This morning, I did a thing. I was going through some old writings I have saved in my drafts. There are a collection of these, growing ever larger as time goes on. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them, if anything. But, regardless, I like to read through them every once in a while.
I do it because it reminds me, of past events, random nights or conversations I’d never remember otherwise. But I do it mostly as a sort of exercise in encouragement. It reminds me of where my head used to be, the way I used to feel and think every day. It shows me how far I’ve come, and motivates me to continue in my personal journey, to continue this endeavor of the soul, in becoming what I’ve always dreamed I could be.
But THEN, I accidentally PUBLISHED one of these old pieces of writing! For all the world to see! I immediately adjusted this, hoping no one noticed. But, alas, a few minutes later, I received a text from my friend Tiffanee. She said she had read my blog post, and wanted to tell me I’m doing a great job.
I replied, “What blog post?!”
She said, “The post titled ‘War.'”
So, I hadn’t taken it down quickly enough. The shame!
Except, no. No shame. I realized immediately that this was a gift. This was the Universe’s way of showing me how supported I am. That, even still, when I show my dark side, I have people, just waiting to reach out and give me love, acceptance, support, understanding.
It’s even sweeter, really, because this friend is one of the key characters that encouraged me out of my dark place, and helped me to find love for myself, for the first time in my life. We had many conversations where I insisted she was just being nice, that she didn’t know me well enough to have such a grand opinion of me. I remember one moment in particular, sitting across the table from her at Rubio’s, crying to her about how I hated myself and didn’t believe I could ever feel differently. But she didn’t stop. She seemed determined, almost as if it was her personal mission, to show me all that there is about me to love.
And so, I’ve decided to include that old post here, to own it. To remember that, yes, there was a time, not so long ago, that every single day felt like a battle. That this was how I perceived existence, for many, many years. From the time I was about 12 years old, I was weighed down. I was tired. I was discouraged. I was plagued, paralyzed with self-loathing, crippling anxiety, Depression on a daily basis. This was a long period of my life where I didn’t believe in myself, didn’t know I had any right to. I was resigned, to working a job that I hated, to the belief it would never be any different. That I was, to quote myself, “…never meant to accomplish anything. That I’m defective, deficient, broken, lost. A misfit. A freak.” (Something I actually wrote a few years ago. It hurts to read, doesn’t it? Be kind to yourselves.)
I want to honor this version of myself, this shadow side, to allow her the space to be. Because it is only through her and with her I’ve been able to become what I am now, and that is someone I am proud to be.
It feels like a cruel riddle with no answer. I wake up, heavy and fatigued, no matter how many days in row my body has had to catch up. To get used to this. To just accept the fact that this is what we adults do. I go to work, spending an inordinate amount of time day dreaming about what else I could be doing with my life. I become determined to make a change, I make plans. I get home with the best of intentions in my mind. And I’m too tired.
I’m too tired, I’m too tired. I’m too tired to plan healthy meals and to do the dishes after eating those meals and to exercise to burn off the calories from those meals or to play any songs or to socialize or call my mom like I know I should.
Every day feels more and more like waging war.
With other people’s love, guidance, acceptance, support, and my own determination to take responsibility for myself, my life, my feelings, I crawled out of that deep, dark hole. I was able to end the war, and find inner peace.
So, friends, thank you for loving me, in my darkness as well as my light. I hope you know I love you the same.