Perspective is everything. It’s a tool that I have learned to master and it has changed my life.
1. How do you view the world?
That’s exactly the place I had to begin. I had to understand and own my views — how I felt about life, people and the things I had experienced. There was so much ugliness and I had become consumed with the pain. All I could see was the abuse, misuse, depression, physical illness and injustice. I felt like a victim. I saw most people, especially men, as threats. I was angry and jaded. Life wasn’t fair and it had failed me.
2. How has your thinking helped you?
For me, every day was a drag, another reminder of how much misery was in my life. I dreaded waking up. My health wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I had become disabled and could no longer work the job that I loved. I was bedridden with a degree. My friends had disappeared. My heart had been shattered and my mind fractured because of severe emotional and mental abuse. I felt frustrated, angry, incapable, used, and alone.
The truth is that I was getting very little out of my life. My days were just reruns. Endless seconds in a tragedy I consistently replayed over and over again in my mind. I thought about all of the pain and suffering I’d endured. I thought about the people who got away with hurting me. I couldn’t get out of my funk. I lived every day down in the dumps. I had no purpose and no passion. I was simply existing. I had no clue about who I was. I was completely disconnected from myself. I didn’t even like whoever it was I had become.
3. Are you willing to change?
The change that each of us is looking for is at the moment that we choose to change our mind. Change is not easy but it is possible. It comes with a cost. Are we willing to pay the price?
The price I paid for change was getting uncomfortable. I had to go way outside of my comfort zone. The price I paid for change was refusing to continue the same sad song that I had on repeat in my mind and spirit. I had to force my brain to accept a different reality. A reality where I was a Survivor and not a victim. A reality where I acknowledged my pain but pushed beyond it. I had to change my mindset. I had to be willing to be honest and admit that I needed to change. I had to become vulnerable. I had to face my fears. I had to accept the fact that I was afraid. My whole mental framework had to be torn down and rebuilt.
Why did I do it? Because my current life wasn’t working. My go-to, default response to trauma and pain and disappointment was making me more sick. I was bitter and on my way to drowning in depression. My skills for survival were limited. Frankly, I wasn’t survivng. I was wading and fading. I had to discover a new way to live. I had to discover a whole new set of skills for dealing with life and moving beyond the hard places. Either I was going to die under the weight of my past and present or I would have to use their weight to build me up some massive muscles. 💪🏾
I chose the muscles.
I chose to cry and be frustrated and keep going despite it.
I chose to fall down and then get back up.
I chose to tell someone my story and stop hiding underneath it.
I chose to rise. I chose life. I chose healing.
The most important thing is that I chose me. I was enough. I was worth saving. I was worth fighting for. I was worth getting to know. I made the harder choice of fighting for my life because I wanted the better result. I found what I was looking for and it all started in my head and worked its way inside my heart. Now my life is full of reasons to not give up. It’s still really challenging and I have my share of pain. But I know who I am and I found my why. I like getting up (even when I don’t feel like it) and understanding my reason for living. I like knowing that each day is a continuation and not the beginning of the end.
I hope that you if you’re struggling or feeling lost, angry, afraid, alone, or overwhelmed that you know that there is a way out. There is a way forward. It starts with you. You can make it. You are more than capable. Just take the first step — it’s all in your head.
I am hosting an online event on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. CST. It’s a great follow up to this blog post. Breaking up with Fairy Tales: Accepting Your Reality and Finding Happy after All.
Visit my events page for more information and to register.