking so good, I got one more thing to love about myself.

Self-love. A dear friend advised me before that self-love is key in overcoming my insecurities. It's not just about looking pretty or treating yourself to a shopping spree. It's seeing your true self and appreciating yourself and all the things that you can do.

During one of my lowest points, my psychiatrist asked me to list down my talents and good qualities. We discussed them during the session, and she made me realize that I am enough. I am smart enough. I am good enough. I am talented enough. But most of all, I am enough. Now, I can see that.

This is why, last week, when I came face to face with one of my biggest triggers, I didn't feel anxious, scared, and small anymore. It was a small dinner gathering with friends, and when this person entered the room, I didn't feel nauseated like I used to. I didn't feel sick. I didn't feel weak and my hands weren't cold. I was surprisingly calm. I was able to eat dinner and enjoy the company of our friends. That was the moment I knew that I've finally healed from my insecurity.

I know that recovery isn't linear, and at some point, I would again find myself in a bad place. I would feel overwhelmed or triggered or insecure again. But because I am now better equipped with what I need to manage these situations, I know that I can get out of that bad place.

Healing is a long process, and I am glad I took my time. It's as if my deep wound has properly healed from the inside, and it's now sewn neatly. It may hurt at times, but I am confident that it will no longer open up. I am glad that I was taught to be patient with myself and to trust my own pace, because just like other things in life, there are no shortcuts here.

Photo by Garon Piceli from Pexels


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