Sometimes I can’t give myself to you, and that’s okay.
Today I watched an incredible TEDtalks. Truth, I watched it over and over and over. It came out of nowhere, a friend shared it on her Facebook profile, and it hit me like a ton of truth-slinging bricks. What’s peculiar, I had already titled this piece before watching it. Many of Glennon Doyle Melton’s thoughts, in this particular TEDtalks, had already been dancing in my head. So I preface my piece with her video.
I’m fucking tired today; undeniably wasted from wearing the labels placed upon my weary shoulders, not only by society but also loved ones. Labels I too have been guilty of putting on my person.
I’m an addict, a thief. A survivor of rape, and molestation. I’m a Mom, sister and Auntie too. Sometimes a good friend, often a bad one. I’m a recovering bulimic, and lousy jogger. I’m brave yet terrified, a warrior and kitten. A storyteller, a truth teller, plus so much more.
I’m not just those; I am all of them and extra.
Hi, I am Darla.
I’m in recovery. What some may take from that statement, is I am in recovery for my addictions, or my disorders. No. I am in recovery from burying my pain. Recuperating from carrying the labels assigned to me. Recovering from hiding under various capes, as Glennon so eloquently put in her TEDtalks speech. ( Please take the time to watch it ). Learning daily, I don’t have to be the appropriate circle adjusting to fit myself into our culture’s square-shaped box.
What it means, I am working my ass off every day, striving to be my true self. I understand, my authentic self can be difficult for others to acknowledge, accept, or care to be around. I haven’t always been my true self; I wrapped that pained girl inside anything that would numb the sharpness it made me feel. Pretending to be happy, pretending to feel no pain.
Without compromising my recovery, I have found myself on an agonizing journey, one that isn’t easy for the faker. I’ve spent my entire life pretending I am okay, when truthfully, I was not. Making it extremely logical to me, the people who have known me throughout my life might not understand some choices I make now. But what needs to be learned, is these are no longer choices. It is how I will survive and remain in recovery.
Dealing with MY recovery, in my way, I find myself immersing into my controlled environment. My safe place. I end up taking time for me so I can be the healthiest version of myself. Especially when the stresses of life begin impatiently breaking down my learned coping skills. I’ve discovered through many months of addiction counseling what I need to do when I feel overwhelmed with life. It’s not a lot different than what anyone needs. Except it is what keeps me healthy, in recovery, and to be honest, out of the casino, not purging my food and most importantly, from hiding my pain.
I no longer hide my pain, I feel every fucking twisted gut-wrenching heartache, and I do it on my own terms. Sometimes in the silence of my mind, and the privacy of my thoughts. Other times I write my truths, or talk with a friend. But at no time should I have to explain why or how I choose to express them, because this is no one’s recovery but mine. I can no longer suppress my hurt, which is something many may never understand. But it is my pain to divulge when and how I choose. This is living my truth. Owning my story, and telling it with my whole heart.
Today I am a Human Being, a scared, frightened, itchy when complimented, angry when injured, insecure when parenting, happy when playing baseball, in love with people, hard to understand, messy human being. But I am the happiest, most content human being I have yet acknowledged in my forty-three years on this insanely strange planet.
So as I count my days in recovery, remember I am not only recovering from addiction or disorders. I’m recovering from fear, hurt and hiding from pain. I’m learning that I don’t have to carry the labels of shame, addict, thief, or warrior. For the first time in my life, I am providing myself with one label and it is simply, I am me, changing, evolving, and learning, me.