A monk with a smartphone

Yay! Something good!

Who doesn’t love something good? Good song, good talk, good sex, good day, good laugh…good shit is good. So when you find something good you’ve really, really wanted, you enjoy it and do what it takes to keep it, right?

Wrong.

Well, wrong if you’re like me and have no idea what to do with good things. Me with a good thing is what I imagine a Buddhist monk is like with a smart phone.

I DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS!!!!!

So here comes a challenge. It’s funny how the things we develop to protect us at certain points in our lives later can be the walls that keep us from everything we want. Defense mechanisms exist for a reason…usually early in life, something is happening around us that is too painful or traumatic or confusing to process, so our mind protects itself. The child who is trying to survive in a chaotic alcoholic home learns to detach and retreat into themselves. The teen who lacks a parental role model begins to emulate the gang members around him. The young girl whose parents are constantly battling one another and ignoring her existence overcompensates every aspect of her life trying to gain notice and acceptance. These things are meant as a way to protect us. Make us feel better. Comfort us. But they grow. They mutate. They turn into big, hungry, demanding beasts that push us into making choices we don’t realize we are making, or do realize and don’t want to, but find ourselves helpless. Suddenly, you realize that you are a puppet to your past and your strings are being yanked and pulled away from the things you so desperately want from life.

We all have things like this to a degree. Some of us are worse than others. Some of us see our flaws, and some don’t. Some of us want to change, some are content with the behaviors and their consequences.

I have never been shy about the things I’ve lived through or the ways I have to fight with myself to move forward. I probably tell everyone far too much, and I know that. But I say these things and share these experiences because I know that there are others out there quietly hurting. Silently wishing they could be different…be better. Wishing for the strength to beat their situation. To not follow their parents footsteps, or continue to fail at relationships, or be a doormat, or overcome their temper. Whatever it is. So I over-disclose for this simple reason: I cannot undo what has happened to me, nor can I stop the things I struggle with (not yet, anyway)…but I CAN control whether I take that and use it for something good. And to me something good is someone out there feeling a little better because they see themselves in some little part of something I say and find comfort in it. Or hope. Or strength. Or motivation to make a change.

Anyway…back to what I was saying. My defenses are pretty glaringly obvious and I have them for reasons anyone who knows me is aware of by now. I was the girl who overcompensated as a child and became a tiny adult and a fixer because her mother was emotionally unable to pay her any love or affection. I am the girl who does not trust people to do what they say they will do, because she was constantly let down. I am the girl with a HUGE fear of rejection and abandonment because the one person who was supposed to love her and be there no matter what, lost her battle and chose to end her life in what felt like the biggest rejection and abandonment of all time. I am the girl who put herself in the way of too many men who were manipulators and alcoholics and users and now constantly looks for warning signs and secret agendas and tricks.

I am also the girl who is fighting hard to have good things in her life…and they are actually beginning to happen.  So here is where things get tricky. Where is that middle ground? How do you trust in a process when the unknown has always caused you immense anxiety? How do you “let it be” when feeling out of control is one of your biggest barriers? How do you act like a normal person WHEN YOU ARE NOT A FUCKING NORMAL PERSON AT ALL?

As it stands, I have no idea. What I do know is that it is not productive to bring your old bullshit to the party. A also know that that’s FAR easier said than done. Again…these tools we’ve picked up, we did for a reason. But you don’t need use a hammer to paint a picture or use a screwdriver to straighten your hair. The time has come in my life when I have to believe that what I am doing is right, what I need will come, and whatever happens is what is supposed to happen. I cannot continue to use my old ways of thinking to try and get new results. I cannot let my old, tired insecurities and self-doubts continue to guide my course and expect to end up at a beautiful new destination. I know that I will only steal from myself if I allow my fears and anxieties to overtake the magic of new beginnings.

I am not afraid to tell you all that I am terrified of a lot of things. I am terrified of everything from spiders to having my heart broken. And sometimes I am terrified the old Jessie will shit on the good things that new Jessie has. But if I have learned one thing, I have learned that I am resilient. That even though more times than I care to think about, my internal monologue is pretty awful and unforgiving, I’ve succeeded. I’ve beat things I thought I couldn’t. I made a conscious decision to break my family’s cycle of addiction before it consumed myself…and also my son. And breaking free from active addiction is all about changing behaviors. Learning your triggers and taking their magic away. Replacing old bad habits with new healthy ones.

So there is nothing now that says I can’t fix what’s broken…except me.

We are constantly getting in our own way. Making problems where there were none, worrying about things we have zero control over, stressing about what’s already said and done. We forget that although we are powerless over many things in life, we ALWAYS possess the power and the ability and the strength to change our lives from the inside out. It really does start with you. If your past hurt you, that sucks. It really, really does….trust me, I get it a thousand percent. But YOU are the one who lets it continue to hurt you. YOU are the one who lets it come slithering into your life like some douchey guy at a bar. Tell that guy to fuck off. You don’t want him to buy you a drink or give you his number….It’s always the same shit with that guy.

Leave it behind. Enjoy your good shit.

143

Jessie

 

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