I’ve signed up for another six months with my mentor, and one of my first tasks is to set goals for our next six month block of sessions, but I’m finding it as difficult as I did the first time round! It’s as if I get writers block, and all the confidence I gained has just disappeared in a puff of smoke. Frustrating doesn’t even begin to describe it.
I know that I have the habit of self-sabotaging, and questioning things when they are going well and I am feeling happy. It’s too good to be true, it can’t be real, something has to happen to stop this lucky streak I am having. Having said that, I have also come to realise that this is in fact what it says on the tin – a bad habit, and one I no longer wish to keep.
Two weeks ago I was feeling connected to myself after overcoming a big obstacle with my manager, I had told her how I felt and she heard me, it felt very affirming. Last week I had a break from my therapy sessions and I felt myself reverting back to old ways of thinking; diminishing myself and allowing my opinion of others to become that of superiority.
All of a sudden, I was no longer the strong, courageous, kind and honest girl that I had been, I had turned into a whiney, shameful, annoying and worthless human being. It happened so subtly, so covertly, that I just didn’t even notice it until I went back to see my therapist this week and I realised how much my opinion of myself had changed.
I had closed off from him, told myself that feelings were bad, needs were bad, vulnerability is bad. I was acutely aware that this was happening to me, but I just couldn’t connect with my true self, and therefore I stood no chance of connecting with him. I don’t know if the separation had had any effect on him, but it had a profound effect on me – something that he wants us to concentrate on over the coming weeks and the feelings that have arisen.
I’m half in and half out of my old habits; I am following and observing my old, familiar pattern (or behaviour memory as my therapist called it) but I am also not allowing myself to get caught up in it completely. I feel as if I am in the eye of the hurricane, the chaos of all my insecurities, fears, pain and self-hate flying around me, but my therapist is standing outside of it, trying to grab hold of my hand to help me find my way out. All is not completely lost as it used to be.
I said to him that throughout the week in between our sessions, I found myself struggling with the concept of being a ‘work in progress’. Before we had parted, I realised how unable I am to speak my mind without fear of a backlash, in the form of rejection, abandonment or criticism, and not only did I realise that but I also knew that there was nothing I could do about it during the week without my therapist. It sat so uncomfortably with me, to be so aware that there is something that I need to work on, that I’m not ‘good enough’.
I can see how all this links back into itself, as if the very fact that I am in therapy dictates my worth, and reminds me that I am damaged and not as good as everyone else. When in truth the very fact that I am in therapy means I am self-aware and humble enough to admit that I have problems and things I need to work on, and that really everyone is in the same boat – being in therapy perhaps even gives me an advantage!
Of course I don’t see it like that, and I carried this around with me all of last week, gradually letting the true me disappear as she has for most of my life. She was replaced with the subservient, submissive and people-pleasing girl that I am so used to dealing with, the one who hangs her head in shame, apologises for existing and can’t look anyone in the eye. The one I am trying to help and stop from running my life.
I try not to hate her, because I know that is not helpful, but it really is hard not to hate her. She comes back and takes over whenever there is any seed of doubt about the true me, and I am sick of seeing her. It’s as if there are two of me; the me who acts in reality, and the critical me who stands back and watches in bemusement at this girl clutching at straws.
I don’t want to be either of those people, I want to be authentic me, the me who can understand both of those personas and feel compassion and understanding towards them. After all, they served me growing up and got me this far, but the time for them to run my life is now over, so I need to gently say goodbye and move forward.
It’s great rationalising and writing this all down, but doing it is a whole other ball game, and so all I can do is keep going, keep observing and trust in the future. On this note, my mentor has asked me to connect with my authentic self, and dream of what I want my life to be like in five years time with an open heart and mind. It feels really hard, but I know that in order to change my life, my habits and patterns, I need to change my perspective, and walk my talk.
She told me to write this post, and set a reminder to myself to come back and read it in exactly 5 years time, and so I will set a reminder for 7 April 2021, and do just that. I have actually started imagining my life in the future, and getting a taste of what I want it to be filled with, and so I am going to give this a go, face my fears and dream.
First of all, I want to desperately feel able to be myself, be honest, stand by my beliefs and no longer be afraid of the reactions from others. I know that having this will be key to my happiness, and I believe that whatever is in my future is dependent upon this change within me.
Next, I want to share my story, my pain, growth and transformation with others, so that I can help those in my situation, or similar. I know that so many people have suffered at the hands of struggling caregivers, and their self-esteem has not only taken a bashing, but it’s pretty much been completely destroyed through years of emotional conditioning.
So many of my friends, family and people I meet along the way suffer so badly as a result; they search for a solution to this huge void in their life, through their job, partners, holidays, money, property, accessories, alcohol, drugs, sex and just about anything else you can think of that helps to ease the pain.
It’s not that they or their lives are a failure in need of my expertise, but it is more that I can sense this deep pain that they feel, and I connect with it on such a deep level that all I want to do is help. It’s in my blood, it’s in my heart, my mind, body and soul, it is in my very being and my reason for existence – to ease their pain, or at least show them the door that they need to go through to do so.
A friend of mine told me recently that my blog posts have become her bedtime reading, and it was the best feeling in the world. I felt so touched, and so privileged to know that something I have written could connect with her in such a way. It may not give me money, fame or a lavish lifestyle, but it gives me pure joy and sets my soul on fire. It sounds so cliche, ‘I just want to help people’, but it’s true, and really, I’ve known it all along.
Now that I know that this is my passion, I have to somehow translate this into how I envision my life to be in five years time, on this day, in 2021. I will be 37, and no idea where in the world I might end up, so it really is quite difficult to envision, but here goes…
I imagine myself travelling a lot, with a base in London, but also a base in Australia or New Zealand. I imagine my friends and I speaking over Skype regularly as we do now, and me supporting them along their journeys with the things that I have learnt. I will be speaking at seminars about my life and my journey, promoting my belief system, way of thinking and path to healing these crippling pains of insecurity and low self-esteem.
I imagine my blog having grown in popularity, gaining a following and forming the basis for my business and potentially my personal brand. I imagine it having turned into a book, combining my knowledge of finance with personal growth, and amalgamating all of the things that I have learnt from other health and life coaches over the years.
All the posts I have written will be collected to form a real life journey through my breakdown, battling anxiety and depression, starting and going through therapy, mental health courses, my dependence on alcohol and sex, and overcoming all of these obstacles to live life authentically and in the here and now.
I will show people that all of the material and cosmetic changes will never give them the true happiness that they desire, I will be living proof that you can start from the roots and work up, and the rest will follow. I know that it might be foolhardy to rack up £10,000 in credit card debt in order to go travelling, but I am putting my faith in the divine (and by divine I mean the balance of life) and trusting that this path is the right one for me.
For so many years I ignored my gut instinct and intuition, and followed the crowd, did what I thought I should do, and it has brought me only temporary and shallow happiness. Since deciding to temp, travel and live a nomadic lifestyle, I have never been happier because I am taking the risk to trust my gut, the future and the universe.
Having realised this, I want to have the freedom to work in different countries; blogging, writing, accounting, practicing yoga and skiing, spending time all over the world and nurturing my core relationships whilst creating new ones. I want variety in my life, in work, relationships and location, in order to both nurture myself and my own growth, and to then share it along the way.
My journey and sharing it is my life’s goal, to spread truth, honesty and love. There is no better way to tell people your truth than to show them through your actions; walk your talk. I want to let anyone out there know, who thinks that it can never get any better, that it truly can, and that if I can do it, then absolutely anyone can.
I would also love to find a partner who I can connect with like I am able to connect with myself, someone on my wavelength, who loves to travel, enjoy life the way that I do, and wants to go on this journey with me. More than this, I want to not need this partner, but only want him in my life because he simply makes it even better than it already is.
Until five years time.