2021: Toxic Traits and Self-Discovery

Hi everyone

This post is somewhat late. I have been going back and forth deciding whether I really wanted to write it. This is because I have come to see just how problematic New Year’s resolutions can be. Resolutions, at times, have a way of holding us back; keeping us trapped in our old ways instead of propelling us to where we want to be.

So this post isn’t dedicated to New Year’s resolutions. It’s a post about what I learnt in 2021 and how I will use that new found knowledge to push my dreams forward in 2022.

My 2021 can be grouped into two categories:

  • My toxic traits (because no-one is perfect);
  • Uncovering other parts of me

My Toxic Traits

One thing I have noticed about myself is that I can be very emotionally manipulative; a trait I share with many Aquarians. For the longest time I didn’t realise that I was using emotional manipulation to get what I want. I have used self-pity and sadness to somewhat manipulate those around me into giving me the answers I want. It is something that I no longer want to do and actively try not to do. I know now that in order to move away from this type of being, I have to address the issues of self-pity. It’s okay to feel sad, but it’s not okay to weaponise that sadness and use it against people you love.

I have also realised that I have a lot of preconceived notions about what my friends think of me. For the longest time I have held the belief that my friends don’t really love me or value me. However, I now know that this belief does not stem from them not loving me, but stems from the fact that I do not love or value myself to the extent that my friends do. And because I don’t love or value myself to that extent, I have a hard time believing that those around me can. And this has affected my of my friendships.

In order to heal these relationships, I need to allow people to carry me and love me through certain situations without questioning their motives. But more importantly, I need to start loving myself, caring for myself and valuing myself in the way that I want others to love, care and value me. The extent to which you love and value yourself is the extent to which you believe others can love and value you.

Uncovering parts of me

2021 was a year that I uncovered and healed certain parts of me.

In May of 2021 I got hospitalised. While I was there, people started pointing out parts of me that I had never noticed. They said that I am a very calm person and I make those around me feel secure in who they are. Which is somewhat contradictory to how I view myself. But then again, how one views themselves is not always an accurate portrayal of who they truly are.

It was in the hospitalise that I realised that I love making people feel heard, feel seen and valued. Although scared to admit it, I want to become a clinical psychologist. Yes, its a drastic pivot from my current job (an internal auditor). You have to understand, for the longest time I didn’t know what I wanted to be. And so I continued to move further and further in the wrong direction. But now I know that I cannot keep moving in that direction. It’s 2022 and I will no longer allow the fears of others prevent me from living my dream.

Apart from discovering my true calling, I was also introduced to intuitive eating.

I have been counting calories for an extremely long time; just one of the way an eating disorder manifests. After being hospitalised, I decided I wouldn’t count calories anymore. Rather, I would listen to my body and give it what it needs. The human body is amazing; it knows what it wants and needs, and in what quantity. By allowing my body more autonomy, I have become less anxious around food. I no longer experience the crippling shame that came with eating “unhealthy” food.

Contrary to what might think, your body doesn’t go into a tailspin. What most surprised me is that my body craved good, homecooked meals. And because I was no longer afraid to eat (and be seen eating) “unhealthy” food, I didn’t want it anymore. My weight over these past two months has been the most stable in a very long time.

I don’t want to make it sound like it was easy. It took a lot of time and effort, a lot patience and kindness to get to this point…all while still going to therapy. But it’s worth it for those who suffer from eating disorders.

2021 was one hell of a year. Through all the struggles and setbacks, I learnt so much about myself. And for that, I will be forever grateful.

Happy 2022:)