Recently my friend asked me if I ever look at how far I have come. Yes, I answered. It was a bit too quickly. The question was really one of, do I realize how far I have come? Do I realize how much work I have done? The answer to that is not really.
I have never been one to pat myself on the back. Or to look back and see far I have come. I am not sure why that is exactly. No, that isn’t true. I do. At least I have a general understanding of maybe the reasons why I don’t do that.
Mainly because I don’t see it, I don’t see that I have done a good job, I don’t see the progress I have made. I mean, I do, but I don’t. Sheesh. Writing about this is going to be more challenging than I thought. Go figure, right? It is hard in part because there isn’t one reason. There are several, and they are intertwined. It isn’t an easy question to answer or to figure out why.
Why does it matter? This reflection and providing myself a moment to say, ‘yeah, you did all of that! Good for you!’ It is in part so that I take those moments. Celebrate the wins, if you will. It is crucial, and I get that. It doesn’t make it easy.
It is much like why we should study history. When we can look at where we have been, we can adjust going forward to avoid repeating the same mistakes. And when we do something different than what we have done, we should celebrate that decision.
Because changing course is hard. Doing something that you have never done before is really hard. Not knowing what will happen is extremely hard.
Reflect and Change
Why would I do all of that? So that I can change. What I was doing before wasn’t working. Sure, it might have looked that way on the outside, but inside I was destroying myself.
Reflection provides me a moment to breathe. Because if I don’t make myself stop, my brain will keep on that hamster wheel until I am so emotionally exhausted, I can’t function. Without those breaks, I can’t return to the proverbial ring and continue the work I know I need to do.
Reflection also forces me to realize that I deserve credit for what I have done. Yes, my hubs initiated the change by telling me that I needed professional help. It was my choice, initiative, and desire to be me again. Those moments were when I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize who I had become. That got me off my ass and into therapy and on medication.
I am not sure what made me see through the darkness to know that I should and could hear my hub’s words. I felt relief at the moment when my hubs told me he was worried about me. My shoulders sagged in happy defeat. Finally! Someone noticed how far into the darkness I had gone. YAY!!!
I had pushed my truth away for so long that I didn’t think it affected me. Believe me; it was affecting me. That truth was festering within me until I could no longer contain it. Hence the alcoholism path. And the continued denial of MY truth.
That truth had to come out. I had to bring it out into the light and look. Really look at it, and understand that it is my truth. Accepting what happened to me is an essential step for me. Realizing that the abuse I endured was horrible is my truth. I have a hard time writing that even now.
Someone can tell you all day that things need to change and that you need help. But unless you get the support and actively engage in that process, there is no change.
I have reflected upon my past and my present. If reflecting on the future is a thing, you better believe I have done, am doing, and will do that too. I watched myself repeatedly wish, want, push for change. But change never happened. I was not invested in changing.
I couldn’t do the hard work because I wasn’t in the right place of mind to make any of those changes.
If I had not finally been in the right place of mind, well, a lot that has happened over the last three years would not have happened. There is no me sitting here, writing this and thinking about what drawings I will draw to go along with this writing.
None of what I write about would have been possible without me (with my support network) working hard to get to where I am today.