Monday, April 5, 2010

Truth and Dare



This new life is amazing! I'm so awesomely excited to be making new friends online! And the great people I've met here where I live and work...my life is growing and changing every day! How great is that!

But - the truth is...this is waaaayyyyyy different than the life I grew accustomed to when I struggled each day in an existence where social isolation was my best friend and anxiety ruled my life.

So - this feels scary sometimes to be putting myself out there and with purpose, intention and consciously choosing to make myself *ugh* *gulp*....vulnerable.

"What if no-one reads what I wrote?" Or worse...what if they read it and don't like it?"

What if she doesn't call me back?

What if I bomb at this new job?

"What if....." and you can choose just about any "what if" scenario and I could probably relate to it.

So - "what if"?

Well..."so what"?

You see, I decided some time ago that I wasn't going to live in that state of fear and powerlessness any more. I was going to learn how to live beyond what I was told that was possible.

But that decision doesn't suddenly "fix" the baggage I brought with me from my past, it didn't "cure" my social anxieties or turn me into a social butterfly or charismatic debutante.

It didn't "fix" my distorted sense of self, the paranoid thoughts, the low self esteem or lack of self worth, the fear of abandonment. It didn't stop the racing thoughts, the nightmares or make me immune to "triggers" that could send me into an emotional meltdown or explosive rage if I didn't get the right feedback from a situation. It didn't make me not want to drink and it couldn't teach me how to not "zone out".

I didn't turn into Susie Sunshine overnight, the the negative thoughts and black and white thinking that kept me prisoner to a chronic state of upset and distress didn't just "disappear".

I've had to work at it. Every day.

Each day I "Dare" myself to keep going, to keep growing, learning...changing. To keep putting one foot in front of the other. To not give up...to never, never give up - to remember that "giving up is no longer an option" because...

There is always a solution.

And sometimes that solution is to just do a "Nike" and get on with things and sometimes it's to have a sit down and give it a good cry. Other days its cranking up the music and feeling, really feeling the anger and rage at the injustices that I have survived, the losses I have faced. Maybe even give a shout and vent some of that rage for a moment and shake my fist at the universe for having been shortchanged....

...and sometimes it's turning on the tunes and dancing, feeling the joy of this new life well up inside of me and fill every single molecule of my being, it's staring at the night sky or closing my eyes to feel the warm afternoon breeze brush over my face.

But mostly it's learning new ways of thinking and "being". It's making a conscious choice every day to practice using all the tools and resources available to me to walk this part of my journey. It's being willing to take responsibility for my new life - or lack of it.

And in the end - it's letting go of the life that I should have had where I didn't have to face or deal with the demons that have tormented me....

It's letting go of believing that I have all the answers and can make life give me what I deserve if I can only work hard enough, try long enough and be "good enough".

And then it's accepting what is and that I don't get that "do over"...

...that today is what it is and what I make of it is what I will get in my tomorrow.

And in the end...in time it gets easier to live this new life and it is knowing, just knowing that no matter what message I got from my past, no matter what I have survived or conquered, that today I am in charge and today I can choose to live in my truth - even when I have to dare myself to do it.

Q: How do you go about creating conscious change in your life?


4 comments:

Kyla said...

its funny because i catch myself saying what if.. a lot lol

Susan said...

*biggrinhere* (chuckling!) I get it! And yes; its quite normal I think...the thing for me was to be aware of it and then being able to consciously choose to reframe it. Good one Kyla!

Michele said...

YES, I think we can create change!! Sometimes, we can do it alone, and sometimes we need outside help to guide us along the way. But I have seen enormous change in myself and other survivors and so it makes me believe more and more every day that, while we can't just 'choose' to be different overnight, we can definately choose to change and then go about figuring out how.

Susan said...

I'm with you Michele! I believe we are a magnificent beings and can be our own best resource as we learn to find our way. :)