Last few months have been some of the mentally and emotionally toughest months of my life. I had some doubt if I should actually write about this, but then I remembered my promise to stay honest and authentic. I know that making myself feel understood is a therapy that works very well for me, and the best way of doing that for me is through writing. So, here’s a very personal recap of what I’m going through right now and the reflections and insights I’ve made lately. Since this post involves other people than myself, I would like to note that there is an approval for me to share this, partly as an attempt to make myself feel better, but perhaps there is someone in a similar situation who feels alone or lack hope that this could help.
In early May I came back from a bit over two months in Brazil. My ambition with this time had been to immerse myself in the company of creative and entrepreneurial people and I put very high goals for what I would accomplish in that time. I knew that the time I have of complete freedom is limited so I set out with the ambition to on one hand write a third of the book I have set out to write, as well as to decide on a business idea and to finish a complete business plan and investor pitch. I had completely underestimated the pressure and the challenge of leaving the safe harbor of a steady career and a comfortable life. I mean I was ready for the physical challenge of living without income and the limitations I would have to face, but what I wasn’t quite ready for was the emotional and mental toll. My job gave me purpose and my career gave me a plan for the future. Even if it wasn’t the purpose I wanted or the future I dreamt of, they still fulfilled a very fundamental human need. I hugely underestimated how leaving this need unfulfilled would rattle my brain and emotions.
Life in Brazil was good though. I lived with one of my best friends who has been living there for five years and his Brazilian crew of outcasts, passionate people who all had decided to leave the common, accepted beliefs of what a successful and good life should be, they were all paving their own path as entrepreneurs and artists. It was a collective of dreamers, of strong independent and amazing people, and I loved it. I felt like I had finally broken loose from societal norms and beliefs and I was finally on my own, about to pave my own path, just like they were. As I have tried to explain in previous posts however, life had never been more emotionally volatile than now. At times I felt so inspired by these people and by the steps I had taken and where I was going, but at other times worry and fear came over me together with my own pressure to perform and to be perfect, financial pressure, and pressure to prove to the world that what I was doing was right, to show that I could be successful in my own way. The emotional roller coaster never seemed to stop.
At the same time as I was in this emotional thunderstorm, I was juggling a long distance relationship. Even before Brazil, the relationship had been quite rocky at times and unfortunately, it had to take quite a few heavy hits over the year that we’ve been together. We had issues that hadn’t been properly worked though and resolved, we struggled to understand each other, and being apart was a constant mess. The relationship was shaking and ended up consuming a lot of my time and energy, and brought me to a very challenging place as the relationship was the only steady pillar I had left in my daily life after having given up my home, job, and life in Barcelona. I felt drained of inspiration and energy, and my doubts, fears, and worries came rolling in like a tsunami. It was the start of what would become the toughest time so far in my life.
However, our love was strong and fierce and our connection undoubtable, so we endured and stayed together and when I returned to Barcelona in early May I moved in with her, which seemed logical at the time since I didn’t have a home and I wanted to spend as much time with her as possible anyway. When I came back to “real life” from the bubble world of living in Rio in that setting, a wave of even more intense pressure came over me. I had accomplished none of my goals. I had written 10 pages instead of 100, and I hadn’t even started on a proper business plan, let alone decided on an idea. I was so focused on how I had failed and how far away from those goals that I was, I couldn’t see how much I had learned and grown, how much more I was being myself, how much more I knew myself and how much stronger I had become. I was blaming myself, I was putting myself down and I felt like crap. Now everything felt like it was falling apart and in pure survival mode, I held onto the relationship for dear life as my only source of feeling safe. I ended up relying and depending on the relationship for my own wellbeing and happiness, instead of rebuilding my own life. Insecurities took hold and I felt stuck. I felt weak, and I couldn’t seem to properly engage myself to make things happen. It turned into a negative spiral and I couldn’t see a way out. All I could see and feel was uncertainty, doubt, and fear, and I felt panic from my life and limited time running away from me.
Our relationship was very transparent so I had tried to explain all of these emotions, but of course I think it’s impossible to fully understand for someone who is not in that situation. We ended up breaking up, which was incredibly difficult and devastating in so many ways. I had the biggest breakdown of sadness and anxiety that I’ve ever had. I cried harder than I’ve ever cried before. I felt so incredibly lost. I was overwhelmed with emotions and I was second guessing myself. I was again beating myself down and felt like an even bigger failure. We got the chance to open up properly and talk it all through and in the end, I felt more understood. In the end, we both came to the understanding that a break up seemed to be the only way at this point. So I packed my bags and moved home to Sweden with the hope of gaining stability and safety from friends and family. Sad and heartbroken, but we both agreed it was the right and only thing to do. No relationship will be healthy in the long run if both partners aren’t at least somewhat pulled together, if they don’t have a life of their own.
So here I am. Still filled with sadness, doubt, and fear, but with a shiver of hope. As I learn to depend on myself again, my inspiration, confidence, and energy are slowly coming back. I feel so strong already, and perhaps even more importantly I feel authentic, I feel true to myself. I’m coming out with a greater appreciation, and I am starting to learn to respect myself more, to appreciate how far I have come. This has been the toughest and most challenging time of my life but I already feel such gratefulness for it. I already feel stronger than ever before, and I can feel how only greatness can come out of this.
All love and no fear,