This is going to be one of the most deeply personal posts I have ever written so far. In doing so I’m taking a risk. A risk that people will get offended and I will get hurt. But then I might just help people, which is the reason why I have chosen to hit the publish button and send this out into the world. My blog is about life, sharing how I live it, and so it wouldn’t be complete without me sharing how I deal with the storms of that said life. So here goes.
So it’s suicide prevention week. A time when a lot of generic posts appear on peoples social media walls. Many, I don’t doubt for one minute, are posted with good and honourable intentions. But for some of those who are not okay, they come from people they turned to previously for help but only to find they did not understand. Some who are clearly not okay post the generic message “#RUOKAY?” masking their own pain. I am writing to those who are not okay and who are suffering silently because they simply do not have anywhere else to turn. To those people who feel that the world they experience everyday is all there is and if this is it and there is no sign of change, then what is the point? To those people too afraid to talk for fear of being labelled with the many labels and hashtags. To those people who have turned to others in the past only to find that A. Some misunderstand you and B. If they do understand then all they want to do is gossip and not help walk you through to a solution.
I Was Not Okay.
I’m not going to say when all this occurred as people will only get offended. Isn’t that funny. You’re not okay, you hurt like hell, and yet instead of trying to understand people get offended and add to your pain. Is it any wonder people lose hope in life?!
The suffering I felt began with a feeling of being utterly alone. In that place of isolation I was made to feel rejected. Add to that rejection feelings of being completely useless. And so begins the long drawn out process of beginning to hate yourself. Hate to the point that you can’t look at yourself favourably in the mirror. Any new flaw you find only adds to the list of reasons why people will reject you. To some reading this it sounds crazy. But the truth is there are a lot of broken people out there needing love, compassion, time and understanding in order to heal.
I found myself in a situation where I was scared witless of offending people. So in order to avoid that I would over compensate with “Thank You’s”, being polite, make and buy things for people when it wasn’t their birthday to “buy” their friendship in the hope they wouldn’t hurt me. But, there was one thing that let me down…excuse my language but it was the unfortunate “resting bitch face” I have. Call it their own insecurities, but I could be thinking about what to have for tea later with this unfortunate resting face, for someone to see me, see the look on my face, deduct all from one look that I’m unapproachable, hard, and mean. So they form a completely different persona of me than my real one. This is then used against me in all future arguments. I KNOW people relate to this.
When I did unintentionally offend, I would experience a throbbing pain in my chest. Not the heart related type, but that pain that comes with being hurt or rejected. Once that pain had come, somewhere in my mind floodgates opened letting in a flood of negative thoughts in the third person about myself, “You’re not good enough”, “What a horrible person you are!”, “You’re a waste of space”, “No one wants you”, “What have you got to offer this world?”, “You’re not even worth the precious air you breath”, and so on. I KNOW people relate to this.
And, at this point, let me introduce Self pity. I have cried so much that one morning I woke up with one eye swollen shut. Imagine what that did for my self confidence. So the ever perpetuating cycle went on….and on…
I seemed to live around a lot of stoic people. Let me just add the definition of stoicism here; People who are “seemingly indifferent to or unaffected by joy, grief, pleasure, or pain.” This meant that I often found myself having to hide a lot of my pain because hearing words like “snap out of it!”, Or “You bring it all on yourself”, would add to the pain. Every time I went for help I was met with such indifference.
How I Began To Turn It All Around
One day, I snapped. I had enough. Like a parent with a child I scolded myself for allowing this to carry on. Some people give up hope, cannot take the pain anymore and so they take the advice of those negative voices and end it. God knows I have had those negative thoughts, but never took them on. There was something within me keeping me going.
Anyway, back to being a parent to myself. I scolded those negative thoughts, told them to leave, and said “You better pick yourself up girl or you’ll find life has gone by and you haven’t done a thing with it! The reality is no one but yourself is going to help you!” So, I did something I had never done before, I bought a self help book. It turned out to be a simple yet profound step because in this book, and many others, I found compassionate yet extremely practical voices that I swear should be found in systems such as the church (which I had left, faith thankfully intact, at this point), family, relationships etc but sadly are not. I KNOW people will relate to this as I KNOW it will also offend people.
So, for the first time, from the words of these people, I FIND GRACE! I find help! I find healing! This process began with learning who and whose I am. That I am loved by a loving God and I have the potential and power within me to accomplish great thing in this world. To make a difference, which has always been my hearts desire.
I now have HOPE.
Next, I learn about the power of our thoughts. This is a HUGE yet profound topic. How our thoughts affect our life is massive!
I now feel equipped to live right.
Next, I’m encouraged to dream…and dream BIG. To see no limits to how big I can dream.
I’m getting excited!
Next, I take steps towards my dreams. I learn how to deal with toxic people in my life. Suddenly, said toxic people just naturally leave. Things start to happen. Not big things but small things start to work out for me. I begin to respect myself, love myself, treasure my faith, my life, my dreams.
I am on the road to healing and want to grab the hands of others suffering and have them join me.
LIVE The Life You Want
I took the photo, featured at the top of this post, yesterday in my garden. I found a perfectly formed dandelion, held it up and released it. As I held it up I thought how beautiful it looked and wanted to capture it. So I grabbed my camera, knowing there were many such dandelions about, and went back out into the garden. Could I find another one? No. The only one I could find was crushed.
The thing is I was in my garden, enjoying the beyond beautiful, weather but, like the dandelion, was totally crushed myself. I had hurt someone close to me unwittingly and unintentionally. The past week I had also managed to offend people with comments that weren’t my own. Instead of coming to me they all went to each other. So I had a group of people talking about me behind my back, without bringing me in to defend myself, and I had hurt someone with words I DID say but unintentionally. I slipped into remission….the floodgates opened and in flooded those negative thoughts. I was annoyed with myself but this time I was equipped. I acknowledged the feelings but I didn’t invite them to move in. Sat in the garden I began to deal with them.
So it only seemed right that the only dandelion I could find was crushed. I proceeded to straighten it out and give it the best chance possible to fly once again.
I hope my life can be like that…helping others in such a way that they will once again be able to fly.
So, are you okay? I may not be qualified in the professional worlds sense, but I am qualified to help. I actually have the best qualifications….experience. I have been there. I slipped back there but was able to fight back. You see, what we need is community. Social Media has been a fantastic means to providing that community. I stand in my little corner offering hospitality to the hurting and wounded. You are welcome here. Here you will find..
Tools to equip you.
You will NOT find here….
Or support for self-pity!
I hope this will help at least ONE person. Please feel free to contact me if you wish to talk. The lines of communication are open. You can email me and remain anonymous if you wish.