I have always fed off of the idea that I am different. As a child, I unknowingly was very good at being true to who I was. Caring what other people thought of me wasn't on my agenda. That probably explains why as a child, I would open up all of the windows in the attic and sing to whoever was outside. It also explains why I spent countless hours in the hallway for disrupting the class with my witty sense of humour.
If I had something to say, it wasn't like me to hold in it. At thirty one, I still feel like sharing what I have to say. Sometimes I have so much to say, I have to tell myself to shut up. Again though, I speak my mind because it's who I am. The information I share as an adult is to inspire others to be the best versions of themselves.
Three years ago, when I was living in absolute turmoil, I finally made the choice to save myself.
Before that moment, I had been living with the notion that I would conquer all. No matter how broken I felt, I continued to pour my heart, and soul into the things I loved. I was determined to fight every demon that lived within. The problem with that was, I was doing it all wrong.
Masking your problems by pouring yourself into the things you are passionate about is like burning the candle at both ends.
On one hand, I was broken. On the other hand, I was training as a boxer, coaching women in boxing, doing one on one training with clients, painting, singing, photography, and anything else that kept me from wallowing in the pain I felt in my chest.
I thought if I could succeed in the areas I was good at, I would overcome the darkness that was taking over my life. I became very numb, and even when something great would happen, I felt empty.
I blamed my relationship at that time for all of my pain. Although my relationship was a cause for a lot of the aching, the only real thing stopping me from healing was myself. The only real problem in this equation was me.
If you are human, you will suffer.
Did you know that there is no way around suffering? If I am going to live a life that includes suffering, it is my mission to find the healthiest ways to ease suffering, how to manage pain/stress, and how to coach others to overcome life's suffering.
I believe that once you have mastered a peaceful (or almost peaceful) centre, and obtain the wisdom to be mindful, you can experience life to it's fullest. Life is beautiful if you allow yourself to see all the beauty that our earth holds. Beauty is everywhere, even in the people, and places you may never have thought.
When I say that I made the choice to save myself, I mean that I decided to stop blaming everybody else for my pain. If you think I woke up, and made this decision one day, you're wrong.
My first step was hiring a highly qualified therapist to dig me out of the hole that felt impossible to get out of. This wasn't a therapist that my Doctor recommended to me. This is the kind of therapist you pay privately. A psychotherapist.
I am not ashamed to admit that I paid big money to get the help I desperately needed at that time. I was empty, and barely holding on. I think any Mother would do the same. I knew that if I didn't get the help that I needed, I wouldn't be able to provide the life my son deserves from me. To be honest, I didn't even have the kind of money at that time to afford the hourly visits. But let me give you guys a fun fact.
Trust me, when it comes to something that you desperately need in life, you will find a way.
I spent two years in therapy. The first year was a hell of a lot of digging, let me tell you! First you have to understand where your behaviours come from, then you have to find compassion for yourself, and others. Once you understand your behaviours, you have to learn how to break bad habits, and patterns. None of this stuff is easy. Facing the cold hard truths will test your strength, that's for sure. But my therapist was there for me every step of the way, with zero judgment.
Becoming who you want to be can't happen over night.
The thing is, I always knew who I wanted to be. The vision was so clear for many years. My own suffering stood in front of my dreams throughout my twenties. I knew right from wrong. I knew what having good morals was all about. I knew how to be positive at the worst of times.
I never stopped, and looked at that broken girl inside of me that was begging to be healed. Instead, I ignored her, and tried to show strength through winning dozens of fights, being a "positive" role model to others, and trying to please everyone around me.
We all have pain, and a lot of that pain stems from our past. Ignoring it will only suppress it further.
I know that many people who follow me probably wonder if I am on prozac or pretending to be this happy go lucky girl (because nobody is that happy). You're wrong.
Although social media is a place where people tend to only share the positives, I can honestly say that I live a very positive lifestyle.
I am so passionate about life. When I get a little crazy, it's usually because I feel misunderstood. I don't understand why people don't think like me, or see the world the way that I do. I get frustrated when my passion for life is mistaken for being a "dreamer". But that's usually when I have to go back to the radical acceptance that "I am different" and that's okay.
All I know is that life is so beautiful. Life has so much to offer. Being kind is truly the greatest gift you can give yourself. The first step to being kind to others is being kind to yourself. Once you start to have compassion for yourself, and have kind dialogue towards yourself, you'll see subtle changes.
There's a major difference in being kind to others while not taking care of yourself. I've always been kind, but it wasn't until I was kind to myself that being kind to others had a whole new meaning.
You should never be ashamed of asking for professional help. It was the best choice I ever made. I continue to speak with my therapist from time to time, all while practising everything she taught me in between.
You should always find ways to learn, and grow your mind. As somebody with ADHD, I have to find things that interest me in order to feel engaged in what it is I am reading, watching, or listening to.
Even if you don't have ADHD, I think it's important to want to learn. Therefore, you should find books, and podcasts that will capture your attention.
Clarity is strength. When you get right with yourself, your life changes for the better. Interactions become meaningful. Kindness becomes second nature. Smiling is easy. Goals are attainable. Life feels wonderful. Your heart will be full.
How could you not want that?
Do yourself a favour, and take that first step to healing yourself.