One day recently I found myself ready to re-enter the world, and now I'm working like a real live person and moving about without utter exhaustion. It's amazing. It's exciting. I'm doing what I was made for and doing it with joy.
Still, it's scary every day. It's not really about the interactions. It's about the hangovers afterwards. Shame hangovers. Sometimes it's just a generalized pain. Other times, it's a sharp pain in my gut, like right now.
I'll pick one thing from a workshop I led or an interaction I had and tear it apart -- actually, tear myself apart. I wonder if my actions or tone or words were too strong (even if they had the desired impact and things went smashingly well). I wonder if I hurt or angered others. I worry if I'll lose my job because I wasn't perfect enough or because I was inappropriate or because I said something that could set me up for attacks in the future that I won't be able to handle.
What's beautiful is that I'm awake now. I go through a daily debriefing with CC, my friend, every evening. I get calmed and soothed and reaffirmed.
I'm also learning to calm and soothe and reaffirm myself. I can process thoughts and interactions with much more courage now. I find myself perseverant. I don't crumble and retreat like before, even when I get tempted. And I have kind messages that I give to myself and encourage myself with. I've learned to defend and protect myself against the increasingly weak negative side of myself on the inside.
I remember my patterns and determine not to go backwards this time by escaping and instead deciding to stick out initiatives and see them through. I commit to limiting new initiatives and cleaning up old ones.
Little by little and sometimes leaps by leaps I am growing as I become more and more competent, courageous and confident.
I no longer see myself as pitiful and pathetic, but more as a struggler who faces challenge after challenge, watching them build on each other as my strength grows. I place much more emphasis in creating an effort than results and that makes all the difference.
I pray that I'm not oversimplifying here because that's not my experience. Things are messy I suppose and the same attacks are coming at me as before, but I am learning to ride them out. I'm learning to be direct in communication while striving to be compassionate and kind to both myself and others. I'm learning to listen better and face the terror of hearing correction. I'm learning that I'm capable of being corrected and responding with more openness and dignity.
After so many years of hell, I just want you to know that it's possible to begin to emerge. I feel like a chick pecking my way out of my shell. Yeah, that's what it feels like.
Are you starting to feel awake?
What small things help you through the day?