I have this thing I do, that I think a lot of people who have had traumatic events do – I “celebrate” the anniversaries of the shit things happening. I live my life every year from date to date – January 4th, February 12th, April 12th, June 12th, August 21st….etc etc. Each date has significant meaning, and I spend ages “preparing” for the anniversary of the particular event. I have certain emotions that are triggered by different dates – anger, sadness, fear, loneliness and everything that comes with them. Every year, I tell myself that this is the last year that the dates will mean anything. The last year I cry. The last year I fall apart. And then next year rolls around, and we start the whole process again.
I’m really starting to get sick of it.
Of course, I realise that these dates are never going to mean nothing to me…but I would like to live my life not preparing in horror for the next cruel anniversary, but instead dreaming of the future and all it’s possibilities. I want to let go of the pain that is keeping me locked away, instead of reaching my full, beautiful potential. I want to get rid of the fear that binds me. I want to be free of the walls that keep me hidden.
Oh yes I know – this all sounds fantastical. And I bet you’re wondering: How long will she keep this up? I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll be able to achieve what I want. But I have to try, don’t I? I have to believe that there is something more than the pain and fear and entrapment of living from horrible date to horrible date…
Today, at 3:14 am, I had been born* exactly 22 years ago! Cue massive meltdown from yours truly when I woke up. This doesn’t usually happen on my birthday – I’m a big kid at heart & I simply love my birthday and all that it entails (gifts, cake, having fun). But today it was different. I feel old. I feel like I should have achieved more – put simply, I should either be in my first year of paid employment or doing my honours year of nursing. I should be living out of home, healthier than I am. I should, I should, I should…Instead, I am waiting for mid-year main round offers from UAC, so I begin a 4 year long trek to becoming an early childhood teacher. I am still at home. I’m really not as healthy as I thought I would be.
Does that mean I’ve failed? Does it all mean I haven’t done something right?
This morning, I thought it did. I thought it meant that I, myself, was a complete rotten failure. And then (as he often does) my wonderful Fiancé challenged my flawed thinking. He reminded me that I’m smart & beautiful. That I have a lot to offer the world. That yes, I have made some mistakes, but ultimately I have failed at nothing. The things I think I’ve failed at are just that – negative, illogical thoughts that need to caught and examined for any merit, discarding the bits that actually don’t fit. How lucky am I?
So in the end, my birthday has turned out to be a brilliant day (so far!) Thank you to my wonderful Matthew & fantastic friends who have helped make it so!
*I don’t say “alive” because for me, alive began a lot earlier than my birth…
A lot of people I know who are in recovery – from an eating disorder, depression or any kind of addication – are really good at giving advice (myself included). I’ve noticed we have this amazing ability to deflect from our own problems by asking each other about theirs – taking care of our friends instead of ourselves, and offering advice that we completely ignore in our own lives. It’s this weird kind of merry-go-round that is very hard to get off because it’s
almost expected in these groups of people that it will happen…
I have a theory as to why (it’s not very profound) – it’s because it’s to hard to deal with our own personal problems. Weird, I know. But at least for me, and my group of friends, it is much easier to take on someone else’s pain for a while than dealing with your own. There is a catch, though – we get too tired from carrying too much and holding too much in. Our disorders worsen, and recovery becomes near impossible because we’re not dealing with the issues at hand.
I find it’s so, so easy to just ignore my own issues and try to fix everyone else’s. Confrontation is too hard, to scary. I worried that I’m not going to like who I find under all the layers (or worse still – that I won’t recognise myself). I concerned that the people who love me won’t love me when my issues (and theirs) are brought forward. But ignoring the harder stuff is not recovery. Pretending the problems don’t exist will not mean that they will go away – they will, in fact, get worse.
I’m not too sure where I’m going to go from here. If there is one thing I do know it’s this: I should start listening to my own advice & the wisdom of my friends and family. For the most part, it’s pretty good.
I need to start wanting for myself the life I so dearly wish for my loved ones.
Do you heed your own advice (or the advice other’s give)? Or are you much better at giving?
Anyone who knows me in real life, knows that I do not cope well with change. Admitadly, not many people do like change, but I seem to have a
special brand of crazy specific fear around anything that deviates from my “plan”.
Something recently happened (that I will share with you in the future) that has derailed my plan for the next few years, and it really, really terrifies me. It’s not as if my plan has been thrown out the window completely – it’s just a setback – but still, here I am, in this crazy state of epic anxiety. And yet, I’m kind of…hopeful.
It’s hard to explain without going into details (which, even though I love you my Internet friends, I can’t tell you yet!) but this change, this deviation from the plan is actually opening new opportunities and choices for the future; specifically for my growth, my happiness. So I now have a choice – I can be paralysed by the fear that comes from not knowing, not being in control (trust me, the ED part of my brain is going *nuts* about the lack of control…) or I can embrace this as a opportunity. I don’t know which way it’s going to go yet – still early days here – but even in the midst of uncontrollable tears, I still feel hopeful. That there is something better (that I have to wait for!).
I’m sure this post doesn’t make sense to anyone but me (or perhaps Miss L or my gorgeous sister?). What it comes down to is this: I don’t like change. This change scares me. I also excited about things this change will bring.
❤ Sonja 🙂
Hello there, bloggy readers!
So it would appear that I’m back to blogging. I didn’t last very long away from this very public confessional. Some of the trolls on my old blog would tell me it’s because I’m an attention whore, because I need everything to revolve around me. It’s probably at least partly true. But the main reason I’ve started this up again is that I’ve got a story to tell. It may not be the most interesting, the funniest or the most shocking, but it is mine and I want to tell it! And I’m assuming that if you are reading this, then you want to hear my story.
I don’t know exactly what I’ll put here. Maybe I’ll share my “Domestic Goddess in Training” moments. Maybe I’ll post about therapy. Maybe I’ll start taking photos again.
I will be “confessing” things. I will be putting forth my opinions to the world (as significant or insignificant as they may be). I will be telling my story as it unfolds.
Look forward to having you with me,