Today I'm struggling with finding my voice. I feel fear at speaking up and voicing my true thoughts and opinions. I fear being judged and ridiculed for having an opinion as for too long I lived in a family system that discouraged any form of autonomy. Yet - I am choosing today to not accept this as my story any longer.
For too long I wore the labels that others gave me; at the expense of developing any sense of self or feeling of control over my life or life choices.
As a small child one label I wore was "brat"; others were stupid, selfish, idiot. In time more labels were added to the list like whore and slut (thanks dad).
When I was married "bitch" was added to the list.
And when I got away from the violence in my marriage I became a "victim".
When I entered the mental health system - a whole but injured person - I was given the label "mentally ill", "addict" and "alcoholic" to wear along with the sub-labels of "depressed", "bi polar", "dysthymic", "paranoid", "psychotic" among others.
And I wore each and every one of these labels very, very well. I carried the shame and believed that I was "less than", that I was broken beyond repair.
And today I am speaking up to say - I am not a label.
I am. Period.
I exist and I have every right to exist, to breath, to experience a world and a life that knows no boundaries, to decide what kind of person I will be, what kind of future that I will live.
Today - I write my own story and continue to shed the labels that in the past have left me feeling helpless to improve my lot in life and hopeless that I even could have a life of my own choosing.
Today - if I was to wear a label I will choose it. And today I would choose to "label" myself as curious, intelligent, caring, wonderful, kind, considerate, empowered, brave and courageous....
Today - I am and I am free.