“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was.”
– Sade Andria Zabala
A few months ago, I decided to say screw it.
I’d had to quit my job. My health was terrible and I could hardly eat anything at all. I was feeling like I’d never be any good at my YouTube channel, even though I put in so much time, effort, and money. I ran out of money. I was obsessed with the fact that I’m turning 29 this year and I’m still not financially reliant.
My health had destroyed me. I couldn’t see any way out of my constant struggle to work with my health issues until it tore me apart and I had to quit.
How am I supposed to be a person when all I am is the impossible restrictions my body places on me, as it tries to stop me from living?
When bipolar depression and anxiety slither into every split second?
When the doctors’ only answers are, “I don’t know what else we can try”?
When I feel no enjoyment, only physical and psychological pain that I can’t escape?
So I gave into it.
The hopelessness, depression, doubt, and pain that swam just below the surface of my every moment, every thought, every forced smile.
For a good month, I probably wasn’t the funnest person to be around.
Because I’m sick of caring about everyone else to the point that I don’t exist.
So what if people are uncomfortable because I’m not faking a smile or pretending to be happy and peppy?
I BLOODY MATTER TOO!
I’d gotten fed up with putting on a face. Being what everyone else needed. With being so wrapped up in feeling like I had the responsibility to make others happy. Or that I was a bad person if I wasn’t in a good mood all the time (even though it was quite fine for others to have their mood swings).
Hadn’t I learned this lesson already?
So I spent a good month being depressed. Mad at God (knowing I was wrong to be mad at Him), fighting with myself over everything I felt, despondent. Hopeless. Angry. Crying. Sinking in emotions I hated, didn’t want. Wanted free from. 100% negative. Drowning in terror that this was all my life would ever be. The back and forth from Hell.
No matter what I did. No matter how hard I fought.
I got wrapped up in me and all that I’d been ignoring. Letting all the sickness I ignored take the driver’s seat. I was swallowed by the pain I’d denied.
I can’t pinpoint exactly where I came out of it.
But I know I needed it.
I feel different.
Trying to pretend I didn’t feel all these things, feeling ashamed that they existed inside me, and shoving them down – it hurt me. Gave these feelings power over me. And caring so much about being what others wanted just made it a harder trap to escape from.
I feel like too many of us feel like we’re a burden. A good vibes killer. A downer. Too much to love. Hard to love.
That’s absolute crap.
We are strong. We have so much to fight through. To deal with. We are not bad or wrong for feeling how we feel.
We don’t owe anyone a peppy attitude.
I mean, there’s a different between focusing on negative thoughts and bad things in life – and feeling your feelings instead of burying them.
There’s also a difference between feeling your feelings and taking them out on others.
There’s no reason for us to feel guilty or ashamed for having hard days. Hard weeks. Struggles. Pain. Doubts. Fears.
When we try to pretend we don’t feel these things, we give them a certain power over us. And they fester in the darkness of our souls. Until they’re bigger and stronger than us.
We don’t owe anyone being fake.
We owe it to ourselves to live inside our own skin.
I’ve never been one of those writers who stares at a blank page and doesn’t know what to write. Even if I didn’t have a plan, a plot, or so much as a character in mind to write about, I could go on and on, creating rampages and mysteries and banter until I fell asleep or someone waved a chocolate in front of my face.
Funny. I’ve been staring at this blank page for hours.
What have I learned this year?
Something I didn’t already know…
How do you take a year of life and ball it up and hand it to someone? Better yet, put it into words and splash them across paper?
Perhaps a few more hours shall pass before I know the answer to that one.
Do I make any sense or do I just go on and on? I change my mind a lot. No, I believe I change a lot. It’s not just my mind making the decisions here, not only my eyes see. I’m thinking my heart has much more to do with it as of late than I realized. Maybe not so lately. Perhaps I’ve always been this way. Purview chance and taking into account all the madness shuffling about inside – and I can take all of these interruptions. Breaking into what I think is going well, stranding the sameness in a dropout as the bottom falls out and I realize, slowly, strained, that nothing was what I thought.
Do you ever feel like you’ve walked into a room filled with mirrors, from ceiling to floor, wall to wall?
It’s dark, nothing else is visible.
Like a dream.
Fog, mist… its crawling through the room in a muted charade. Keeping you ever in the dark. The very room you’re standing in, feet from the wall, close enough to touch, and yet you can’t see what’s there.
So instead of having the clarity to focus and organize a blog post into something readable that doesn’t sound like a non-sensical unicorn on crank wrote it…
I’m just going to give up and throw a bunch of garbled, random thoughts together and hope they form some kind of linear… something.
“The thing about truth is that it exists beyond belief. It is true even if nobody believes it.” Dieter F. Uchdorf
Denial is a disease I don’t want part in anymore. It’s crippling. It’s debilitating. It slips into your skin, digs in deep, wrapping around your heart and brain, and squeezes your bones. It leaves nothing for you but misery and confusion, fear and pain.
Truth, on the other hand, is a good pain. A welcome, healthy pain. It only hurts while it’s exercising the disease sinking into your marrow.
And even if those around you mock, shake their heads, don’t understand, try to keep hurting you – you can hold tight to the knowledge that no matter what, there is something better for you ahead. Just keep being honest with yourself. Because honestly, who do you help by allowing others to pull the wool over your eyes? No one. Who do you hurt? Yourself. Only you. You’re trying to please all these people or run from all these things or tell yourself you’re ‘oh, so amazing’, and it’s not doing a thing for anyone else, except spreading more denial into their veins. And it’s not helping you, it’s not elevating you, it’s not helping you stop the tears at night or the pit of misery in your gut. Nope. It’s just sinking you lower and lower, and putting restrictions on you – telling you – “hey, you’re happy, you like this, smile!”
I like this truth thing. It kinda sucks at first. But once you get the hang of it, you start to see that maybe you shouldn’t hate yourself so much. And then you can start clearing the cobwebs of self-hate and denial away from your blood and start to look at the world with a new vision. One that comes complete with options, joy, and optimism.
“This business of being a writer is ultimately about asking yourself, how alive am I willing to be?” Anne Lamott
I love this quote. It’s a valid question for me to ask myself. How alive am I willing to be? You don’t have to be a writer to ask yourself this question. But for me, who I am is tied in with being a writer, and so it fits me like a second skin. Beautifully attached to my soul.
How alive am I willing to be? This quote does lots of things to me, inside my chest. I cannot really describe them in words. I’m not there yet in my life, I suppose. I’ve learned to put some things into words I couldn’t priorly (I don’t think that’s a word, but I’m a writer – I can make words up if I want to! Ha-ha!) articulate or really even understand about myself beforehand. But this one, not yet. It’s deep and dark and a question that bubbles up a lot of thoughts that are mainly in the form of emotions and color, wisps of shadows and standing on the edge of the cliff, staring down, teeter-tottering in the wind, feeling the adrenaline pound through my body as I leave my mind blank, daring myself to jump without thinking.
Freedom is a strange thing. You can only have it if you allow yourself to have it. You have to make that decision all on your own.
“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” Natalie Goldberg
This is a quote from the book I’m reading right now, “Wild Mind” by Natalie Goldberg. I think I’ve always yearned to be split open. Not physically thank you very much, but metaphorically speaking. 😉
I believe that’s something we all want, secretly. To be exposed for who we truly are, all the gunk and ugliness, and incompleteness and strangeness shown to someone important, and all the good bits of us too, and to be understood. Accepted. Embraced.
It’s terrifying to think of splitting myself open and pouring my soul into a book. Letting myself be vulnerable, writing something I truly believe in and can be happy with when I see it on the shelf. Something that can touch someone like the books I’ve read have touched me (get your head out of the gutter!). I’ll never forget the first book series that really thrummed in my heart. Told me on some level, that it doesn’t matter how messed up I am, how many issues I have, if I see a therapist (because damn skippy, I see a therapist now), if I’m moody and strange and a little lot confused. I’m still lovable. I’m still worth something.
To imagine myself writing a book that raw and honest, leaves me cold and shaking. Okay not literally, but you know what I mean. Because in order to do that, I have to lay myself bare. I have to be okay with who I am, have a pretty good idea of who I am, what I value, want, think, desire, need, feel, emote, etc. and open it all up and give it to whoever is willing to pick it up.
“A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.” Roald Dahl
Absolute freedom is only absolute freedom if you don’t allow these invisible chains to hold you down. So many of us wear them. The world tells us we are wrong, we aren’t enough, we aren’t acceptable the way we are. Those hateful voices strap us down to a creature we aren’t, and tell us we must pretend to be this thing, or no one will ever love us. We’ll be disgusting, disfigured, good for nothing, and shunned by society.
That’s simply not true.
If I am to be a good writer, a great writer, and help people, connect with people, and enjoy my writing – I must be my own master (minus the creator of the whole freaking universe, right?) and not allow those voices to strip my freedom from me.
I must be willing to be ridiculed and looked down at for doing the very thing we all crave. To be who I am. Fling caution to the wind. So what if I fail? At least I tried and had fun doing it! At least I learned something, grew, experienced, gained knowledge and most likely made friends along the way. At least I will have lived.
And freedom, it’s a feeling no one can describe in words. It has to be felt, inch my inch as you gain it. And its mesmerizing.
Does anyone else feel this way – it’s a shift I’m only feeling so very recently. But it’s as if I’m literally in bindings. And as I let the cares of the world fall from me and decide to be really free, it’s as if I feel actual weight lifting off my body, heaviness stripping away one slow strap at a time….. Anyone else get that?
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Unknown
Ugh. Forgiveness. SO BLOODY HARD!!! It’s like pulling a saber tooth tiger’s fang tooth with only your bare hands. Not a piece of cake (or an oreo, or a chocolate donut). It’s hard!
And it’s something you can’t understand fully until you’ve felt it yourself. Until you experience it, it doesn’t really make sense. Nor does the reasoning!
But trust me, forgiving someone doesn’t mean you approve of what they did. Nor does it mean you’re going to allow them to hurt you again. It simply means you acknowledge that they’re human, everyone makes mistakes, and while you may know that what they did was wrong, cruel, etc. – you are healthy enough to let it go. And move on. You’re not hurting them by being angry. You’re not making them feel bad. You’re hurting you. Resentments and growing bitter hurts you. It changes you into something pitiful to behold. And it doesn’t matter how mad you get at them. You cannot control them, force them to change, or see the error of their ways.
Let it go. Find a way to move on. Don’t let the past keep you from building the future you want. Learn to live and let live. You can learn to love people who make normal mistakes and see them as people too. This can improve relationships, it can improve you. Sometimes, all you can hope to achieve is to let go and move on from that person, as you know they’ll try doing it again.
But let go. Forgive. Just don’t forget the lesson.
“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” Robin Williams
I am given only a small amount of the spark that is my creativity, my genuine personality, my unique madness.
It’s my responsibility to guard it. Not to let the world tarnish it. Not to hate myself for it, but to love it. Learn to take it and grow within it. Let it spread into my fingertips and eyelashes. Build upon it.
“You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep.” Rumi
Once you see it, it’s tempting to close your eyes again. Don’t do it.
What’s going on with you?
What issues are you fighting with?
What struggles are you battling?
What joy can you highlight in your day?
Have any chocolate donuts you’d like to share with me? 😀