I have had difficulty breathing for the past month and a half now. Every time I try to take a breath, it's like there is a brick wall in my lungs. Once I get to a certain point with my inhale, it just… stops. I feel like I never have enough air! This is frustrating, and leaves me with an underlying sense of panic at all times. Although I think I have had an underlying sense of panic for most, if not all, of my 20 1/2 years of life.
I have been thinking a lot about what it is that's locking up my diaphragm. So far, I have come to the conclusion it is a combination of stress, anxiety and pushing too hard in my daily pranayama (Yogic breathing) practice. This morning my teachers helped me to take my pranayama down a notch, and I already feel calmer.
If I had to pick the main feeling that I have felt throughout my life, it would probably be a clutching sense of fear and desperation. Fear of the unknown. Desperate for other people to like me and approve of me.
Not only that, but also a deep, rotting sense that I would be most helpful if I would finally just crawl into a dark cave in a mountain somewhere and die. When I look back on my life, it seems like nothing but a long stream of mistakes and hurting other people.
Okay, so obviously today was tough for me. I'm not always this negative. But as I (painfully and slowly) work through another 8th Step, I feel as if everything that's happening is proving more and more that I am a total screw up.
But I know that I have made progress, because right now I am not wishing that the people in my life would tell me how much they love me and need me… I am wishing that I could see the beauty and goodness in me, whether anyone else is pointing it out or not. I wish that I could, right now, sincerely tell myself, "Katherine, I love you and I need you!"
But I can't seem to say that out loud. All I can hear is my ego's cunning voice: "Well, you can love and need yourself till the cows come home, but that doesn't mean anything if other people don't like you and what you're doing."
Talk about codependence! I have made other people my Higher Power. I have put them above me or below me.
Okay, I'm done pointing out everything I'm not doing "right." What's the solution here? What's my next step? What can I do to progress and move on? I am so done living with a constant feeling of obligation, shame, guilt and terror!
I am now 20 years old, and life is expanding quicker than it ever has before! I am officially stumbling into young adulthood, and I have never been more excited for the future.
As I explore the newfound love I have for myself, doorways are opening up inside of me, leading me deeper into myself.