What happened the day I stopped trying to fix myself

Most of my life has been about figuring out how to fix the hot mess that I am.

Not gonna lie, it’s pretty exhausting.

Everything from trying to lose weight, trying to talk less, trying to be more proper, tying to swear less (fruitless), trying to be less ME and trying trying trying TRYING to figure out WHY IN THE HECK I CANNOT GET MY SHIT TOGETHER. 

Ugh.

Seriously, UGH!!

For the past few years I have been working with an amazing healer and that has felt very in sync with healing and growing, and not so much about fixing. I’m so very grateful for her and all the work we have done, are doing and will be doing. We’ve gotten through a lot of blocks and I’ve come to understand myself much MUCH more. She is amazing and if you’re interested you can find out more about her here.

But even through our work, I still felt broken, messy, icky.

A personal growth program had been on my radar for a few years and I had always wanted to do it. It felt as though THIS WAS GOING TO BE THE THING THAT SAVES ME. 

One year I attended an open house for the program. Another year I applied for a job to work with the program. I got the emails, was on the Facebook page and dreamed of the day I could go. Dreamed of the day this program would save me & fix me.

My biggest hurdle was being able to pay. This program is not cheap. I believe that so many of my issues around money held me back from so much. I thought that if I could get enough money together to attend this program so many of my issues, including the ones around money and ESPECIALLY the ones that made me such a hot mess, would be taken care of.

Fast forward to last spring. I was driving for Uber and making great extra money for our family. I thought ‘THIS IS THE YEAR!’ and went to the program’s open house. Still frustrated about the cost (it’s a great program and I believe the cost is worth it, it’s just a lot for us to take on), I lamented about signing up. Then I thought ‘I’m going to sign up and the Universe will see my commitment and everything will fall into place perfectly. THIS IS MY YEAR! I’m finally going to fix myself and rock out the rest of my life like I know I truly can!!’

Oh Universe, you are hilarious.

The first of the monthly payments came. With driving for Uber, I was helping with bills and making that extra money for us that makes life a little easier and more fun. That month, that money went to the program.

Stress about money was still there.

I soldiered on, having faith in the Universe.

I worked more so I could make more money.

I stressed more.

I was tired, cranky and I saw that my kids (and poor husband!!) could feel it.

Then came time to pay the second monthly installment.

I couldn’t do it.

Paying that would give us NO breathing room.

I didn’t know what to do.

How could I be better for my family if I couldn’t do this program?!?!

I was so stress and confused and frustrated and so so fucking sad.

I called them. We tried to work out a payment plan that would be fair to both of us. They were great and really tried to work with me. But at this point I just couldn’t fathom any more stress or any extra bills. I was pissed at myself for even signing up.

A voice inside me screamed ‘WHY WON’T THE UNIVERSE HELP ME?!?!?’

Ugh.

On the phone that day, I told them I would not be able to be in the program.

I was devastated.

My daughters and I had plans to go to the movies that afternoon and as I hung up the phone I didn’t know how I was going to be able to hide my sadness from them. They of course can see their Mama sad but this felt like more then should be shared with them.

I was doing some laundry in the basement before we headed out.

I collapsed in a heap in front of the washer and dryer. Sobbing, big giant (but as quiet as possible) heaving sobs came out of me.

How was I going to be able to live my life so broken, so much of a big giant hot mess?

How??

What was I going to ?

How was I going to figure it all out?

I had nothing left. This program was going to save me and now I couldn’t do it and had no other options. I truly felt there was nothing left I could do to help myself.

I pulled myself off the floor, kept my sunglasses off and we went to the movies.

I was exhausted and profoundly sad. When the movie started I pretty much passed out. About half way through there was a bit of an intense part and my then four year old stood up, woke me up and said, ‘Mommy, can I sit with you?’ She snuggled with me in my seat and stroked my face and said, ‘Mommy, I love you so much.’

I mention this moment because for the prior few months she had been very distant from me. Snuggles and loving words were rare from her and I tried to convince myself it was just a phase but it was very uncharacteristic of her. It was like that day, she felt my shift from stressed out mom to surrendered mom and felt able to connect with me for the first time in months.

So at that moment I knew I was going to be okay. I knew this was a good decision. I knew that my own stress and the subsequent stress that trickled out to my family was not worth any personal growth.

I mourned the loss of doing this program and the pot of gold at the end of the personal growth rainbow – a perfect, fixed me. Yes, I know that is not the point of personal growth, believe me, I know that!! But that’s what I’d convinced myself would happen. So I had to mourn and ideally, move forward.

So there I was, for the first time in my life, thinking ‘Wow, I have nothing left to work with. I’m stuck with me. There’s nothing left I can do. I’m not going to kill myself, that is no longer on my radar of options as it was for much of my life, so here I am.’

Not gonna lie, it was pretty liberating.

But a voice in my head said, ‘Now what? What are you going to do with yourself if you aren’t going to fix yourself?’

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

A big exhale.

That would be the first thing.

BREATHE!

And………..

LIVE YOUR LIFE ADRIENNE!!

I began to live my life sometime over this past summer with not one thought of ‘I have to fix myself.’

I was me. I am me and that is that.

I realized how apologetic I was of myself. It was like I walked through life like, ‘Hi, I’m Adrienne and I’m sorry.’

Ridiculous, just ridiculous!

I slept a lot.

My body, mind and soul needed rest.

I worked and did not stress.

I would figure it out.

It would all be okay.

In fact, it would all be WAY more than okay.

I now believe that the Universe DID take care of me. It wanted me to see that NO, in fact, I did NOT need to fix myself. And it was not, in fact, time to do that program (as great as it is).

Fuck, we’re all broken. But gorgeous and wonderful. The lives we’ve led and the things we’ve experienced and done make us all this complicated mess of wonder and beauty.

It’s all pretty awesome.

And someday I may do that personal growth program, it’s really quite an experience from what I was able to take part in. But if and when I do it, I will do it from a place that it will ENHANCE my life, not fix it.

Because I do not need fixing.

And neither do you.

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Love,

Adrienne

P.S. Want to know what happened next? It’s pretty cool and I will share that in my next blog post. Be sure to not miss it by signing up for my email list here and liking my Facebook page here. Thanks! xo

P.S. (again) If you enjoyed this blog post and think someone you know would enjoy it as well, please share using any of the links below, thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “What happened the day I stopped trying to fix myself”

  1. I kind of look at everyone as a walking battle between choosing life and love and choosing darkness. It is hard. Once someone told me “it’s hard because you think it’s hard.” but that is not something to digest in one day. Thanks for sharing your story. You’re so marvelous, it seems silly you’d spend one second thinking otherwise.

    1. Thank you so much Elizabeth for your comment. It is really a choice and I can’t tell you how nice it is to be choosing life & love WAY more often than choosing darkness. I’m so excited and grateful already for what’s next. Love you!! xo

  2. Thank you for sharing your story! It is so nice to read about the struggles and triumphs of others. This is a great blog post. I have been struggling with personal issues for 10 years and have found reaching out online to seek the advice of others has helped me through the good and bad time. I have always had relationship issues and have started to follow the advice of Dr. Robi Ludwig. I saw her on a tv show once and I really appreciated her take on current psychological issues. She has written two books but my favorite book is with Your Best Age is Now I have read it and loved it! I highly recommend it to anyone out there struggling.

  3. Thanks so much for your story, It was exactly what i was looking for today. I had an extremely critical father growing up. In my teens i started losing my hair and i took a drug that i believed ruined me. I did the only thing i knew how, trying to fix myself by reading, analysing, eating less, going to the gym, anything i can find. Id feel good and ‘in control’ for 1-3 weeks then id crash, pick myself up then try something else. Recently i started reading about self compassion and that helped, but i’ve still come from a place of trying to fix myself. The anxiety, sadness and stress i have put myself under has been almost unbearable. I’m a funny, intelligent man of 33 years old and i’ve not had a girlfriend for over 14 years.

    Anyway a week or so ago i just broke down. I went for a walk and the tears just started streaming. Nothings working, i just cant find the answer. Should i take my own life? I stood on the edge of a rocky outcropping overlooking the sea. Literally on the precipice. I surrendered to the realisation that nothing is ever going to fix me. I will never be perfect. So i started to think about everyone else i knew. Did i know any person who was perfect? no, not a single one. Why was i trying to be like that? I can see the faults in others and i still love them yet why cant i love myself for my faults. I gave up.

    And this week ive felt a little light shining through. I’ve been sad, I’ve been worried and felt unsafe and a little out of control yet I also a little freer. Just like your daughter noticed, ive noticed some people responding differently to me now that my cards are out on the table.

    I’ve suffered from terrible insomnia for months now averaging 5-6 hours of sleep a night. I just woke up this morning after sleeping 10 hours. I have that exact thought you have too – what do i do with myself now? I feel grief for all my time lost. I had a thought ‘you should be doing this’ and then i realised where it was coming from, a place of judgement and insufficiency so i let it go.

    I’m feeling teary right now writing this. May I be happy, may we all be happy and find peace.

    1. thank you for sharing your story. it is very powerful and i am proud of you for all you have done! remember to take your time and know old habits/patterns will rear their head from time to time. i’ve recently been stopping when i feel something (especially something uncomfortable) and really feeling it and letting it flow through me instead of distracting myself or trying to numb myself with whatever is around. FEELING is freeing! my best to you meatburger on your journey ~ adrienne

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