Are You Running Away from Yourself?

“No matter where you go, there you are.” ~Confucius

I am accustomed to not moving. To move was to feel pain—the pain of seeing how worthless I believed myself to be. Sometimes I would sit in the same place for hours, sometimes not leaving the house for days.

By isolating myself, I avoided finding evidence in the outside world that proved how I saw myself was the absolute truth.

My worst nightmare was that others would show me (through what they said or didn’t say, or what they did or didn’t do) that they too found me as rotten as I knew myself to be.

And so, I was often left in the privacy of my own dreaded company. My best friends were the little pills that I could rely on to knock me unconscious. I had neither the tolerance nor strength to face myself, and I often chose the easy way out.

Sedatives, tranquilizers, hypnotics—I lived for them. They provided me respite from the constant agony of my internal voice, which asked, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I so damaged? Why do I hate myself? What have I done to deserve this?” And concluded, “I don’t want to feel again.”

Sleeping was my only escape. And I did more and more of it. 

Sometimes I pushed the boundary too far: Like the time when I swallowed enough hypnotics to probably kill a few buffalos. When I simply woke up a few hours later asking for coffee, I lost interest in testing myself that way again.

But when I started realizing I was losing chunks of memory, I knew I had reached my limit. I would bump into people on the street who talked about a party I was at and I had no memory of ever being there, nor the few days surrounding the event.

After deciding to give up making myself unconscious and not moving, I went to the other extreme of moving too fast. I started taking stimulants—various amphetamine-based pills that would kick my body and mind into action so I could move, talk, and think at lightning speed.

I figured if I kept moving, I wouldn’t have to face myself.

I was running away from the same problem, and I thought I had found a better way of doing it.

It helped me manage my social phobia. Whenever I went to a social event, I felt tremendous pressure to appear perfect. Every meeting, every interaction I had with people, was a performance.

My drugs helped me seem more comfortable in my skin than I really was. I felt false and I hated myself for it.

I tried to exude confidence and charm. Many times, I succeeded. But always, I would spend the ensuing days beating myself up for every little incident I imagined had exposed the rotten me to the world.

I began to feel the rage that had been suppressed in me for a long time. Somehow, it didn’t frighten me the way my other emotions did, so I took refuge in it. After suppressing my emotions for so long, I found it quite empowering to act out my aggression.

It gave me a sense of power I never had. Now I can see that it’s something I call “false power”—a false sense of power that’s followed by feeling bad or dissatisfied with ourselves because it comes from a place of fear.

Soon, I was back to sleeping pills, and alternating them with stimulants—one countering the after-effects of the other. I was addicted to both not moving and moving too fast.

One day, it began to dawn on me that somewhere in the middle, between not moving and moving too fast, there’s a whole world of magical possibilities.

I started to get glimpses into this world.

Whereas my options before were limited to the world I saw myself to be trapped in, suddenly it occurred to me that maybe there was another place to look for the joys that had eluded me all those years.

This was followed by more years of trying to find an easy access into this other world within the same world. I dabbled in a variety of spiritual practices, meditation, energy healing, and slower movements, but lacked the patience to persist when no immediate door was opened.

Yoga was too slow, Pilates too brutal, meditation too boring. I judged everything harshly.

Some things were too wacky, others were not wacky enough. It reflected my mind, which had been swinging like a pendulum from one extreme to the other, struggling to come to a balance.

But I did not give up. Slowly, what was being revealed to me was beauty. What an alien concept it was, for I had never known beauty in all my life.

I learned that the other side of pain and false power is authentic power.

Paradoxically, the place where I was to find the joys that had been missing in my life was the very place I’d been running from all my life.

When I reconnected to the parts of me that I had lost, it felt like a coming-home. I learned that self-love is when we come home to ourselves. That relationship which I had sought to destroy turned out to be the very thing that would save my life in the end.

What I realize now is that we can get so  overwhelmed by our imperfections that we don’t see any goodness in ourselves.

In this way, we can destroy our relationship with ourselves thinking we are flawed and beyond redemption. But it will only cut us off from the very source of joy, beauty, and love. 

I see so many people addicted to substances and external relationships, believing that is where they can find these things. It will only feed into their deep inner insecurity and create more distance from themselves, the true source of joy.

I see so many people, like I once did, choosing to go to sleep and not be present to the everyday experience. I see many others who can’t stop running from one place to the next, thinking they can outrun their problem.

Freedom is found not by sleeping or running away, but by choosing to be awake and staying here long enough for the magic doors to open. 

The act of moving—mindfully, with an attitude of embracing life—will take you from feeling stuck with pain to healing that pain. Move slowly and you can taste the rich array of sensations. Move too fast and you’ll miss the gifts contained in the moment.

When you get vulnerable, feel emotions, and stay true to what you are feeling, you liberate yourself from pain.

As you allow the sensations to be in your body, while gently breathing through it, you invite the natural force of change to renew you with its constant movement.

Through years of my own creation of movement therapy, I’ve cultivated a mindset of self-renewal. I am still discovering more and more goodness in me, and every discovery brings me even more joy.

If you haven’t found what you’re looking for, try adjusting the pace with which you live your life and see if you can find that door to magical possibilities.

Photo by vastateparkstaff

About Amyra Mah

Amyra Mah is a spiritual coach, intuitive counsellor, writer, blogger, and creator of extraordinary treatment programs for addictions and other lifestyle imbalances.  She is passionate about guiding people to find their personal power, spiritual meaning, and a profound sense of comfort within, so that they rise to their magnificence.

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  • Wow, Amyra! Thank you so much for sharing such a personal part of your life with us.

    I know it is never easy as I’ve been addicted to many things as well throughout my life. Although I feel that I have grown since those days, I still find myself sleeping through the pain of life today… and it makes absolutely no sense.

    It wasn’t until I came across a specific sentence that your post truly hit me square in the chest:

    “Freedom is found not by sleeping or running away, but by
    choosing to be awake and staying here long enough for the magic doors to
    open. ”

    Wow! The part I keep missing is being awake LONG ENOUGH for the magic to happen. My patience has always been short and I like to see changes almost immediately. When they don’t, I become bored or start to think what I’m doing is not working. However, this one sentence just awoke the part of me that really needs to work on patience and wait for the magic doors to happen… without trying to escape.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Thank you so much for sharing. Congratulations on finding your path.

    I never abused drugs or alcohol. My escape was books. I lost myself in them to hide from the pain of seeing my worthless life, my worthless self.

    I have been SLOWLY awakening to real and wonderful me for a long time. I have been getting rid of many negative beliefs that I allowed to make me feel worthless and unlovable. I finally feel free. Free to be myself and proud of it.

    “You need to love yourself before you can love another” is so true. But nobody explains how to love yourself when you feel so miserable.  I teach just that, by teaching how to eliminate negative beliefs.

  • I feel very close to this point and am not sure what to do.  I could sleep all the time.  How might I learn more about BodyRenew?

  • Hello Amyra.

    I read with close identity what you’ve written, thinking “I’ve been running away WITH myself.” It probably means the same, but to me there’s a different connotation. I was diagnosed at one time with “situational depression,” coaxed by my doctor to move to Florida as I was contemplating. The region in which I lived (here) is/was indeed depressing. As it turned out in Florida, I fell back into old practices that fostered further depression (diagnosed as dysthymia). Consequently, I moved back to this area which could certainly be the death of me had I not awakened to the drum of my own heart.

    The way it worked, I returned to the old arena to conquer my demons.

    I have availed myself of a “veritable torrent” of practices and insights into creating a better *ME*. Faced with even more reasons for depression, I fought it head-on. I quit the medication…quit all forms of medication. Turned to meditation instead. Self-exploration. Found volumes of self-help information on the Internet and in books and distilled from them what works for me.

    As you say, “As you allow the sensations to be in your body, while gently breathing through it, you invite the natural force of change to renew you with its constant movement.” I have found great release, even exhilaration, in walking, biking and, above all…breathing. In this manner I am preparing for my next move. Away, far away from here. This time, however, I am running toward something. Not away from (even though it is an underlying truth). Actually, I am walking. I will move when the time is right, with no sense of immediacy…just imminence.

    Thank you for your words.

    ~ Mark

  • Lv2terp

    Thank you for sharing your vulnerability with us, this is truly beautiful!!! 🙂

  • Saquanda

    ‘What I realize now is that we can get so overwhelmed by our imperfections that we don’t see any goodness in ourselves.’

    Or anyone else.. It took me a really long time to get this. Really get it. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Blubooty27

    As I was reading this article, I was like, “hey, that’s me, she’s writing about.” You sure did hit the nail. I was addicted to anything that I could find that seemed to help me. Work, kids, alcohol, drugs, bad relationships and sleeping. Anything to ignore myself. All I could hear was that I was never good enough. I was raised by an abusive alcoholic parent and the other was a codependent. I never heard anything good from them. So as a teen-ager I went on the destructive path to show them they were right. Then one day I woke up and changed my life. I wished things would have gotten better but no there was always an addiction right there for me just to reach out and grasp it.

    Now I am trying to have a loving relationship with myself but its been hard. Because I had another addiction which was food. Now I have gained 60 lbs. and I don’t like my body now. I am now hiding from human interaction and intimacy. I think I could live as a hermit for the rest of my life. I don’t need people. But on my good days, I realize that I do need people. I need my friends and family.

    Thank you for sharing and your article just made me realize that I am NOT the only human out there feeling this way.

  • madweims

    beautiful post, I feel your suffering, and love your acomplishments. Suffering is a powerfull motivator, you can use it to send yourself spiraling further downward or use it fuel your journing of understanding.
    I am a recovering alchohlic and it was not until I crashed my motercycle loaded on pills and alchohol that I hit bottom. Through grace, I was able to see and I have been slowly finding my center.
    To change your life and relationships you have to change yourself first. I have been giving myself much compasion, and in so doing am able to spread the compasion.

    You might have heard of the book by Brenee Brown “Gifts of inperfection”. Hands down the best book I have ever read, as I am a recovering perfectionist also.

    The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It is our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.
    Bright Blessings

  • This has really hit home for me, as I have always seemed to struggle with the concept of self-love. Although it is heart-breaking to hear you talk about your struggles, it always brings me such joy to know that you have worked on your problems to overcome the self hate that once consumed you. To many people, it just wouldn’t make any sense as to how someone could possibly hurt themselves and run away – aren’t we all just supposed to love who we are? If only it were that simple, though.

    Thank you so much for opening up about your struggle and ongoing success of your journey to find your true self. I believe love starts with each and everyone of us – to be able to give love to others, we must first love ourselves.

  • Pacing is often, if not always, everything that is between where we are, who we are and who/where we want to be. Motion changes everything but I always fear that being too slow results in missed opportunities, so I usually opt for the fast lane but have lately been working on moving over to the steady lane. On a separate note, I’ve been searching for that Confucius quote for some time, trying to figure out who said or wrote it. I’ve been all through the pages of this website and still didn’t find it, so I’m glad that it’s featured here in today’s blog post. 

    Getting back on topic, reading your experiences reminds me of two things, 1. The movie “Limitless” starring Bradley Cooper where the main character takes this sort of magical pill that allows him to do lots of tasks very quickly, almost at the speed of light. and 2. A song by The Verve where the chorus goes “…the drugs don’t work, they just make you worse, but I know I’ll see your face again” — I think that sleeping pills have their place and can be useful. Still, it’s great that you were able to find a balance between moving too fast and not moving at all, allowing you to find a place where you can now recognize yourself and all of the open doors available to you 🙂

  • Amyra Mah

    Tim – Thank you for sharing.  Indeed, suffering can be a great source of empowerment.  Within that which we attempt to hide or run away from lies a treasure trove of beauty, joy and abundance.  But we’re too conditioned to run the other way from what makes us feel uncomfortable that we miss out on accessing the part of us that stores our true power. 

    I love the concept of the dark defining the light.  May you continue to see your light and its ever emerging beauty in your own journey.


  • Amyra Mah

    Shannon – You have hit the nail on the head.  A lot of times, we just don’t stay in this place long enough to allow the magic to be revealed to us.  Right here, right now, is everything we could ever want to feel abundant, full, radiant, loved.  Part and parcel of making this discovery is the necessity to ride through the discomfort of allowing the movement of change to take place.  But how often we mistake the discomfort to mean that “it isn’t working, this is bullshit, I’m just deluding myself” when it is just part of the process of us shifting into our higher state. 

    One of the tools I have found to be helpful in practising patience is to adopt a mindset of curiosity when staying in one place.  Instead of focusing only on a specific outcome, be curious about what else is being revealed to you.  Otherwise, we may miss seeing the magic even when it is already here. 

    Thank you so much for your words and I am celebrating you seeing the magic more and more in your life.


  • Amyra Mah

    Mark – I love your story.  I admire the courage and persistence you show in the way you dealt with your depression.  As someone who’s lived through depression, I can relate to your experience of seeking an alternative way to being on continued medication, a way that will lead to true liberation (I am not completely opposed to medication as it does have its place).  I know how difficult it is to trust in the guidance of your own body and heart, against what ‘convention’ says is the right thing to do.

    I love how your adventures into yourself have led to the place you describe as “exhilirating”.  I share your excitement in Walking towards the place of more brightness and joy. 


  • Amyra Mah

    Nicole – Thanks for highlighting the “fear that being too slow results in missed opportunities”.  I can certainly relate to that!  I love ‘Limitless’ and as I was watching it I saw my superfast-paced self – the addictive high from accomplishing many things in quick bursts, followed by my system blowing up.  I’ve learnt that pushing myself to achieve, achieve, achieve goes against how we are naturally built to function and will put a strain on us eventually. 

    The “missed opportunities” we see are often an illusion.  I think we tend to delude ourselves that something outside
    of us will give us feelings of beauty, joy and abundance when it is all already inside of us.  If
    only we stopped chasing that external something and discover what’s already
    inside!  Run too fast and we will truly be missing opportunities. 

    Enjoy moving over to the steady lane and discovering some magical aspects of you.


  • Amyra Mah

    Ashley – Thank you so much for your comments 🙂  I think there are many people who haven’t experienced love to know what love truly is, let alone love themselves or others.  It is so true that loving begins with loving ourselves, which is to allow ourselves to open up to the innate sense of tenderness, beauty, devotion, nurturance, abundance that naturally flows within ourselves.  Only then can we express these feelings (which are aspects of love) to others. 


  • Amyra Mah

    Blu – I hear stories like yours every day, so you can be assured that you are not alone in feeling like this.  We can be addicted to anything unless we heal our underlying sense of unworthiness.  When you remove the thing you are addicted to, you come face-to-face with that emotion/concept/image/story you are avoiding and it can feel very uncomfortable.  There’s a whole lot more that goes into remaining free of your addiction but the key is in staying in this place of vulnerability LONG ENOUGH for your feelings and perception of yourself to change.  Try allowing the sensations to move through you, and breathe.  Allow it and see what happens. 


  • Amyra Mah

    My pleasure, Saquanda 🙂 

    If you’re visual, try imagining all the judgements you have about yourself as building blocks of who you are.  Among this ‘heap of rubbish’, look for the pinprick of light.  This is the sacred part of you, the part that is undamaged, no matter what you’ve gone through in life.  Focus on it until it grows bigger and bigger, erasing all those judgements, until it becomes your whole being. 


  • Amyra Mah

    You’re welcome, and thank you!


  • Amyra Mah

    Natalie – Thank you and congratulations to you too on finding yourself. 

    Whether it is drugs, alcohol or books, we will always find something to numb the truth if who we think we are is unworthy.  That ‘truth’ needs to be challenged as within it lies pockets of our power which we can retrieve to help us live in joy. 


  • Amyra Mah

    Karen – If your tendency is to sleep, try moving more and allowing yourself to be awake.  Let the discomfort of being awake move through you, and breathe through it.  Be conscious of moving too fast, to the point of escaping.  Adjust your pace and stay there until the magic is revealed to you. 

    I am working on the Body Renew DVD and self-empowerment pack which will be out in about two months’ time.  In the meantime, I will send you the link to my new website in the coming week. 


  • Nascarcountry29

    I must say this is the best article I have read yet on your site!  I read it and I kept saying, “this is me! it’s me!”.  How much this hit home is astounding!  I sleep and sleep and sleep; then run and run and run.  I just never really knew what I was trying to get away from by sleeping or running!
    I look forward to enjoying this book and hopefully getting more answers for my life.

  • Laura

    Sometimes, (many times) it is really hard. I think about how difficult things are, and how bad it can make me feel. Soon, I am feeling so sorry for myself, that sleep is a sweet escape. Then, I try to withdraw from people. If I feel negative I don’t want to infect other people. But . . . I think this happens to each of us, I tell myself am not the only one who ever felt this way.

    I try daily to water the seeds of compassion in my soul and feed the ‘good’ thoughts, pulling out the weeds of pity, and sympathy, and other negative feelings. It is hard work. Maybe it is the Ying Yang of the universe?

  • Johnny B

    Wow. There it is in black and white. You opened yourself up for the world to see. You are so wonderfully brave.
    I am walking between those two worlds right now. The world filled with the image that I have created and the world where the true me resides. I have been on the first path so long that it has worn a deep groove into the ground and everytime I try to escape I find myself sliding back into the same groove once again. At times I can feel my heart and soul fill with the joy and peace of being centered. Then it fades away leaving the old me standing in its place. I have built a world that I must sustain because others depend on me. I know that happiness is a out there.
    I just need to find the way.

  • Turry Lee

    This gave me chills. You have inspired me to write whats real… its just that i do not have any confidence or faith whatsoever. I have difficulties praying because I feel that I am not worthy because of my past mistakes and they have happened long ago. And as I read this Amyra I feel you sooo much.
    Since I was born, all i ever wanted to do was have fun, have a good time with close friends or whoever wanted to have fun. Although, I wasnt quite the competitive one. I was the one that would let the opponent win. Its not the same today but the opponent still knows my nature. Worthless is a very strong word and I find myself saying it my prayers every day asking God what is wrong with me for not keeping a job to clear the debt away. As I sit here typing this to you, their is someone out there starving asking for help while I am here with a place to sleep and food to eat. SELFISH am i.  As far as drugs I smoke more green than i drink I had my take on painkillers suffered from the stupidity of porn and all that but honestly I am scared of my own shadow when it comes to heavy drugs. I think I am gonna die or have a heart attack or whatever can happen thats the worst. After college I lost much enjoyment from watching TV, playing video games, even reading my favorite Treasured Writings of Kahlil Gibran. But Music is the only thing that keeps coming back to touch my heart telling me to join with her. And quickly do I lose myself when i find myself in love with a song i have made. This is when I walk in circles around my room feeling useless. I feel like a psycho doing shit like that and its not funny. Last year i fell in love with the guitar and its like my guitar only comes to life when I keep her in my hands but now I let her go so easily and she used to sleep in my bed. I can never go 100 recording a song because I feel I am not good or whatever. I dont know why I am so quick to change my mind.
    I feel that I have dug such a deep hole that not even the light can find me. And I know its not true its just I am so depressed about how I turned out today. Its easy to say one will do better or everything will be okay but thats future talk. I am a 25 year old Man living with his parents with 3 dollars in my pocket. Tommorow I sometimes dont care for. Sometimes my dreams are so surreal that I cry when I wake up because it is back to my worthlessness. I hate to be this way.
    And when I talk about heaven I scare my own self into thinkin I am gonna die soon.
    Amyra I enjoyed reading this. The truth is love and i love you for this. Thx for showing me that writing helps clear the mind.
    I hope my door will open soon.


  • Turry – Really appreciate your honesty in sharing.  I love that you connected with the cleansing power of expressing your truth.  I feel that if you keep writing you will reach deeper and deeper into the truth of who you really are: a magnificent being who is worthy of all the happiness in the world. 

    Sometimes, we ‘lose interest’ in the things we love doing because we’re afraid of staying in the place of goodness.  What I commonly see is a fear of our own power coupled with the belief that we are unworthy of goodness.  Sometimes, we just need to take a break from trying to fix it or deal with it all, and one way is to take your focus away from yourself and rest your attention on somebody else.  A lot of times, this can lead you to the door sooner – by taking a break from worrying about your problems and letting your heart open to feel another’s plight.  You could do this simply by taking a walk down the street and paying attention to those around you – just observing and relating heart-to-heart. 

    Because sometimes, our hearts can only open to ourselves, healing the wounds of our past, through the practice of opening our hearts towards others. 

    I wish you the most glorious journey in meeting yourself, one magnificent aspect at a time.


  • Johnny – How wonderful that you can see the contrast between the “two worlds”.  Sounds like you’ve already found your way, and as you have indicated happiness isn’t really “out there” but in your heart and soul. 

    I have found that being in my truth always works out in the end despite the disasters I imagine would take place.  There’s a sense of liberation that comes from being in my truth which makes me a better person to be with, a better giver and provider and sharer. 

    It might help to connect to a new sense of purpose, one that is more aligned with the true you – to balance out your current purpose of ‘providing for others who depend on me’.  Sometimes, if you have a clear purpose when you’re operating in the false world but you haven’t connected to a sense of purpose in the other world, it can be easy to keep being pulled back to the former.  Your purpose does not need to be something grand or world-changing; it can be as simple as “to live in joy and beauty every day”.  If you connect to it in your heart and soul, and make it the driving force of your everyday life, it becomes a powerful purpose that can shift you into the world your heart is yearning to be. 


  • So glad to hear! 

    With realization, you can now begin to be conscious and adjust your pace until you find your special door that leads to the discovery of who you truly are. 

    Enjoy your journey.  Love,

  • Laura – I know exactly how this feels (and no, you’re not the only one who ever felt this way – just look at the comments here).  At times, it can seem as though the negativity is all there is, and it’s hard work to grasp on to any brightness.  The truth is that the negativity is only the tip of the iceberg and what’s beyond it is the vastness of beauty, abundance and joy. 

    Feeding the good thoughts and weeding out negativity can help you to move into the vastness, provided it is done not completely from the head.  You need to open up your senses as you stay in this place of vulnerability.  When your senses are alive, it shifts you from a place of limitations to Possibilities.  But the key is, you have to stay there long enough for this shift to take place. 

    Opening up our senses can make us feel exposed and vulnerable, and we often choose to shut down our perceptive senses so that we’re only half-awake.  But when we allow ourselves to feel alive, we activate all our power, which can feel threatening to us unless and until we stay in it and allow it to reveal its beauty to us. 


  • Pema Chodron talks a lot about maintaining a mindset of curiosity and “staying”/being present through the pain and discomfort.  Much of what you said echoed what I’ve read from her – you are both wise! 🙂

  • “What I realize now is that we can get so overwhelmed by our imperfections that we don’t see any goodness in ourselves.”
    I have been in this space and your words described my own little hell perfectly.  Meditation saved my life.
    Thank-you for sharing your story…there are unseen lives that will be changed by your words.
    Blessings 🙂

  • Paige

    This is exactly where I’m at in my life. I have so much good going for me, yet, I fail to appreciate them because I’m overwhelmed with my thoughts of imperfection. Which then leads to being lethargic and stuck. I’m ready to live mindfully and gracefully seek out what is good and steer clear from what is evil-my thoughts of self-loathing. Namaste

  • Evie

    Thank you for this insightful and beautifully written piece.

  • Maria

    Thank you so much for this amazing beautiful post. It’s exactly what I needed to read at the present moment.

  • Andrew

    Thank you for slowing down and allowing me to see YOU.

  • Keith

    This is a truly inspiring post. And the depth of true honest feeling it exudes is testament to your courageous journey. It is wonderful to see how someone can find their way through all of tribulations our mind can put in front of us and get closer to inner peace. It gives hope.

    Thank you sincerely for this!

  • Keith – Thank you for saying all that; I am touched and humbled. 

    Many great blessings to you,

  • You’re welcome, Andrew 🙂  It is humbling to be seen. 

  • Maria – So glad to hear you connected and found it helpful.  Stay focused on the emerging light….


  •  Thank YOU, Evie.  Bless you, Amyra

  • Paige – Glad you connected to my experience.  You said it so beautifully: “to love mindfully and gracefully seek out what is good”…  What a wonderful mantra to live by! 

    Also, it can be powerful to look for the good within those “evil, thoughts of self-loathing”.  Often we can find pockets of power when we go beyond the appearance of what seems negative.  It can be a fun exercise to locate where your power has gone to and to retrieve it, allowing you to return to wholeness. 

    Love & Blessings,

  • Deborah – I cannot tell you how much your last line has moved me….

    Thank you and so glad to hear of your own triumph 🙂


  • Thanks for pointing that out, Alannah.  Oh, how we often stop at looking at the veil when being curious would reveal a whole new world underneath! 

    Many Blessings,

  • Anusha

    Why, thank you Amyra for a wonderful post, that has come to me at the right time. An eye-opener. I’ve been either running away or wallowing in pain. This is so uncanny, but it is real isn’t it?
     I choose joy and self-acceptance over self-loathing and anger.Thank you for penning your thoughts.

  • Sunil_x

    sunil 91 9833544986

  • Amyra, wow, thank you for your story. In order to move forward, it’s so important (imperative really) to face the truth of what we’ve done and why we’ve done it. Your authenticity here will help a lot of people in allowing themselves to be honest about their own doings. I love that you found a system that worked for you, and that you’ve also found a way to create a system that works for others. Sharing is so key to one’s growth. Thank you again.

  • friend forever

    Your situation resembled my own in some respects. For eg. sleeping too much. Just waiting to crawl into bed so that I wouldn’t have to think about what was wrong.
    But, I have seen that Time does heal wounds. Tine makes everything right.
    Best wishes and loads of love 🙂

  • Amyra Mah

    Jeffrey – Thank you for highlighting the power of sharing as an element of one’s own healing. It has indeed elevated my healing to a place of true liberation and I am so honoured to be in a position to shine the light for others. If my being authentic can inspire someone to shift into a more honest place within themselves, I will do it again and again and again…

    Many Blessings,

  • Amyra Mah

    FF – Time does heal… and within that time, we have the power to open up to more joys and beauty in our world that has nothing to do with the source of our pain. Sometimes, pain serves to redirect us to something great which we didn’t see before. Curiosity is the key.

    Blessings to you on your journey,

  • Congratulations on following the glimpse of the world you were missing 🙂 While I wouldn’t say your story is the most extreme I’ve heard, I’m betting that many people experience the things you describe in a much subtler manner. We run from ourselves by going out, keeping busy, watching TV, reading, dating, needing others around us, surfing the web, you name it. I believe that we should continually check in with ourselves to see if we’re running from ourselves.

  • Really?

    What kind of crap is this? Self-acceptance just like that? All of a sudden you feel better about yourself by simply moving and pretending like you’re embracing yourself. Here’s what happens when you embrace an emotion. If you’re moving throughout the day and an angry or depressing feeling enters your mind, once you embrace it you start to feel that feeling even stronger, eventually leading to outward action. If I embrace my anger I show my anger. Then if I embrace my depression I act depressed. Sounds crazy and unstable. Explain to me how that helps a person.

  • Anna B

    I could be wrong here since it is hard sometimes to know how these fluffy terms actually translate into real-world practice, but personally I take embracing emotions to mean that most importantly, we do not suppress them.
    Not suppressing them doesn’t mean we need to be controlled by them; becoming aggressive or negative in behaviour is not the necessary next step in this process at all. Emotions reflect our feelings about situations, other people, or even ourselves, and as such, provide us with signals pointing to where there are issues that need our attention.
    Sometimes it is not possible to resolve all issues driving our emotions however, and at these times I would take embracing the emotion to mean simply emotion surfing, i.e., observing, but not reacting.

  • D

    Absolutely speaking my language. From time to time, i find myself searching the web to fix what i think is wrong. It’s nice to find something else that sheds light on your positives apart from your flaws. I guess im still stuck, never moving really, yet reading this entirely really did help open a couple other options in my head. I really do appreciate what you do. Still tryna find myself.

  • DragonWitch

    I came across this through an odd path during adark hour. I needed to read your journey and the Universe led me here.

  • Harry Hamlin

    NIce job Amyra, only a fool, or someone still in the same place that you once were, would find this story as too much information. I am recently taking time off from the “real world” for the first time in 35 years (and from what I hear, this seems to be an age where people seek to withdraw, my suspicions is the changing tide of youth, and not feeling the way you did when you started out in life – to be expected). The reason I am taking time off, is because when I started working, I could tell who was “amped up doing god only knows what” and could look the other way. I could no longer do that at the end. As I progressed, and looked back to see where the people are that were, in my opinion questionable ten years ago, and seem to still be going strong at a desk job, I decided, time to re-charge and re-course. Anyway, you are – unfortunately – in the majority. Be well.

  • blue

    Wow, I have often searched the internet for ‘answers’ but never have read anything so revolutionary for me. I always described myself as a ‘sociable loner’; I love being around people and I love being alone. This made no sense to me! Your words made me see why. As a perfectionist, I love being around the few people that I feel confident around (family). But withdraw from real people/ friends who may criticize me, or as you explained, show me the parts of me that I don’t want to show.
    I stop when I get home as it is my sanctuary. The place where I can be me, dress scruffy, relax, chill with my wonderful husband and children. I could easily stay at home all the time. Increasingly, less people visit my home as it has become my ‘safe’ place, where I want to relax. I hate it when people call unannounced!
    With varying degrees of effort, I go out of my home in to the real world. If I have prepared, I can have a lovely time and realize what fun people can be! (By being prepared: look nice, dress nice, am prepared and so will I know how to act)
    Always after a lovely time in the world, I can’t wait to get back to my home! This is where review my performance.
    I am seen as a very positive and smiley, cheerful person. I find it easy to meet people. I could easily walk into a room full of strangers and get into conversations with them. Interestingly, I find strangers easier to get on with than close friends. When friends start to try closer and suggest meeting up more often I will back away. I am a supply teacher and I love my job, I think I chose my job deliberately because it allows me to remain detached.
    Generally as I have such a wonderful husband, children and extended family I feel I have my support network. I have lots of friends but none who are very close. I really dislike negativity in people and another reason I don’t get too close to friends, is that I want to stay out of the bickering and nastiness that can sometimes happen. I think the real reason is that by keeping a distance, I can maintain my ‘performance’. Only show them the bits I want showing.
    Sometimes I feel like my life is wonderful with my lovely family. Occasionally I feel lonely and jealous that whilst others just ‘ do friends’, that at the age of 40 I still haven’t got proper friends.
    Sorry for rambling on so long but you really have awoken something in me. I beg you to offer me some advice as to what I should work on. Please plead help me.

  • Amyra Mah

    Not “just like that”. It did not happen overnight. I stopped running away. That allowed me to see for the first time what I was really dealing with. I don’t know where you got the idea that I was “pretending to embrace yourself” – maybe you don’t believe that truly embracing yourself is possible and that the only way is by pretending. True healing happens when you deal with the truth, not trying to cover it up with positivity.

    It is not the act of embracing that is making you feel more angry but your resistance to it. By noticing your resistance within the act of embracing it and working through that resistance, gradually coaxing your resistance towards embracing to relax, one pocket of resistance at a time… you will accept yourself more.

    I, and many others, have tried to run away from those feelings – trying to outrun it. But we know that it doesn’t work. W
    e can only run so far before it catches up with us. I hope you’ll consider turning around and moving in the other direction. The only way out is THROUGH. And what joyous gifts await at the other end.


  • Amyra Mah

    Glad it helped open a few doors in you. I wish you increasing clarity in your quest.


  • Amyra Mah

    We’re seldom alone in our struggles, no matter how unique we think our pain is. Sending positive energy to you xx

  • Amyra Mah

    Thanks for sharing, Harry. Well done on takng time off to reconnect with yourself and what’s important to you. So many people have expressed a great desire to do what you’ve done, and most of them never get around to heeding this message from their soul. I wish you only the best! Blessings, Amyra

  • Amyra Mah

    I agree on all you have said, Anna. Not suppressing is the first step of acceptance – I sometimes call it “stopping the fight”, because often it’s when we fight against what is there that causes the harshness and negativity.

    Indeed, emotions can tell us so much about ourselves and our relationship with others and the world. Having an emotional awareness can enrich our lives too by adding an ’emotional depth’ to all that we experience.

    Thanks for your wise words 🙂

  • Amyra Mah

    Blue – Thank you for sharing your experience here. It reminds me so much of how I used to be around people. If your gut feeling tells you that you may be hiding from the world, then I suggest that you take a close and honest look at your relationship with yourself. I know when I was hiding I often dreaded what I imagined other people were judging me, and it is only my own judgements of myself. So I would get completely honest and put the cards on the table, so to speak. And then address those self-judgements, heal the emotions behind them. Don’t run away from those emotions; by going through them, you can emerge healed and you will feel more comfortable within yourself… and then you’ll find that you’re no longer driven to hide anymore.

    I send you love and positive energy.


  • Joy

    Thank you for this…I needed to read this more than you know.

  • Thank you!

    I’ve been going through this exact same thing for a few years. I recently came off holiday and I was back in the dumps again. Like reality kicked in. I feel negative all the time. I easily get offended, and I feel like I tend to make more effort for people than they do for me which results me into isolation mode. Like I’m testing people to see who is there for me. I felt like I wanted to run away so many times but this post has really opened my eyes. Thank you!

  • hjwest

    I wept reading while reading this. I cannot thank you enough.



  • Nina

    This is very genuine, and in reading it I have felt a connection with your words. Thank you so much for writing this.

  • Stuckandstressed

    Hello, my question is, do the people around us have the patience to let us go through these stages of our lifes and forgive us in the end? I’m going through exactly the same thing and I feel bogged down by all my responsibilities, as a daughter, as a sister etc.. I just feel I’m not doing what I should be doing. I want to be kinder to myself but I’m afraid the people around me will not understand or be as a forgiving and give me time. I do not wish to tell them my problems.

  • trixietimez

    I found this wonderful and heartfelt post, at the right moment. Though I have not been addicted or taken any substance to deal with my problems, much of what you wrote rang true to me right now. Just came out of a 15 year relationship where everything I did or said, and even the faces I made, were scrutinized, and criticized. Now, my naturally sociable self is working hard to make new friends… and in the moment when I’m socializing with new people, I have fun. But on the way home, I’m in tears.. castigating myself for being “too loud” or “too everything!” And thinking about how much they probably disliked me, and think I’m a fool. And I keep running away from these experiences, canceling on opportunities or literally walking out in the middle of a gathering (with some lame excuse) because I could not handle my idea that I’m being judged for how awful I am.

    I have tried to persevere and go back to socialize in this group again, and have am so shocked when people seem happy to see me again. Wish I could stop running from myself, and deal with the worthlessness and self-judgments. Trying to adopt the stance that it’s not important for everyone to like me.. and if someone I like doesn’t like me, then maybe I’m not right for them. But it’s hard to stop running…. I’ve always run from pain.

  • Bryan

    I’ve not an Internet commenter but that was and sometimes is my life. I’m working with a therapist in eastern medicine. Hoepfully it helps.

  • Alexandria

    I’ve been on break for a month and it’s been nothing but internal torture. I’ve allowed myself to walloe, weep, and destroy who I am with defeating thoughts. I act happy on the outside, but on the inside, I’m so uncomfortable. I don’t really know what to do. I figure that realizing that I’m running away from myself is a huge step, but what’s the next one? Thankfully, I have faith in Jesus to carry me through. Every day I ask for strength because I look in the mirror and hate what I see. I’m not confident, I don’t completely love myself, and it hurts like hell to admit that. I try every single day to run away from these feelings, but of course, I’m stuck with them. I’m a lot like the author in the sense that sleeping is my only escape. Fortunately, drugs would never be an option. I need to figure out a way to lift myself up and see the beauty I have. I guess it just takes time and a whole lot of healing…

  • Suzi Carson

    I think this is what I needed to hear

  • This really hit home for me. Thanks.

  • Richelle

    Amyra, you just described me to a T (with zero exaggeration). I am only just now starting to be with myself, and it’s like the clouds are parting. It’s so much easier to be with oneself than always be running away. The true calm of being with yourself, or as you say, coming home to oneself, is so much greater in joy than the highs and lows of the old way of life. Thank you so much for writing this, it is amazing to not feel alone. I know we all struggle, but I’ve been waiting for the day someone comes along who is just like me. Thank you.

  • adam

    well woop-di-doo for you. This post is for people already overcoming
    that struggle. Some of us are still down in the dirt and tired of
    hearing miracle stories.

  • Linn

    Thank you for this beautiful and much-needed post. Like you, I too have tried to hide from myself, either by sleeping years of my life away, or taking stimulants, or turned to alcohol to run from myself.

    As of this moment, I’m doing everything in my power to stop running, but also moving – just like you said – somewhere in the middle, and really allow the feelings to surface, not being afraid of what may come, since it’s my only way to break free and finally start loving myself.

    I’ve decided that from now on, I will not be afraid. I will start treating my mind, my body, myself with love. Through selfacceptance, healthy food, vigourous (?) exercise (but also rest and meditation, reading, writing) and forgiveness.

    Thank you so much for this post!

    With love from Norway, Linn Helen.

  • disqus_fyy1HxoUzu

    me too . .

  • pinakin

    i only see compromises. no gifts no nothing. all these people are terrible lairs.

  • David Hyskell

    I haven’t had that experience, still isolated and miserable. Trapped, no magic doors in sight.

  • Marie

    I am EXACTLY this way and I am currently at an all time low. You didn’t really explain how you got out of it. Please help. I’m at my wits end. Done.

  • Fallen

    I googled, “feeling of escaping a dream I put myself in” and found this. This describes exactly what just happened to me. I just woke up. It’s been a few years I think. Maybe more. Everything in this is how life has been. Kind of a crazy feeling.

  • Ash Wireman

    What if adjusting the pace with which you live your life just creates overwhelming anxiety?

  • Jess

    Hi Amyra l really liked your post l can relate to many things you mentioned. I run away from myself since a very long time no place is good enough. l always have to face my innest deepest fears no matter where l go but l m afraid to face them. I m a perfectionist and l even judge myself while being by myself. Nothing l do even if its watching Tv is good enough. My insecurity and self hate stands in my way and ironicly blocks me and turns me into a negative anoying person that complains about everything. It’s a negative spiral that l try to fight with meditation and yoga but l struggle to integrate it in my daily life. When ever l made a step forward l made 2 steps backwards. But your story shows me that you can’t give up and keep trying to accept yourself the way you’ re are.

  • lll

    Awesome …. now I have found someone to relate to 🙂

  • Deb Walker

    I related to the entire post, until the end. I’m in a place to which I ran that offered healing, but the healing is coming so slowly, and the obligations too fast. Being alive costs money. So I have to find a job. But I am so broken, I’m certain I can’t manage it. But I HAVE to manage it, even though I’m not ready yet. Because money. I don’t know what to do. People have helped me, and sent me money, and I have obligations to use my arts to repay them, but I don’t have any creative desire right now. I can’t keep taking money I haven’t earned, but I’m not able to earn it right now. I’m so stuck. And on top of that, I’m afraid to work, even if I get a job. I’m afraid I’ll fail. So, so stuck.

  • Dreamr

    I cried the entire time reading, I dont know how to overcome, or how to live life correctly. I live my life in my own fear.

  • Christopher Anguay

    thank you for being vulnerable in front of the world and sharing this very personal story.

    i feel as if i am right now going through that which you conquered and it helps me see some light in the darkness of my self-pity and denial

    i really hope i can learn to love myself as you have.

  • Shulk

    Humanity is a disease,a plague upon the Universe.i swear even when I make mistakes by doing things unconsciously I don’t realize it until after I’ve done the action. I freeze upon the moment people I know get mad at me and expect an immediate answer and I can’t find the confidence to say anything. It’s like people don’t understand what’s it like living with Aspergers. People just don’t care, they go into judgment mode, and when I can’t find the answer people think I don’t care, but I do. People are the sole reason I grew to hate myself and making mistakes. When I was younger at times when I made mistakes and got yelled at for it. In time it just kept reoccurring over and over again. So the older I got the more I expected it out of everyone I met in life.

    I deserved a better life,and people just don’t realize the magnitude of their words and how much it hurt me. In fact I’ve been on the verge of contemplating doing what I’ve been thinking of doing since I was 12 & that is suicide. Sure all I’ve done is run away from life because I grew tired of people’s judgmental attitudes. At this point I feel nothing but apathy & disgust towards the whole human race. People have no right to judge me, when they don’t even know me.

    This is why I still love technology over people. Perhaps it’s time for the human race to disappear from existence altogether. As a child I wanted to play videogames,and watch tv, not be around people. Everytime I kept trying to run away from the world. The world kept pulling me back in, and I fought back by running away. I detest the very species I am a part of. I will never get married as the only woman I’d ever wanna marry is a woman with Aspergers. You neurologically typical humans are pathetically boring, and will never understand us superior people with Aspergers.

  • Shulk

    I experienced trauma at 3 when my dad was sent to the hospital and I was taken away into a foster home for 3 days. My mother won by proving to the judge that my father wasn’t mentally all there as a bipolar man. I got picked up after the 3rd day. Since that event I’ve never been the same. I grew up living in fear, and have lived in fear ever since. I’ve dealt with a lot of being yelled at by other boyfriends my mom had at the time. That was until she met my step dad, and things didn’t get any easier. He counted down how many days I had left till I turned 18. It scared me, years later she said it was a joke, but still in reality I didn’t know I had Aspergers Syndrome, and in between all this did some rebelling as a teenager. I wasn’t too bad, but man when I made mistakes my step dad would yell at me, and my mom was there to help him. I experienced plenty of Harsh Verbal Discipline, and he was harsh on me. He even at times had me paraphrase what he said and if I didn’t paraphrase it correctly he’d yell at me. I even remember he became one of the reasons I freeze up when people are angry and yell at me. It saddens me, yet also deep inside enrages me that I’m expected to answer when I scared as shit inside. I grew to fear making any sort of mistakes, even at my jobs in high school I got yelled at for making mistakes. I’ll never forget how late in my junior year I tried getting some people to tell them about my problems but no one had the time to listen. I wanted to feel loved, but all I felt was unwanted during my teenage years. I have issues trusting people, and have for the past 27 years. Most of the time when I’m not in college I stay at home, and barely ever leave where I live. Except when friends invite me. I have barely ever told anyone about my life, and the fear I have of even opening up to people. I still haven’t completely overcome my Aspergers to the fullest. I fear people, and have been scared every day of my life.