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I had separated from my wife and I was living in a caravan at my parent’s house. It was my wife’s decision to separate and I was at a loss. I was very low. But this would be the catalyst for the growth I needed and would put an end to my cycle of ego inflation.

The term used for growth caused by a traumatic event or situation is ‘Post Traumatic Growth’ or ‘PTG’. I’d experienced PTG four years earlier from a psychotic episode (I have schizophrenia). I had grown tremendously from the process but was still a very flawed individual.

The processes that caused my growth this second time was fourfold. One thing was that I’d been watching a lot of Jordan Peterson speak in lectures on YouTube and I took on the idea of incorporating my shadow (This deserves a post of its own so I’ll do a part III).

Another big lesson was that I started recording myself, talking about all my beliefs and ideas, about what I’d come to realise were delusions. Talking about these things made me recognise I didn’t have a good grasp on what I thought and knew. And a lot of my ideas and beliefs were flawed. Low-resolution concepts that didn’t add up, but were bolstered my sense of self and what I thought was genius-level thinking.

This was hard to stomach, but it set me more firmly in reality and helped me to recognise my own limitations and faulty frameworks of thought. This would be the start of my journey into doing and expressing, rather than thinking and obsessing because I didn’t have to live up to the expectations of my own delusions which made me free to be more creative and honest.

A big part of my growth was just spending time with my parents and creating a better perspective on our relationship. I started seeing them as flawed human beings like everyone else and recognised they weren’t going to change. It made me accept and love them for who they are instead of wanting something from them to fill my esteem void.

I now have a great relationship with my parents and I don’t need for them to give me anything to feel strong in myself because I have given that to myself.

The final thing which brought it all together was a notion I’d call the Trinity which I’ll do a Part IV about. Incorporating my shadow, humanising my parents, recognising my own limitations, and adopting the trinity has made me a far better person.

The result was that while I used to be full of doubt and always questioning myself, needing others to affirm that I’m ok. I am now sure of myself, my bubble doesn’t burst and rather than it inflating to the point of delusion, I am now stable. Able to execute every day, and while I still have low periods I am far more functional, less reactive and not at war with those who challenge my self-belief.

I don’t need to win an ideological argument to feel strong, because now I am a winner despite the situation, because my sense of self doesn’t bottom out or inflate based on external circumstances. I know who I am and I know my limitations.