The decision to stop the music and walk off the dance floor of life that I had become so accustomed to, wasn’t an easy one to make. Don’t get me wrong, the idea of it was easy, but pulling the trigger with six loaded chambers, well, that was an entirely different matter.
I knew I wasn’t happy but didn’t know why I wasn’t happy. Granted, I had a long list of suspects I figured could be widdled down until I found the culprit, but hadn’t a clue what would make me happy, and if it appeared would I even know it when I saw it?
But that’s the thing; it wasn’t anything that I could see, but rather something buried deep down inside of me. Something I had kept numb over the years with cigarettes, booze, drugs, men, women, friends, fights, love, music… damn near anything and everything, as long as I didn’t have to take that long, cruel look at myself in that harsh fluorescent light that is the self.
Even as I started down the brightly lit path of self-discovery, I quickly found out that is sure as hell wasn’t paved and smooth. Yes, there were other people’s maps that could give me a general sense of where I was going, but the surveying, excavating, and laying of stones was on me. But as with most big jobs, there is going to come a time where you simply can’t do it all by yourself; you will need to hire a skilled professional, and so I did. An amazing woman by the name of Colette, that I happened to meet through another amazing woman.
Me; that jovial, tough-as-nails, don’t give a f*ck what they say, woman, needed help. See, that’s the kicker here folks, I did, I gave a f*ck, I gave a f*uck very much as to what they said. Who are they? They are everybody, everyone that isn’t me. My family, my friends, my enemies, neighbours, strangers, gossips and confidants alike, anyone I could embarrass. Because I was an embarrassment, at least that is what I had been telling myself for a very, very long time and that’s just kind of what I did, embarrass.
I was annoying and embarrassing because I talk too much, share too much, and say it far too loudly. I am too opinionated and get too passionate about those opinions/ beliefs. I stood my ground, yet I allowed myself to be walked over, dismissed, and discounted. If I didn’t silence my voice, I allowed others too.
I was an embarrassment to be seen with because I’m brightly hued from the top of my head to the tipiest part of my toes, also refer to the former paragraph. I was an embarrassment as a woman, I was far from strong, instead, I was weak; weak because I can’t take care of myself and my children financially, weak because I tolerate things I don’t deserve, weak because my first instinct at the hint of stress is to get angry and defensive, weak because I gave a shit. Weak because I could never do what I am doing right now. I was annoying and awkward because I care too much for strangers and not enough for myself. I love too much, yell too much, laugh too loud, cry too hard. I whine and bitch, I am too honest, lie too much, apologise too much…I simply continued to breathe.
I was an absolute embarrassment as a human, I didn’t deserve anything, and I damn sure didn’t deserve to be happy!
That, my friend, is just a small list of things that ran through my head every single time I opened my mouth, and even when I did not. These are things I still very much struggle with, and I know I’m not alone in this. It’s something preprogrammed a long time ago, and it is something I work daily, with help, to rewrite.
One thing that was made very clear to me, was how I was talking to and about myself, I was constantly shit talking! How in the hell is a person going to feel, let alone be any different when they have a constant critic in their own head?
I was also putting my self-worth in the hands of other people when it should have been in my own hands. The way it was put to me, was that if you are constantly dependent on other’s to define your own self-worth you will never attain it. As far as the shit talking went I was told to “Say it to Create it”, it’s the concept of neurolinguistic reprogramming.
That has been the biggest challenge for me, shutting up the voice in my head (I call her SpellCheck) and changing the entire code. While it’s a work in progress, I try to keep the don’ts, the how’s, and the negative’s out of my vocabulary diet.
I can only hope that someday my experience and writing about my journey through all of this, can help you as well. Or, at least be a reminder that even in the darkest hours when you feel the world swallowing you up, and you can barely keep your head above the waterline, you, my dearest, are never alone.
X’s and O’s