There was a time in my life where I took great pride in not doing things. My best friend and I were perfectly content drinking copious amount of iced coffee, eating vegan food, working, and going to the bar. That rounded out our responsibilities and day-to-day activities.
We barely cooked outside of after the bar meals – red labeled Ichiban, hash browns, and sometimes pasta. We didn’t cross the bridge to go downtown or leave Whyte Ave unless there was a good show or we absolutely had to. We walked a lot but didn’t own a pair of running shoes because they were ugly and well, we didn’t run. In fact, when people asked us to adventure outside of our routine, we would reply “We don’t do things” and laugh.
I never put up with shit from anyone and told a lot of people to “suck my dick”, which I found hilarious because I didn’t have one, it would make them pause, and normally they were so shocked I could walk away with the last word. I had guys throwing themselves at me. I kissed some of them and then never talked to them again. I was the smallest I’ve ever been physically and never worried about what I was going to wear because I didn’t care what other people thought about me. I was well known, well liked, and treated people who treated me well with a lot of patience, understanding, and love but had zero fucks for anyone outside of them.
Looking back, I’ve seen this time in my life as when I was the most fierce, strong, and genuine and I’ve wished to be back there many times. Now I can see it from a different perspective. That was the time in my life that I was most closed off, afraid, and terrified of the thoughts I had that were trying so hard to boil up to the surface.
I didn’t “do things” because I didn’t want to be judged and be known as the girl who failed at something. I didn’t cook for myself or eat nourishing food because I was completely detached from myself physically. I had no idea where my physical body began or ended. I had no idea what size I was or if I was ever in pain because none of the aspects of me were integrated. I didn’t tell anyone that the reason I didn’t leave the area I lived in was because I was afraid of being abandoned. I kissed boys and bolted because I was scared of how broken I was and I didn’t want them to see that. I didn’t want to make new friends or put myself out there because I was I thought that they wouldn’t like the real me – the girl who was abused, used, tortured, treated horribly, and had suppressed layers and layers of pain. I cared what people thought about me. I cared a lot. I cared too much.
Digging into these feelings has put me into an uncomfortable place for years on end. I’m constantly peeling back the layers that I put around me and having to dig deeper. Each time I think I’m at the end, more layers appear. I’ll be the first to admit that gets frustrating as hell at times. This work is exhausting and it forces me to deal with things that I’ve obviously shoved down for a reason. It makes me feel so very alone at times and even brings out survivor’s guilt about living through so many horrible things.
But, each layer I peel off gets me a little closer to my personal power centre and a more authentic life. Each time I open up about the things I’ve been through, I get messages, comments, texts, emails, and tweets that remind me that I’m not alone. Each time I write a blog post from a place of my own truth and healing, I feel a little lighter and more free.
As I spend time and energy healing the most painful parts of my past, I’m constantly reminded of how resilient I am and when new issues arise I’m able to move through it quickly because I’ve already been through hell and survived. No, that’s not an open invitation to the Universe to test me, it’s a new way of coping and dealing with things as I don’t want these layers to build back up again.
I get excited about trying new things now and have spent days and weeks saying “YES!” to anything that comes my way and am leaning into an entire month of saying YES! in August. Yesterday, I put on a bathing suit for the first time in years and went swimming in a waterfall with my daughters and new friends. Even with a cute guy around, I didn’t pause or cover myself up, I just swam, splashed, and moved around the rocks. I laughed, smiled, and felt so at ease while taking in the beauty all around me. I feel the layer of negative self-talk, body judgement, and poor body image is finally starting to shift. It’s a big one, but I’m up for the task. It’s time to take in these beautiful days and adventures without worrying what I look like in my clothes.
I’m still a work in progress and a beautiful mess but now I’m an open, honest, and authentic beautiful mess. And I’m a beautiful mess that does things. In fact, I like to do ALL THE THINGS!
Bravely Peeling Forward