I consider myself to be a pretty strong person. Despite my public struggles with mental health, I see my sharing not as a display of my "weakness" but as a testament to my unconditional self love. Still it can be easy to be a champion for yourself within the confines of a sacred little internet space. A space where others merely lurk or peer into without intention to stay. A place that is curated by me, for me, and protects my innermost thoughts and feelings. It is much harder to practice these same things out in the world. Here, I can breathe through a panic attack with relative ease. Out in the world when my chest tightens and sweat pours down my face, I debate on whether to say nothing, tell the truth, or say something...anything to relieve the tension of the moment. Being a person who is working to root herself in peace is hard work and requires a fair amount of unlearning and shame reduction when out in the world.
The looks on people's faces make it harder to retell toxic stories. The comments people make born out of their own insecurities deep into my pores and rush through my veins. I slowly become this insecure creature who claws at windows for air, counting to ten over and over again until I can retreat back into the solace of my Self where I am safe. Maybe I will try again tomorrow. Maybe not. I tell myself that this discomfort is temporary. But I only believe that for so long. At some point I have to square up with what is and simply accept it because only then does the pain of it become tolerable.
This morning my phone got turned off. Because despite my greatest efforts to manage my finances, no income for six months simply means some things cannot be maintained. I fear that my credit situation is going to keep me down longer than I'd like. Making it difficult to find housing and secure transportation despite the fact that I'll be working. A constant reminder of my last two years and how much lasting wreckage I'll be sorting through for a while. I fear my reaction to the feeling of loneliness. That itch for physical intimacy might always be soured by flashbacks of that night. Replaying over and over in my body painful lashes of repetence. I don't know how to apologize enough for the self betrayal. Can you ever?
I realize that despite the fact that I am doing better, I am still healing. Still in repair. Still working on transitioning my thinking from one of deficiency and shame to that of abundance and grace. I do this by speaking plain to my fears. So softly it's barely audible but it is there. I fear really only one thing. That perhaps all the worst thoughts I've ever had about myself are correct. That anyone or anything that ever made me feel I wasn't good enough, was right. That somehow my self appraisal was grossly miscalculated and I am nothing special. If I wanted to, I could find the evidence to support this claim. As it stands, I haven't because I think it's a slippery slope. And I'd rather mine proof of my exception.
What I want more than anything is afirm grasp on my Self. An ability to find her, hear her and acknowledge her no matter where I am or what my circumstances may be. I don't want to be rattled when bills come. When men leave. When attacks threaten. When words fail. When friends fall silent. When family doesn't understand. When nobody checks in. When emails go unanswered. When labors of love go unnoticed. When it rains all day and the sun refuses to shine, I still want to be able to find the rainbow in my own heart.