It has been a year since I chose to change the direction of my life. It has felt like the longest of years and also the shortest. It is difficult to find the words to describe the Me back then and the Me I have become so bare with me while I gather my thoughts.
Change is hard. Change is terrifying. It is messy and loud and sad and it is angry. Change causes hurt. Hurt to oneself and hurt to others. Pain is an unavoidable part of having to stop and say, “I can’t do this anymore, it hurts too much”. Nobody involved in the pain gets out without scars. I wish this wasn’t the case but it is and I know that most of us carry some part of this with us for all of our days.
I never felt loveable. I can sit here and give you pages of why I think this is. I have spent countless hours sitting in therapy chairs and therapy groups and years of self-reflection and supervision and just when I think I have it figured out I will gain new insight or have a new experience that wipes away all I have believed about why it is I never felt worthy of someones love.
I carried this with me all of my life. Until I realised last weekend that it is gone.
I can pinpoint the exact moment last weekend when I knew I had chosen to set it free, this vice around my neck, around my heart. And to say I feel intrinsically changed, is an understatement of mammoth proportions.
I have always made my happiness someone else’s business. Imagine the pressure of that? Not on me, of course but on everyone who has ever loved me. And not just romantically either, in all of my experiences with people. If you were happy with me then I was happy with me. If you weren’t? Looking back over my 47 years, all of my chaos, all of my poor choices would come from the knowing that you were not OK, so I must not be either.
In every choice we make, sacrifices will be made. Sacrifices are a bi-product of facilitating any kind of change whether they be small and easy to get over or huge and utterly heartbreaking. Last year my sacrifice broke my heart and it broke someone else’s heart and that I will carry with me until my last breath.
Was it worth it, some would ask? Let’s be honest, the person doing all the asking on a daily basis is me, to me, in the quiet moments of my day. Like a song stuck on repeat with the volume down somewhere in the heart of me. And I am not sure if worth it is the right question because part of me will tell you “Yes”, and the other will tell you “No”. Do I wish I could have learned all I have this last year without the sacrifice? God, yes, more than you could ever know, but that was not the path I chose, to remain as I was. Last year I chose to go it alone, so I don’t get to wonder “What If”. I get to accept the now of things, and I have finally stopped fighting against my tide.
Acceptance of how things are and how they came to be is where I am now, and it is a wonderful place to be. Gone is this need I have to be fixed, or loved by someone to feel like I matter. This year I have had to put myself first, dry my own tears, fix my own heart, love my own self and the pay off is beginning to manifest itself in my life and in the lives of those who love me still.
My neediness is gone. My panic when someone is mad or disappointed at me has left because I no longer live in a space that demands your attention and it is changing the quality of my relationships right before my eyes.
I am taking chances on experiences that would have terrified me before and I am able to make the choice in a clear and emotionally stable manner whether I want to continue with them and that is everything to me. I am choosing for me now and not for you. If that makes sense to anyone other than me!
It’s has been a hell of a year. Most of it has been hard and dark and twisty and messy. I almost lost my way but in darkness I found a piece of me that I always knew was in there somewhere I was just never able to get to it because I was too busy trying to convince you to find it for me.
I guess this year I learned how to search for it myself and finally finding it? I am unable to put a price on that.