Who is Your Dark Passenger?
If you’ve ever watched the show Dexter, you are aware of Dexter Morgan referring to his murderous side as his “dark passenger.” I think we all have a dark passenger and I hope sans the murder. We may refer to that dark side as our ego, devil, our evil twin; it could be a voice of someone else who caused trauma to us. There are many variations that translate to pretty much the same thing—that inner voice that holds us back from living.
This voice can sometimes lead us into destruction, such as drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, abuse, self harm, depression, seclusion, a bad memory triggering PTSD, and so many other harmful paths. We all have our own and we can choose to acknowledge it exists or just keep pretending it doesn’t. Some days are easier than others to tell that voice to “shut the hell up and let me live!”
This is My Dark Passenger
I deal with PTSD from an attempted sexual assault.
Last year, I had to deal with legal proceedings regarding what happened and it opened my wounds right up…I thought they had healed. I’d be on a very negative trail, sometimes a war path for the rest of the day and sometimes even days later. Recently, I was able to laugh at this whole situation. ‘How?’ you may ask.
Some days are good and some days I will see a guy at the grocery store that looks similar to the guy that jumped me and I’ll go into a mental tail spin.
One of my friends recently brought this situation up and when they did I thought I was gonna go into a mental tail spin. My friend said, “Wow, that guy was a serious dumbass for thinking you weren’t gonna fight his ass back. I mean, one of your calves could kick my ass let alone that scrawny little f****er. You must’ve shocked the shit out of him!” Three years later, I finally laughed. We both laughed so hard. It felt SO good to laugh and it felt healing. I felt like I was laughing in the face of my dark passenger.
I’m not sharing this for you to feel sorry for me. I know we all deal with something and this just so happens to be mine. We all deal with serious internal shit, it’s just boxed differently for each person. We’re all fighting a battle. I’ve come a long way thanks to therapy, talking, writing, meditation, yoga teacher training, practicing yoga, and learning to talk to my Higher Power. This “shituation” brought me closer to God, period. Extreme situations usually do that. I realized that I was never in control and that I can’t do this thing called life alone. I need God, my husband, my family, my mentors, my friends. It takes a village even after childhood.
Focus on Gratitude
When I feel myself going into that dark place, I count my blessings. I know that sounds simple but don’t always practice this, especially when we should. You can start by saying, “I’m alive” and then countless blessings will be revealed to you. Like I said before, some days will be better than others, but what can you do to confront your dark passenger and say ‘Not today!’
You can do something positive, that’s what. Help someone in need, write what you are feeling and why you are feeling it, talk about it, talk to God, etc. That dark cloud will go away, some days are quicker than others but it will go away. Remember, every feeling is temporary.
All the above being said, be kind to everyone! Even if it takes everything you got while gritting your teeth. Be nice. Everyone is going through something unimaginable. It’s difficult, but try. We all have more in common than meets the eye.