I’m becoming very uncomfortable in my cocoon.
It’s apparently usual for people who have experienced trauma (and those of us who have had our brains wrecked by it) to cocoon themselves in some way to protect from further trauma. Sometimes that can look like gaining weight (me) and sometimes that can look like staying at home or another protective environment (also me).
The things that we do to protect ourselves when our brains tell us constantly that we are under threat – even when we aren’t – often don’t lead to us living our best lives. They are survival lives, they are necessary for a time and they serve a purpose.
Mine is just no longer serving me, and I am starting to stretch against the defenses I’ve built around myself.
Those defenses – the weight, the avoidance, the staying at home so much, the (relative) lack of networks and social circles, the lack of exposure for my work, the missing pieces in the picture of a life that I find fulfilling – are now holding me inside a life that has become too small and too confining.
I’m just really, really grateful. And I’m trying to be aware of the reasons I have to be grateful for this new phase so that I don’t shortcut the experience of living them.
I have been holding myself back in a way that has now developed its own set of problems, but the reasons are valid, and it has taken a long time to rewire my brain to understand that I can indeed live a bigger life. It has taken years to get my confidence back, to learn to manage the triggers and to acquire the tools and resources I need to be able to get out of the cocoon.
I am not great. I am far from it. But I’m good, and I’m really grateful that I am finally in a place to be able to say that.