Friday, August 31, 2012

Jumping in the Air

I knew I would learn things from having a dog, I had read about it.   I was walking her this morning after Hurricane Isaac slowly passed through our area.  Annie is a very skittish beagle.  She spends most of her time cowering from the cats, George (or most any man), loud noises, etc.   I thought about how much time this lovely little dog spent in fear.  I had an aha moment when I reached down to pick up the paper and she flinched at a noise.  I, like her, have lived so much of my life cowering, uncertain and crippled with fear.

It made me feel sad about Annie, and feel bittersweet for me.  I am coming out of it!  And it takes much diligent effort to work through these deeply ingrained feelings of inadequacy.   I am part of a wonderful private group on FB and there was a recent  discussion about fearing our feelings.  One person described it as a phobia.  I understand exactly what that meant.  When I had postpartum depression, I felt like I was losing control and life would never be the same.  After recovering from the depression to a "normal" state, PMS would then throw me into periods of massive uncertainty and questioning my thoughts.   I was so scared of them.  I think someone who had more self confidence would just be bitchy and move through it.  I was in agony thinking about why I felt that way and how I could get it to go away.

Also when I had a disagreement with someone, which rarely occurred because I would not speak up for myself, it devastated me, I didn't sleep and obsessed over the conversation.  I had learned never to speak up for myself even though really deep deep down I knew more.  Now I can see that it is just a difference of opinion and I can agree to disagree.   Someone else's opinion doesn't carry as much weight as it used to.  Codependency explains most of my behavior.  It took my therapist a year to tell me this information.  I guess that's how fragile I was.  I picked up the books and started going throughout their checklists, one symptom after the other, yes, yes, yes.  Okay, now I understood where I was, know how to move past it?

Food was my chosen numbing agent for these massively uncomfortable feelings.  And there is no quick fix to overcome this.  No diet can do the work to teach me how to love myself unconditionally.  That is my missing link and the work is hard but I am so passionate about overcoming this, it is a joy to embrace every aha and all of the pain and all of the peace.

Some of what I have learned is:
Learning acceptance of those around me for who they are,  not who I want them to be.
Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries for those people who I have thought could give me what I needed but are not able.
I needed to accept me for who I am and not what I thought others wanted me to be.  Being comfortable in my own skin and allow my authentic self to shine.
When I judge others it is just an extension of me judging myself.  And when I feel that from others - that is what they are doing to themselves as well.
Most every feeling I was numbing occurred much earlier in my life and circumstances would arise to take me back to that place in time and arrested development.
Feeling the feelings even if it feels like they will consume me, and allowing them to flow through.  It is an amazing process but takes much practice, practice, practice.
Realizing my thoughts (that ugly voice) are just thoughts and I can choose not to believe them and let them go as well.
I can give my own self the nurturing I lacked.
As I heal myself, I see God (higher power) and LOVE as the ultimate answer.  This is a huge difference from fearing God to seeing and feeling his LOVE.

All of the above have been so incredibly important to my journey.  I may be leaving something out but I'll come back to it another time.  It's time to go live life.

Just as I am learning to love all of me, and give myself unconditional love, I will continue to give it to Annie, the dog.  In the meantime, she does express massive joy when she greets us after we have been gone from the house.  She runs around so excitedly and jumps in the air in front of myself and the girls.  Her energy is palpable and you want to join in.

I feel that way too some days even without Annie. {big grin}


  1. This is really good, you described everything so well!

    1. Thanks for reading Carolyn and replying!! Still so many topics are coming in to my head, a part 2 is coming.