Awareness comes with both enlightenment and grief.

Listen to blog: 3:47 on YouTube

I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

So here is a “new to me” revelation that hit me pretty squarely the other day. Awareness brings both enlightenment and grief. Stick with me I’ll explain.

I chase awareness and expansion of my consciousness with rabid fascination. I am a self-proclaimed “perspective shifting queen” (I’m not wrong). Yet now that I’ve been at a full standstill every day for the last month, I am seeing and sensing more than ever before. You could say my hyperdrive of doing was abruptly shifted into a hyperdrive of being. 

As you’ll find, if you follow this series, I am obsessed with how much TikTok creators educate me. It has been a life saving experience to be honest. I began to follow about a dozen ADHD and AuDHD accounts in the last month and the rapidity of clearly SEEING myself in the content has nearly given me an aneurysm. My own patterns of expression and manifestation of ADHD and Autism are coming to life with each 3-minute video. 

Each day I’m finding validation and awareness about my own behaviors and thought processes. 

I’m finding awareness.  I am also finding grief. 

Grief you say? Yes, grief. 

For nearly 50 years, I have continued to suppress my real, true self, my natural gifts and talents, and my truest expressions. By doing this, I have suffered and as a result I’ve made others suffer. 

It’s like wearing the wrong bra size for too long. The wires are poking into your flesh. Skin is chafed and angry. The too tight band is suffocating. Nothing about it is comfortable or actually supportive – just torture.  

I’ve made choices that were not right for me, and because I was essentially performing this whole time, I wasn’t authentically connecting. Or, when I was having meltdowns and shutdowns, I didn’t react in a thoughtful, true or meaningful way. (Oooph, re-reading this last sentence is a IRT insight. That is still masking to make others comfortable instead of communicating what my needs were in those moments.) 

Unnecessary shame

I have left those types of interactions with massive guilt and shame. That, I, someone who studies behavior and constantly works on my own trauma healing and self-improvement, just couldn’t be adult enough in those moments to express my needs.

I have a history of poor relationships, people walking away from me, less than ideal living situations, being taken advantage of, and frankly, the list goes on. And while I excelled in all areas not personal (thanks to extreme masking), I couldn’t figure out the how’s and why’s of these things. I attributed it all to my own inability to be good enough, adult enough, healed enough…[insert whatever here] enough.

Carrying extreme loads of guilt and shame about every relationship, nearly every interaction, every meltdown that wasn’t socially acceptable, my parenting skills, you name it. 

Back to the grief part, if I had known all of this time. If only, I wasn’t conditioned to mask. If only, I hadn’t been forced to survive in this capitalistic society. How much suffering could I have avoided? How much earlier could I have started thriving? How much healthier could my body be today?

I don’t do regrets as I believe in the power of the journey. But, I do have anger and grief. Grief that will need to be seen and felt as it passes.

If that resonates, please leave a comment below and share your own experience.


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  1. This is powerful through its no holds barred honesty.

    Good luck on your new honest and authentic journey, I’ve recently realised I might actually be a few steps behind you! More details to come.