For years I’ve known there is a multi-story car-park load of stuff I need to talk about. I’ve known I needed to ‘break’ and crumble. I have known I need to let it all spill out, onto the floor and let it then be gently cleaned up by me, and the helping hands of others. This I have known and frequently been told. But I have also stuffed this known need, out of complete mind-numbing fear at even the thought of it. And also the idea that actually maybe I wouldn’t have to. I kinda thought I was superhuman in that way. I think back to that belief with fondness and compassion, as it was only about 3-6 months ago that it was still in play. I genuinely was trying to not do this. The ever-optimistic and confident side of me just didn’t think I would have to, believing I am/was different to everyone else in the world who has ever had to do this. And trust me, I think we all do at some point in our lives. My time just happens to be when I am twenty-freakin-five.
Gradually sharing the dark details of my story last year with close friends, before it all went tits up – the little bits of it I felt able to – was like coming out. Starting an anonymous blog (this blog) last summer, and telling the world my story, was like coming out. Then making it not-so-anonymous by beginning to share it with a few close friends was like coming out a little bit more. Seeing them ‘subscribe’ to the posts, began to make me realise I was stepping out of this comfort box a little bit more. This shit was real. And then, sharing this blog on FACEBOOK and telling all those I knew in the world, was like coming out with nothing more to hide. I couldn’t come out anymore – I was out. I am out.
And shit was it scary. And it still is. But it is/was also one of the most empowering things I have ever done. Perhaps The Most. Because by coming out to the world, I also came out to myself. It was one of the most ultimate acts of self-love I have ever done too – knowing it is time to safely show the Whole Of Me to myself, as well as the world. I was loving myself by knowing nothing needs to be secret anymore. All these lots of little bits of my being, and life – emotional needs and feelings and experiences – that I haven’t been able to look at, meet, or ever express, have hung about and festered deeply inside. (May I introduce Chronic Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, here.). Coming out has brought the dangerous spiral of self-destruct that ran rampant for so many years – approximately since the age of ten – to an end. This is huge. For me, who was raised by The Most Self Destructive Woman On Earth, to no longer be living in my world of self-destruct – the only coping mechanism I knew – is my biggest achievement ever. I feel like I’ve won the Gold in everything at the Olympics.
There is so much more I could say on this topic, including the amount of gratitude I have for my friends, the importance of connection with yourself and the world, self love, and so on. But for now, I just want to leave it on that note above because I find myself frequently getting lost in the moment or predicting the future, that I forget how amazingly different I am to a time that really wasn’t that long ago at all.
It is so so easy to put all this pressure on ourselves, to be oh-so critical about where we are now, and how much better we ‘should’ be doing things, that we forget how fucking far we have come.