It is now the beginning of October 2015. I started the draft of this post back in July so almost three months ago. My first post was three years ago and I actually created the blog over five years ago! Obviously, this speaks volumes for my procrastination and avoidance skills!
The sad fact is that I have spent my life avoiding some really good things in my effort to protect myself from the bad. I know that a leap of faith is necessary but nothing is guaranteed – which is why I have lived my entire life stuck on the perimeter, where it is safe being more of an observer. One of my favorite mentors, Brene Brown, calls this sitting in the cheap seats of the arena. If you haven’t read her work yet, I strongly suggest you do. Watching her Ted Talk three years ago got me on this path and while I am an extremely slow learner, I know she speaks the truth.
The pressure to “tell your story” is so strong out there because it has been proven that you can not experience true peace and happiness if you are burdened by secrets of the past. The thought of expressing my true self and sharing my story has always scared the hell out of me. Why? I can’t risk people finding out what goes on in my head and learning what bad things have happened to me. What would they think? How could I function once my secrets are out? Enter silence and secrecy – the breeding ground for SHAME. There is that familiar word that has accompanied me through my whole life. Why do I let it control me so? Well that is what my friend Brene is going to help me with because she is a shame expert! Thank the Lord I found her. If I can make it through this process alive, there is hope for peace and serenity in my future.
They say that traumatic experiences hold their power as long as they are kept safely in silence. Which pisses me off, of course. My many attempts to rid myself of the lingering affects of childhood trauma and self hate caused by verbal, emotional and sexual abuse have only resulted in depression, anxiety and despair. I have learned to function alongside this shame and self hate through most of my adult life with some help along the way – (I’ll save that for another post – some good and some not so good). However, it has become increasingly difficult over the past couple of years and the walls are crumbling a bit.
I am resiliant and I must keep trying until I can see the other side – I have so much in my life to be grateful for and I don’t want to keep living it with a black cloud over my head. What is the alternative, right? While I don’t deny the periodic thoughts of ending it all, something has always held me back – mostly guilt. Living this way is not good for me, my husband or my kids. It has been a rough few years.
What is my plan? Well after a weekend full of pulling my hair out (a lovely coping skill I have had for years) and feeling sluggish and tired I need to prepare for my therapy appointment tomorrow. My head hurts so bad, I just put ice on the raw area of my scalp. What has caused this relapse? I was on a good path a couple months ago, doing a local boot camp with friends. But results were not showing because I was also struggling with slow recovery from surgery earlier this year. Other things also came up that triggered my PTSD which sent me into a bit of isolation. Thank God for my therapist, Sheryl, she has really helped me from spiraling out of control. I am making progress and she is pushing me to step out of my comfort zone to seek help and support.
I have to push forward and show up, even though I want to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my eyes. Earlier today I just felt like giving up, checking out. The depression monster returning to convince me I am not going to beat this. I won’t if I don’t seek help – I can not longer fight this battle on my own – need to find a support system, outside of just my therapist’s office.
Dig deep and pull out some courage, Sheila. Remember, courage doesn’t mean fearless, courage means facing your fears and taking action in spite of them.
Keep Finding Your Way