Hi. It’s me again. Coming atcha on a Friday afternoon from my living room couch with a warm lemon ginger tea in hand. Super exciting, I know. But… I’m content and I’m feeling proud of myself for being where I’m at in life because it wasn’t always this easy. And honestly speaking, I had a setback a couple weekends ago when I overheard a butt-dialed conversation that I shouldn’t have heard.
Yep. The oh-so-dreaded-butt-dial. It took 34 years for it to happen to me and it feels as bad as the actors make it look on the TV screen. My feelings were hurt and I probably cried a few too many tears over it but, it made me do some deep introspection and made me come to terms with the fact that I still have a lot of work to do on myself. I actually decided to dedicate August to look my imperfections right in the eyes and put in some groundwork so I can continue moving forward and becoming a better version of myself. I ALSO learned that your opinion of me is simply none of my business 😉 AND that gossiping really isn’t cool. Remember the latter part there, my friends. I feel we can all do better on that end. Regardless, it’s now a few weeks later and I’m making a lesson out of it and rather than let it destroy me, I’m focusing on my growth, giving myself a hug and loving myself harder.
So, self-confidence… it hasn’t been an easy road for me and I’ve been met with challenges and things that were meant to destroy me along my path. However, I know all my choices have put me in the spot I am today and I want that to be the takeaway tonight: your choices are so powerful and if you choose to love yourself, you will love yourself. Is it easy? Hell no. Does it take work and often therapy? Hell ya. Is it anything to be ashamed of? Abso-freakin-lutely-not. And it’s okay to be stuck in a rut and feeling low on yourself but I promise you that life is better when you start building that confidence up again. (Ps. I know that sounds so cliché)
Okay, so my life hasn’t been rainbows and butterflies this last decade and more so of a nasty storm. I divorced my addicted husband and he completely took off. There was significant abuse and heartbreak. There were affairs, lies and words that have stuck with me to this day. I was left in debt but also left as a ransacked version of my best self. Actually, I didn’t even really know what “best self” meant through those years because I was in survival mode. There were nights when I feared for my life and if I’m going to be completely transparent, I still have dreams that wake me up in a panic and sweat. I’m left with bouts of depression, anxiety and PTSD. But I’m managing it and I’m stronger than it. I’m stronger than the negative self-talk that had me reminding myself how “useless” and “worthless” I was. I’m building stronger connections in my brain and although my feelings can be hurt and anxiety will creep in, I’m using the tools I have to give myself the love I deserve. So, how did I get here? Well, I had to be sick and tired of my crap. I had to be done with the tears, the lack of motivation, the feelings of not being enough and want to change the anxiety I felt. After admitting my own personal defeat, I turned to my family doctor and we began our journey through counselling and figuring out my pressure points and how to alleviate any negative thought. I also began therapy with a woman who specializes in trauma and PTSD to really dive deep into my brain processes and begin my own program with mindfulness and cognitive behaviour therapy. I have to give these professionals major props because they reminded me that I DO have a true, authentic self and gave me the push I needed to align my path with that version of myself. I was forced to make goals and set plans to stick to these goals. I had to dive deep into introspection and really figure out who I was under all the pain. I also had to come to grips with who I chose to surround myself with. Were these people making me step up to my best, true and authentic self? Or were they encouraging me to conform to settle? (I’ll write a post another day on conformity and the dreams you held as a child) But, it’s extremely important to be around people who lift you. I’m blessed to have my family and their support because without them, there’s no way I’d have accomplished the things I have, nor would I be pursuing the further credentials and skill sets that I’m currently in pursuit of. I’m also starting to lean on my friends more and I mean the real ones. I was friends with everyone during my school years and took pride in the quantity of friends I had, but I’m now realizing that I’m finding solace in my quality friends. The ones with goals, ambitions, connections and authenticity. Some of them, I’ve known since grade school and some of them have just entered my life in the last 5 years. But, I know who they are and although I have never thanked them, I do need to say thank you for being that light in my life.
Some days are harder than others and I constantly feel like I’m failing. But, I had to start asking myself who I’m actually failing- someone else or myself? I’m a people-pleaser and an empath so I carry other peoples’ opinions a touch too heavily and all it’s done for me was cause me feeling unworthy and insignificant. I feel like I’m always doing something wrong and perhaps that everything that has happened is indeed, my doing. And I have made some poor decisions and didn’t respect myself enough to get out of situations that I stayed in for far too long. You know, figuring yourself out takes a lot of destruction and it’s a painful process, not only because you’re reminded of every hardship and hurt feeling but because you’re reminded of your faults and flaws. Do people really see me as a ‘life sentence?’ Or are people just expecting the absolute worst of me, based on the past? I don’t know. But I know that the person inside this body is strong, compassionate, thoughtful and wants to give everyone her best. But sometimes, the insecurity shines through and overwhelms the true self. And how do you fix that? How do you feed your true self? Robin Sharma (one of my fave authors) says it’s through; stability, security, consistency and granularity. And I feel that. Humans need a sense of stability and honestly, when you’re alone, you have the rely on your own self for stability… hence the reason I need to continue on with counselling because it grounds me and saying everything out loud tends to make it easier. Security is another goodie and something I struggled hardcore with, and still do. That’s a work in progress. But, I chip away at all this every day and that’s consistency and I’m also owning everything in my life which covers granularity. And who knows, maybe one day, I’ll have the stability and security nailed down and need to work on consistency and granularity again. Life is constantly changing, I’m constantly changing and I’m doing it alone.
Society makes you feel like you’re supposed to have a partner in order to be successful and maybe there’s a chunk of the population that seeks this as truth. And I completely agree that the right partner will enhance your life and if the work is put in by both parties, there’s a capability to move mountains. But, there’s also something to be said about the people who rock this life on their own. I used to see ‘single parenthood’ as a label, and I still do because I’ve heard the things people say about me being a single mother of 5 (you can imagine) and my only goal is to change the game here. I’m going to use that insecurity to my advantage and show the world what a woman with goals and a fire in her soul can do and I’m going to erase that stigma about myself. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, I want people to respect me with what I’m doing to build a better life for the kids and me. And that’s enough motivation to get out of the ‘woe is me’ slump.
I recently started working outside the home again in the last week. I needed to because I needed to remember who I was before my own personal tsunami stripped my character from me. I needed to remember that I’m a social creature and that I fill my bucket through interaction and laughs. It has felt so good to talk to new people and learn more about their stories and lives because it connects you in ways that make you feel a little less alone. For me, being a stay-at-home mama was amazing because I got to raise my kids and be there for all their moments. But, I absolutely fell into a depression because of pure loneliness and a negative self-thought process. A messy divorce and trauma did a number on me and I let it turn me into a hermit because I didn’t want to put a burden on anyone else as I fought this battle on my own. And honestly, it wasn’t until January 1st2020 that I had enough of my own shit. When you realize that the crappy decisions and choices you make are solely your fault, magic happens. You come to terms with your imperfections and you choose to work on them and be better and that’s when you get back into a rhythm that aligns with the best version of YOU. Progress doesn’t happen overnight and you will absolutely face setbacks but you gotta learn how to use these setbacks as more fuel to your own little fire. We are all human and none of us are perfect by any means. Stay away from the people who suck the life out of you and the ones who are just waiting for you to fail. They’re no good. Stay close to the people who alleviate any stressors but will call you out when needed. We don’t need enablers, we need proper support.
We all face less-than-ideal times and at some point, we need to bounce back. Your values are supposed to change as you move along in life but recognize those traits that hold you back and work on them. Take a minute to align your behaviours with where you want to be and don’t welcome anything or anyone into your life who don’t support that. Life is tough as nails and some days totally and completely suck. Hell, I had a solid cry this morning because I feel overwhelmed, but I also feel good, knowing that I’m capable of pulling myself out of rougher waters. Do the things that fill your bucket and do the things that make you feel alive again. You’ll be surprised what it does to your mindset. #shebelievedshecouldsoshedid