Sunday, July 28, 2013
What Story Do I Tell Myself?
I haven’t blogged this week as I had a house full of guests. Ten guests plus my household of seven kept me busier than a one armed paper hanger! So, I’m trying to get back at it now. So, on we go!
I've managed to cover 37 of my 38 years in about 13 blogs. Needless to say I skipped a lot although some might say I shared too much. Either way, I laid a foundation on the story of me for a few different reasons. Primarily I designed the blog this way so a stranger or someone who doesn't know me that well could come to know how I got to where I am. The hope for me being if they he/she could somehow identify with things I've gone through in my life, it might inspire them and give them hope that they, too, could move past the demons that sometimes appear insurmountable. It's also been a journey of self-discovery for me. I won't lie. I'm hoping to gain some better insight into myself as I go through this process. I don't just want to rehash the past and it mean nothing. I want to talk about it, learn from it, put it away, and move onward and upward.
I guess it begs the question at this point if I have learned anything about myself. I'm not 100% sure "learned" is the necessarily the right word, but I think I am coming to a better understanding of myself. I can't look at all the negative events in my life without simultaneously recalling a lot of positive memories. Despite any struggles I've ever been through in life, no matter how alone I ever felt during those lows, in retrospect I see easily how much love and support I have had throughout everything and it makes me smile. I think it's easy in the down times to lose your sense of self and your self respect. The ability to recognize there are people who love you, and you are worthy of a life of happiness seems like some far off unrealistic ideal. I know I’ve been stuck
there: a lot.
Despite my crazy busy week, I was able to catch about half of DDP Radio on Wednesday night. I’ve been thinking about the show a lot. I wish I could have listened to the entire thing. I don’t know if I could have handled it as the half I caught had me in tears. As I listened to DDP say the words “What story do you tell yourself?” I couldn’t help but think of all the stories I have told myself over the years and the impact those stories have had on me. Truthfully, I don’t think there have been that many stories. Really just one story tells the full tale. My story repeatedly to myself was always the story of a girl who had no worth; a girl who didn’t deserve happiness; and a girl who always had to measure her worth by the yardsticks of others.
Even when I decided to leave the last Mr. Wrong and went on later to marry Mr. Right, I continued to measure myself by the opinions of the man in my life. Fortunately, I stuck with Mr. Right and his opinion is a much better one that Mr. Wrong’s, but the fact that my own self worth still hinged on the thoughts of another, wasn’t a good thing. Like all my relationships before, my esteem rested squarely on Mr. Right. Then we went on to have children, beautiful and intelligent children. So, I moved from measuring my self-worth just by my husband and on to what others thought about how well-behaved or how smart my kids were. Again, my ruler for everything remained how others perceived me. I get to a degree that everyone does this. I just never realized until late last year it was all I ever did.
For the first I found myself in new territory. I had tried to get healthy many times before. Every time I tried, I failed. It hit me for the first time in December of last year why I had always failed before.
I had never done it for me.
I had done it for my husband. I had done it for my kids. I had done it at the urging of other family members and friends. Obviously my husband, my children, other family and my friends are great motivators. It was hard though to make all those kinds of sacrifices, not feel better, and keep on doing it. The end goal was worth it to get started, but even my husband, my children, my family, and my friends weren’t enough to keep me going when I couldn’t see the need to do for it myself. Wow. That’s a pretty big admission. It’s a little sad, too. I think that’s why I cried the other night. I knew I had made this discovery last December. I finally figured out I needed to do it for me. And I was. I was finally doing it for me, and I had seemed to figure out for the first time that I was worth the effort.
Then, somewhere along the way, I lost it.
Bam. The mojo was just gone. I feel like an alcoholic or drug addict who was on the wagon for five months and in one large swoop, I fell from grace. I’m not sure what happened. I have no idea what has brought me to this place. In all honesty, I’m not sure how to get out of this hole. I don’t know what else to do other than put it out there.
This is as bare as it gets. I’m in a hole. I want out. I don’t want to go back to the story I used to tell myself. I liked the new story. For whatever reason though, I’ve lost my way yet again and the new story, well, it’s given way to the old familiar one that I’ve been reading for far longer. I know I’m eventually going to crawl right back out of this hole. I just hope you’ll have the patience to bear with me as I do. I want to think I am worth it again. I want to think it and I want to become it. That's the story I want to tell myself.