When things had finally gotten to a point in my life where the rugs were pulled away, the covers pulled back, the wounds exposed, the pretending over, I had no choice but to face who I was.
Who I had become. How I was living my life. A free fall into madness. I was the put together, focused, driven workhorse, ploughing through life, going after what I wanted and getting it.
But finding myself incredibly isolated and lonely on the journey. Not stopping long enough to look under the hood, to pause, to ask myself what I wanted in life – really wanted. Not the life I was living into, but really, 40 years from now, wanted.
The choices we make today lead into our future. Who we are today defines who we are in the future, not some day down the road, some obscure time in the future when we’ll change, when the magic will unfold and we’ll suddenly have the things we’ve been longing for, but have been pushing away because we’re too scared to go for it.
Pushed away. Uncaring. Convincing myself and everyone around me that I didn’t want or need what everyone seemed to want. I saw it as a weakness, a possibility for being hurt, a place to lose yourself.
But I was already lost.
It wasn’t my abuse. It wasn’t my parents. It wasn’t my upbringing. It wasn’t being bullied by my “friends” when they threw me under the bus or made me their very own puppet, pulling the strings and orchestrating really shitty things, so they could have a laugh, I guess. It wasn’t the 1st boyfriend who wanted to keep it a “secret just for us”… I was used to secrets so what was one more?
It wasn’t any of them in particular. It was all of them. Put together, it was an endless diatribe of bullshit, of being treated poorly and letting people away with it. Never speaking up, just shutting down and leaving, emotionally, mentally and sometimes physically.
A lifetime of ignoring, sidestepping, playing nice but storing it all, striving to create something in my life – pushing forward, driven, motivated, hungry to get away from it all.
All came crumbling down.
I couldn’t ignore. I couldn’t get up. I couldn’t pretend anymore. It had come to my doorstep. The phone call that changed my life. “He’s dying” my mother said on the other side of the phone. After years of denying it, pretending it never happened to me, never having told a soul, not even my husband, my past and my present collided and I felt my life crumbling before my eyes.
Something shifted in that moment, forever altered where the guts of my life lay spilled on the floor. The biggest secret of all. Like everything, I was matter of fact about it. So, this happened. This is what’s happening now. And I’m fine.
End of story.
I’m fine. I don’t want or need to talk about it. Bad things happen. It didn’t impact me. It didn’t affect me.
Cue freefall into madness.
I wouldn’t realize it for a long time but it was that moment, that call, that recking, that awakening that would start my descent into madness. There is only so long a person can run. And when the running stops, when it catches up to you, you have no choice but to face who have become.
I held it together for years, crumbling silently and secretly inside, cringing, questioning, seeing things in a way I hadn’t ever seen them before. Noticing what I really had in my life and what I pretended to have. Noticing how intensely I cared but continued to push away and hide.
Noticing what I secretly dreamed of and how out of alignment my daily choices were, I couldn’t hold back the flood forever.
If you’ve never changed who you are to fit in, if you’ve never disassociated because of trauma, if you’ve never let yourself be manipulated and used and if you’ve never stuffed it all down and ignored, put up with or asked for what you wanted, never stood up for yourself…
Then you can’t know. You can’t understand. And I wouldn’t expect you to.
But I know deeply what it feels like to free fall into the abyss, to go mad, to lose your mind, to feel like your whole life is a lie, that nothing makes sense, that a duality exists between you and the world. I know what it feels like to be in cellophane, to want to live, desperately trying to breathe, but too scared to leave the inner world that I created to keep myself save.
I can’t help wonder what an excorism really is? If it’s to cast out every ounce of darkness within a person, then I surely did that. Twisting, turning, collapsing, getting up, opening, closing, screaming, crying through a turbulent transformation.
Layer after layer, ripped to shreds. My beliefs. What I made things mean. How I let people treat me. How I treated others in return. How I pushed people away. How I hurt deeply but couldn’t feel anything. How numb I was. How scared to be myself, stand up for myself.
High and low and balanced. There wasn’t a part of my life I didn’t examine. Not because I wanted to, but because I had to. Once I started the journey I couldn’t stop. One step at a time, one piece at a time, brick by brick, wall by wall, it all came down.
And behind each piece I found a piece of myself I had shoved away, silenced, changed to fit in, to be enough, to hide, to be pleasing… or whatever reason at the time I did that.
But I was surely mad. For the first time in my life I had anxiety, couldn’t cope, couldn’t complete basic tasks and was easily overwhelmed by everything. Where had the hard ass version of me gone? Surely trading the badass bitch I was being wasn’t an even trade for being this messy, irrational, incapable version I had become?
Surely I wasn’t going to be this version? Surely this wasn’t my “highest self” or “highest potential” that I was going to get as a prize for healing my past trauma and unbecoming all I wasn’t… was this what I was?
I desperately tried to put myself back together. Failing drastically as I pushed myself to do things. As I searched inside of me for that fire, that power that I always had access to. I could always make myself do the things that needed doing.
As I sat in this messiness, scared that this was who I was going to be forever, I realized this was my rebuild, in progress. I could shift my entire foundation of what I believed in, what I made things mean, how I felt about myself, the world, other people, what’s possible, what I would believe about myself.
I laid down anger. I laid down the victim. I laid down the fight, flight or freeze. I realized I could decide how I wanted my life to be now that I combed through my life and let go of all of that baggage.
And instead of looking to the outside world for validation or approval, I began looking in. I checked in with my soul. I listened to what felt good, what felt right. I asked for what I wanted, stood up for myself, walked away from things. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t speak up when no words were needed. Walking away felt good. Stepping in felt good.
When something felt wrong, I let go. When something felt, I expanded.
I built until I had a new foundation, a new life, a new operating system to work from. I had built my life on fear, on jaded, on self punishment and anger. Now my life was build on soul, on faith, on being myself.
It was built on standing up for myself, knowing my worth. It was built on walking away and walking to. It was built on climbing up, sliding down. It was built on constantly coming back to me – what’s right, what feels good, what would I do if I were truly being a wild woman? What would I believe?
It wasn’t easy. It got crazy. But it got easier. Then it got calm. Then it got exciting. Then it made sense.
Fear knocked. Faith answered.
And the future I continue to build is on a healthy foundation… perhaps a foundation I would have had if I didn’t have those experiences. But I did have them and I never wish that I never, because that’s a waste of time. I love the woman I’ve become and I couldn’t be her if I didn’t have the life I lived.
And I couldn’t be here, helping others create a more powerful foundation for their lives as well.
Honoured. Blessed. Privileged. To have had the opportunity to become #woke in this lifetime and emerge with a healthy outlook on life, no longer looking over my shoulder, running from the past.
Now I stand solidly in my future, excited about being here and excited for all the experiences that are yet to come, for me and for you.
It’s my hope that you will allow yourself to do the deep dive. It will seem like insanity. It will seem scary for an overachieving type A. But once the messiness subsides, your powerful self will emerge and you’ll finally be you… no watching from the sidelines, no desperation, no struggling, no repeating habits or behaviours or cycles.