Saturday, September 4, 2010

Learning to Breathe Again

I have learned to breathe again. I have learned to laugh. Let the small things slide off my shoulder. Let myself be free and most of all accept and like the person I see in the mirror each day. It didn't used to be that way. I had so much hate, not only toward others but I had the most destructive hate. The one anger directed to myself.
What was I angry about?
I took me awhile to figure it out but I recognized that most of the anger was letting others dictate my life. Not only friends and family but also strangers. I walked out the door wondering what they thought about me. Did I walk funny? Was I ugly? Was I fat? Was I skinny? Was I worthy? It got to the point where I was so anxious of being in a crowded place with strangers as it felt like they were all judging me. Almost like a case of undiagnosed schizophrenia.
I remember in high school that even the simple act of crossing a red light used to make my heart beat like crazy as I walked past the stopped cars. I wondered what the people behind the wheel or their passengers thought of me. I would sweat and just couldn't wait to cross the light to get away from their judgment. Even in my twenties and thirties standing in long lines were the worst especially if if it was a retail store or a grocery store. Everyone else would look so cool and calm and here I was sweating bullet, anxious. It was like I stole something. It just felt like they all had a target on my back.
Looking back and getting to a place where I addressed the issue I recognized that it all went back to my childhood. I think most of our negative experiences in life there's always some connection on how we were treated or experienced as a child.
For me it was the child abuse I experienced. Something I never shared with anyone and didn't even tell myself not until I was in my late twenties. The walls I had placed before me to block it out, slowly started to develop cracks until finally it came crashing down and all the memories flooded back. Most of my young life I had blocked it out as if it had never happened. But it did happen, for two years by a relative who would babysit us as kids.
I never connected the fact that I was experiencing post traumatic experience and the way it showed for me was to seek acceptance from everyone I crossed paths with.
I have to say after numerous therapist and psychologists and anti-depressants and anxiety medicine, I finally told myself five simple words that changed my life.
You didn't do anything wrong!!
Looking back I realize that I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't ask for the treatment and as unfortunate as it was, for me to grow I had to let it go. I think sometimes we don't want to let something like that go because we're scared of the empty space it will leave. But that empty space is reclaimed by you. It's yours to choose how you want your life to be. You can choose to fill it wih whatever you want. I chose to fill it with laughter and freedom. I also chose to fill it with forgiveness for the person who took those years away from me.
I was no longer empty. I no longer lived my life by the judgment of other and I have to tell you living your life free is so rewarding.
Since the song came out, "Living my Life Like it's Golden"came out, people adopted it as their mantra. But if you're holding on to hurt, anger, the thought someone will take advantage of you, you're not living a golden life.
Let go.
Start living the life you want to live.