One thing I always struggled with when I was younger was time. I felt like it always took me too much time. It took me too long to make friends, it took me too long to think of the right things to say in social situations, too long to fall in love or fall out of love, too long to make up my mind, to make life decisions. So much wasted time dealing with grief or sadness or stress.
Everything about me took time.
I wondered why it took me so long to deal with things, to get over them, when it seemed like everyone else just flipped a switch and everything was fine. I wanted to be like that. I wanted to heal faster. I wanted to be normal. Part of the way my brain works is that sometimes I will think I am over something and then it comes flooding back like it was yesterday and I feel like I have to start from the beginning, processing it all over again.
Trauma response. Anxiety. Depression. They all contribute to that feeling of being stuck in time. Of that feeling that you are forever going to be stuck carrying that baggage in an endless time loop where everything hurts.
It was something I used to hate about myself. I hated it so much.
It made me feel so weak and so broken. It made me feel incapable of healing.
But then something amazing happened. I gave myself permission to take my time.
I started to accept that I needed more time. That it was okay if my process didn’t look like someone else’s.
When I did that – I really started to heal. Oh-so-slowly, but it happened.
And I realized something else – I’m not alone. Some people do bounce back faster than others, but just because it looks like someone has it all together doesn’t mean they do. We’re so afraid to talk about our pain. We’re afraid of being one of those people who hold on to our victimhood past the expiration date.
We can’t judge ourselves by how someone else operates, especially when looking at it from the outside.
The only thing we can do is honor ourselves and our journey. We all have different operating systems, we can’t force them to go faster, we just gotta take our time. It’s ours to take and no one else’s.
It’s okay to take the time you need.
You don’t have to accept things or deal with things on anyone else’s time frame but your own. You take however long you need. You don’t have to feel guilty for not moving at another person’s pace. In relationships, in grieving, in all life things. You can take your time.
Take the time you need.
And don’t feel bad about it.
You are allowed to sit this one out.
Hang out on the bench until you’re ready to play again.
Wait for your moment. Wait until your ready.
The game will go on without you and the world won’t end.
Don’t worry about it, worry about you.
You don’t have to make any decisions right now. You don’t have to listen to well-meaning advice if it doesn’t feel right to you.
Listen to your gut. Pay attention to your intuition.
Give yourself what you need. Unapologetically.