This week is my birthday week and this year I am giving myself a very special and much-deserved gift.
Love is something I’ve handed out freely to everyone else, even people who didn’t deserve it but love is also something I’ve never been able to give myself.
I never saw myself as a person. Does that sound weird? I never thought I had to do things for myself, somehow I always assumed it was up to someone else to do things for me. I guess this comes from me always doing things for everyone else. I expected the same to happen in return. But it rarely does. Mostly because my choices in people are often poor because I lack self-love.
I didn’t think I was worthy of anything. I didn’t have anything that was just for me because I didn’t think I deserved it. I was happier doing things for other people than for myself. But that left me in a situation where everything I had that I thought was providing me happiness was controlled by other people.
Then in the space of 6 months, I lost it all:
- My family unit
- My Home
- My job
Some of those things I lost by choice, but it still left me vulnerable and to somehow find a path to figure out why this happened and who I actually am without these things.
And this is where I’ve struggled. Because I didn’t love myself enough.
During a counselling session, my counsellor asked me – how would I feel if someone came up to me and spoke to me the way I speak to myself. Would I be upset/happy???
Honestly, if someone spoke to me the way I speak to myself I would consider it verbal abuse.
I needed to make a conscious effort to change. It’s started with whenever I catch myself saying something negative in my head, I stop and focus on at least one positive I feel at that moment. It’s helping. I’m finding I have to stop myself less.
I have finally learned it’s not selfish for me to focus on me. It’s essential. It actually makes me a happier person with much less anxiety. I’ve learned what I have control over, and I only focus on those things.
So many times in life I’ve had to fight and claw my way out of dark places. Not just divorce. There always seemed to be something that pushed me to the point of almost drowning.
When I think about my life, many of those situations could have been avoided if I loved myself enough to put boundaries in place with others. At first, this made me angry – with myself and with those people who have taken advantage of me.
Things need to change.
So, what am I doing?
I’m taking care of my mind with regular counselling and medications – I have no shame in admitting it. It’s a fact of life and taking care of your mental health is no different from taking care of your body at the gym.
I allow myself to sit with sadness, I know that life is not going to be happy all the time, and sometimes we all have days where the world feels like it’s falling in around us. Sit with that, do whatever you can to survive the day. Trying to deny those feelings just makes it worse.
I am no longer blaming myself for what other people do or what other people have going on in their lives. Centring on me and knowing I am the only person who can and should control my life. Sure, I still sit and listen to friends, but I don’t take on their problems as my own. I was worried that letting go of this trait might make me hard or not a very good friend. But it hasn’t, it’s enhancing my friendships as I’m able to help my friends and not drown with them.
I fuel my body with healthy, nutritious food and drinks. I did a 10-day detox to reset my body and eating habits. I work on an 80/20 diet – 80% nutritious natural foods, 20% junk per week. Sometimes the 20% falls in one day, occasionally I don’t use the 20% at all, it’s all about balance.
I am building a life for myself that I want and that I am proud of and I am very careful who is in my circle.
I don’t want anything coming into my life and taking my focus off me and what I am working towards. I only want people in my life who enhance my journey.
Sometimes you don’t realise the weight of what you’ve been carrying until you let it go. There’s a line in one of my favourite songs:
Tryna push this problem up the hillLet it Go – James Bay
When it’s just too heavy to hold
Think now is the time to let it slide
Focusing on yourself forces you to let go of the dead weight. Things you may not have even realised you were carrying or that were weighing you down. As I started letting go, I felt it’s release – physically and mentally.
I have walls up, and I’ve always thought this was a bad thing. Now I see that this is good. You need to have walls up. Not everyone deserves to access what is behind those walls.
There came the point in life where I was just sick of feeling low, sick of fighting, sick of climbing out of dark spaces. I realised that you don’t have to fight for things that are meant to be in your life. They stay. It’s the things that struggle so desperately to get away that you need to let go because they don’t belong.
I have so many good, positive and beautiful things in my life. By putting myself first it’s weeded out people and situations, and suddenly I see all the good, it’s always been there, but it was just hidden behind things I put a priority on and which never deserved my time.
I can honestly say that at this point in my journey of life I have never been more positive about life or the future. Part of me still expects the wheels to fall off and having something catastrophic happen which is going to drown me again.
Then there’s also a part of me that thinks – maybe this is it, you’re on the right path of life now, and the worst is behind you. All that shitty stuff happened so you could grow strength and independence.
So you could learn to love yourself.
And now you’ve done that you’re on the right path. You’re never going to feel that low again, you won’t have to fight your way out of anything again.
This is it – life.
Embrace it, my dear.
Happy birthday me, make sure you take a moment to relax and soak it all in.
PS: A new chapter for That Noise Is Mine is coming. Stay tuned x
Kirsty is the founder of That Noise Is Mine.
An established blogger, writer and business owner raising 4 children independently. Kirsty is determined to succeed in this new life forced upon her.