This is a user submission to IRL. We do not edit the article beyond ensuring that it complies with the site’s format. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author, and do not represent the opinions of IRL or its affiliates.
We all have our own sets of ‘demons’ within us. Some overpower us, while some are within our control. It is a constant, endless battle within.
For me, it was a battle of struggle because I was always losing the battle and my inner demons were in control of my life.
I’ve lost amazing friends, failed numerous relationships and even pushed my family away.
It wasn’t something that I was proud of, but it was regrets and only regrets.
All my life I was in search of ‘joy’ because I found so little in it. I only knew resentment, grieve and envy.
I started blaming these demons who were feeding my soul with bitterness, anger and negativity.
Until I realize that it wasn’t the demons at all, but me. I was the one who had ‘allowed’ it to consume me and took over my life.
But not anymore, because it’s time for me to take back my life and though the journey was tedious, I have to persevere for my own sake.
It Starts From Self-Care
Having a habit of comparing life to others is simply unhealthy, and yet that was my daily habit.
Pictures shown on social media, be it of friend’s on vacation or enjoying luxurious food, aggravated the demons in me.
I started hearing a soft whisper in my head that goes “Why couldn’t that be me?” and it went on replay till I was wallowing in self-pity.
One day, I came across multiple discussions about self-care and social media detox and how it has helped people.
I gave it a try by limiting myself to social media for three consecutive months and it helped!
To be honest, it was difficult initially and many questioned my decision, but this was my self-care initiative.
From it, I manage to shift my focus from comparing lives to appreciating what I have.
Have a Reliable Support System
My dad always reminded me that we live in an ‘interdependent eco-system’, meaning that we’re constantly dependent on one another.
Growing up with low self-esteem, I was constantly ‘dependent’ on my closest peers support and reassurance.
But I realize then, that not all will support and reassure you; not even your peers.
“It isn’t you alone who got it bad in life!” – These were the words that rang in my head for years.
From then on, I dismissed any sort of support from anyone. I isolated myself, seized from sharing any matters and carried all burdens on my own.
My inner demons were joyous, but I felt hopeless and alone until I witness multiple hands extended to me.
These were of the people who stood by me even after I dismissed them. These were my family and friends.
That’s when I understand that support from a few reliable people matters more than a handful of ‘unsupportive peers’.
Since then, I kept my circle of friends small and kept my family closer.
I opened up only to them on days I was down but also, I learn to provide my support to them as well.
I suppose my inner demons weren’t very happy now, but I am, especially since I know I have my reliable support system.
Do the Things You Love
Doing the things we love takes us on a ‘short’ escapade from reality.
It could be as simple as painting, reading or even adrenaline pumped activities like hiking or white water rafting.
Writing has always been that one activity that I love ever since I was 16 because it brought me that pleasant feeling of joy and peace.
I would write stories for my school essays, on notepads, anything; just as long as I can get my pen on it.
My imaginations were wild, but as time goes by, I started neglecting it because I ‘allowed’ my demons to overpower me.
I spent most of my time on social media and in bed, constantly consumed by self-inflicted anxieties.
Always thinking about, “Where is my life heading too?” or “Why is everyone living the life I want?” and even “Will I ever be good enough?”
It was eating me up inside, badly, till I had little interest to do anything.
Then came a day a friend of mine sat down with me and held up a pen.
He encouraged me to write again because he knew how much I found joy in it and how it has helped occupy my mind from all the negativity.
Though I was reluctant, initially, I still went on with it and as I write, I begin expressing myself through my imagination and words.
It felt natural for me and I felt content and at peace. But most importantly, I felt free.
Indeed, by doing the things I love, it has helped me battle my demons.
As far as I could remember, I’ve rarely been grateful for the things I have in life.
Then I realize that we will not always attain the things we want and at times, we would want more than what we’ve attained.
It is when we’re unsatisfied and ungrateful do the inner demons consume us whole.
But I’ve learnt to be grateful to what I have and be happy for those who had more.
My journey has been long and tedious, but it was through these simple steps that got me to where I am today.
We all have a choice and it is whether we want to ‘allow’ these demons to overpower us or not.
But I know, I will survive this journey.
For more stories about battling your inner demons, read: Silencing Your Inner Critic: 4 Ways to Stop Being So Hard on Yourself And I Was Self-Harming for 15 Years. Here’s How I Managed to Stop.