Yes, I have been through a lot, some by my own making and some not. It has taken me a lot of time to come to full terms with past events, acknowledge and face them- it took so much courage and strength I never knew I had, it took time and still does, and most of all it has taken me more than once; more than one fall, more than one "bounce back"- I have been up and down more times than I can count.
And it is okay.
It is okay to fall down, to hit the ground and get right back up.
It is okay to fall down, to hit the dirt and wait there for a minute, let yourself catch a breath.
And it is DAMN okay to crash. To hit the dirt so hard it takes more than dusting yourself off and catching your breath to get back at it- to realize that this time you need help you, someone to lend a hand or even carry you for a few steps.
Everyone handles different things in different ways. In my case, I tried to redeem things that have happened to me by making it my fault; by denying the true meaning and definition of certain situations so I won't have to face the shame that comes along with it. Guess what? It didn't work.
Brene' Brown talks about the difference between shame and guilt- shame focuses on self (I am stupid) verses guilt that focuses on behavior (I did something stupid). The reason I am putting this little part in here is because it took me a long time to realize I was living in shame; ashamed of my body, of being sexually assaulted, being bullied, ashamed of the way I handled all of the above and more, of how I treated others and myself, ashamed of who I was, who I am and who I want to be.
And, I'll give you that- this, is a hell lot of shame to live with. My coping mechanisms also known as "numbing behaviors" were eating and then an eating disorder, drinking, sex, riding, working, working out- basically surrounding myself with everything to fill in the void created by shame and at the same time covering it up. Don't get me wrong, some of the behaviors/ activities listed here are great, in measures, and not as numbing occupation.
In retrospective it is much easier to look back and ask myself "why?"- regarding every choice I have made, knowing how poorly it had helped me. With that said, we can't change the past, only how we choose to act and face challenges in the present or future without letting the past overshadow and rule us.
It is okay to ask "why?"
It is okay to say "I am ashamed"
It is okay to say I am hurting, I am in pain, I am struggling.
It is okay to say this is no longer enough, this behavior is no longer beneficial for me, this is not who I want to become.
There is no shame in saying- I need more, I can do more, I can be more. And yet believing that I am enough.
It is really hard to get to the understanding that you are enough just as you are and yet allowing yourself to strive for more, to be passionate.
Knowing that you are enough is not settling for average or giving up your dreams and goals, it is an understanding that keeps us in peace with the present, providing us with a strong base yet allowing us the confidence to better ourselves, chase our dreams and achieve goals.
The one thing no one has ever told me is that after such a long time of not being okay- of being ashamed and feeling guilty for so many things (some that I had no control over)- it is perfectly fine to be happy, to feel good to want more.
It is okay to be overcome it all.
It is okay to say "I have been through hell- and survived".
It is okay to let others know you are worth it, to let yourself know you are worth more.
And it is DAMN okay to know you have been down, you have made mistakes, and thanks to all of that you are better and stronger.
You have grown.
You are okay, more than that- you are AMAZING.