Life is a dance between the shadow and the light. Never one without the other, each with a part to play. The question is, who is taking the lead?
All my life I’ve been the mildly funny fat girl who laughs at herself and gets on with things. Comments like ‘I’ve got plenty of padding, so I’ll bounce’ or ‘at least I wont get a skinned nose’ just roll off the tong without a second thought. But guess what it’s all just my way of defending myself. I get the comments in first as I think it’ll deflect from what others are thinking. It has become so second nature to be self-deprecating that I’m hardly aware of what I’m saying.
The front that I have always presented to the world has been one of a someone who is strong, self-confident and loving of life. However, in recent months that front has started to slip and crumble.
So, I think it’s time that I introduce myself not only to you, but to myself as well…
Hi, my name is Sarah and from my late teens, early twenties I have had a constant, and relentless fight with anxiety and lack of self-worth. Now is the time for me to allow myself to be accept myself and grow.
I’ve not always been this way. Yes, I was always the biggest one in the room, but in my teens I really didn’t care. I had friends who showed it was ok to go out and have fun. If people liked me, amazing, if they didn’t that was their choice, they didn’t have to.
Then I met someone, and things started to change. Not straight away, but I started to lose myself. He became the focus of life. Our relationship, like most like it was great in the beginning. Then, over time he became controlling, I could go out, I was actively encouraged to work as many hours as possible, so he didn’t have to. I was told to ‘know my station’ and ‘accept I’ll never be anything’. My friends used to describe me as ‘bubbly’ he got it into my head that bubbly was a polite way of saying annoying. To my embarrassment and shame, I allowed this to happen. The result was I lost me.
There was never a single point when this happened it was a slow process, chipping away bit by bit, day by day.
It wasn’t all bad, there were good times. Especially in the early years.
Years passed; the relationship failed. A further relationship was worse, I encountered physical and mental abuse.
Fast forward, my life is in two parts. I finally found the loving, accepting relationship of my dreams my past still haunts me, effecting most aspects of not just my life but those closest to me.
The intention of this is to allow me to find myself again. To look back at the events which have shaped the way I think and process events and emotions.
Everyone is unique and navigates life in their own way. In today’s world, people are speaking more openly about Mental Health than ever before. Open, honest conversations must continue. Allowing others to realise they are not alone. People’s struggles are personal to them, influenced by the life they have lived and the people who share their lives. But strength and understanding can be gained from sharing with others who are travelling on the road to freedom.