I Didn't Realize Who I Was Until I Stopped Being Who I Wasn't.
I remember in my teen years, I always tried to portray someone that was fully put together. Never would I even imagine showing the fact that I had any doubts or insecurities. Truth though? Inside was a tortured soul. I hated my bad skin, small chest, deep voice, and the awkwardness I had around any adult. If I wasn't sleeping I was nervous and overthinking every move. I spent most of my time trying to hide my flaws and show the "perfect me" that I created. The pit of anxiety in my stomach just deepened.
In my twenties, I was convinced that the love of a man was expressed through is sexual attraction to you. I could control that and anything uncontrollable was too damn difficult to even face. Needless to say, I ended up with different dads for my girls in an era where that was unacceptable. Solution? Pretend it wasn't true and just keep living life like a Barbie Doll. Find something else to excel at to take the focus off my screw ups. Enter college. Oh, did I mention that the pit of anxiety in my stomach grew even deeper yet?
My thirties? I rose to the top of my field but never dealt with all my crap. I bragged about my college degrees and I felt driven to only be the best in my career. I became the top dog at my company and felt that an affair with the owner only showed further how "in control" I really was. Conquering everything right? As my stable marriage fell apart, I was sucked into a world of lies, crime, and disaster. My only concern? "How does the world see me?". With that thought, I kept on the bad road but dressed myself in nicer clothes and let the world know I had spend the weekend in an amazing hotel dining at great restaurants. That pit of anxiety in my stomach had now reached my toes.
It took rock bottom for me to realize that the way I was living just wasn't working. When I say rock bottom, I mean I found the base of that pit of anxiety. It was lined with despair, hopelessness, shame, guilt, arrests, ridicule. The only way out was to face it and fix it and start climbing up.
I didn't realize who I was until I stopped being who I wasn't.
Today I am a stay at home mom. That luxurious life is behind me by choice. Most days I am in leggings, tee shirts and pony tails as I make chicken nuggets for my toddler and watch my soap opera. I've put on twenty pounds and don't much care. I married a humble guy who knows and loves me despite my flaws. I faced my demons and found that I have to face them time and again because they never really leave but I am okay with that. I am okay with my past. I am okay with my mistakes. They aren't who I am but they helped shape me anyway.
Why am I telling you all of this? In my teen years it may have helped me to know other people were feeling what I was. In my twenties I would have felt solace knowing I wasn't the only one messed up. In my thirties, talking to someone who felt the turmoils I felt, I could have possibly avoided some disasters. I want anyone who reads this to know that you are not defined by anxiety, insecurity, mistakes, relapses. You are defined by YOU, by your heart, your mind, your soul. Get to know YOU. Let go of the crap that you feel is holding you down. That will free you. Realize who you REALLY are and stop being who you AREN'T!