Ya know…….I used to have a GREAT body (I will again very soon). Too bad I didn’t know it at the time.
Eighteen and beautiful, but all I saw were flaws. And if there did happen to be a day when I believed I looked good, I was too uncomfortable in my own skin to enjoy any of it. Self-confidence levels fluctuated, meaning I did have occasional moments where I could come off all self-confident and witty-like, but it never lasted long. And I think it was more of an act than a reality anyway. I was constantly worried about doing the right thing and what people thought of me. I was my own worst enemy, often torturing myself with over-analyzing and impossible standards. I couldn’t live up to myself. I was so unsure, inexperienced, self-conscious, unhappy and alone.
I had no sense of who I was. I don’t think I ever had enough experience with socializing or experiences in general. Zero street smarts. And I definitely wasn’t shown how to confront my fears. And fears were NEVER lacking in my overly self-aware, black and white world! Instead, I was coddled and spoiled. Not spoiled with material things, mind you. My mother just took care of everything. I was always too scared to confront people or make phone calls or even pump my own gas. My mother would put gas in the car for me….she may have done it with a huff, but she still did it. She made phone calls for me. She quit my first job for me.
Once I had no choice but to do things for myself it was very difficult. I had to work up my courage to order a pizza over the phone. I was terrified at the thought of having to talk to a complete stranger. I was afraid of screwing up what ever it was I would have to say. Sometimes I wouldn’t make the call at all….Can you just imagine how difficult it was for me to get a job?!? The only reason I worked at the country club is because my best friend, Ermie, worked there. She helped me get the job. Couldn’t have done it without her.
There never seemed to be any expectations of me throughout my elementary and high school “career”. I had no goals, no guidance or much needed direction. I don’t recall anyone ever pushing the topic of college. I know I said I didn’t want to go, but that was fear talking. I had college brochures in my room that I would look at. I remember being especially interested in an art school in Chicago. But the fear was too strong. I didn’t believe that I was smart enough, especially given my horrendous SAT scores. And the thought of going out into the unknown TERRIFIED me. So I did nothing.
Fear seems to be the theme of my life. But I’m changing that. I’m 37 and well on my way to being in the best shape of my life! I’ve never felt this good….EVER. I’ve become free to FINALLY BE ME.
But it’s DEFINITELY a process and I’m just getting started!
THERAPY……..HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHANGES……..That’s what did it. I finally got fed up enough. I couldn’t bear to go on one more day as a broken, hopeless individual.
STEP 1…….I SURRENDERED TO MYSELF. I broke down and let it all out, in front of my husband. This time I allowed him to take me to the ER. My brother and sister-in-law became aware of my depression and drove an hour to be with me in the ER. They have been a great support as well.
STEP 2…….THERAPY. Twelve sessions later I had my hope back and the desire to keep striving.
STEP 3…….I GAVE MYSELF A BREAK. It was OK if all I managed was one task that day. I finally understood and accepted the fact that true healing takes time, patience and a willing heart. Becoming a whole person requires many baby steps.
STEP 4…….HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHANGES. It’s true. you really ARE what you eat. I completely changed my way of eating. I wanted to get all the toxins and junk out of my system. I stopped eating processed food, white sugar and most meat. I drink lots of water and I eat raw vegetables everyday. Fruits, too. I’m still experimenting and learning as I go as far as figuring out what tastes good and how to make stuff. But it’s been fun learning!. The more information I retain the better I feel about myself. And it’s interesting finding out about what certain foods do for the body. Organic whole foods truly are medicine for the body and mind. I’ve never felt more energized, clear-headed or focused in my entire life!
STEP 5…….FORGIVENESS. I finally forgave my mother. And that is a HUGE weight off of my soul. It didn’t happen overnight. I did the work (as Iyanla Vanzant likes to say) and I let it go. And you know what? It was healing for my mother as well.
STEP 6…….NEVER GIVE UP. I make sure I make the best choices for myself everyday. But if I should stumble here or there, I don’t beat myself up about it anymore. Tomorrow is always a new day and I’m determined to become the best ME I can be. I’m allowing the process to unfold on its’ own time, not mine. I take each day as it comes.
STEP 7…….I KNOW WHO I AM. I no longer see myself as a waste of space, unworthy of love. My identity is no longer based on the past. I am more than just my story…………
…………..so much more.
I’ll be 39 next month and I feel like shit all over again…and I don’t think I’ve completely forgiven my mother yet. And I’m not so sure just how much I truly love myself. But I’m gonna get back to where I left off….just gotta start from the beginning, again.
Wow. What a joke this posting was. I must have been high or something. It all sounded good, though. As far as my mother goes, she called me up to wish me a happy birthday this past July and I flipped out on her. It all came out like verbal diarrhea. I think it had to happen but I felt real bad and had to apologize. We now just text.