You keep a lot to yourself because it's difficult to find people who understand.
I have been going through a lot of emotions lately. Which has lead me to believe that, although I am incredibly sad, I am healing.
Life just doesn't happen to me. More often than not I get the shit end of the stick because its a consequence of a choice I made. I own my actions, and I do know better. I am currently faced with a world of hardship. Stuff I have put off for too long has finally come to haunt me. And just as the cards are normally dealt.... everything is hitting all at once. On top of that I am trying to juggle emotional stress and healing from some past issues and lingering PTSD. Put it in a big ol' pot and you have one fucked up stew that is my mind. There are some days I want to blame the world for what is happening to me. "Why me!?". There are some days where I feel like a failure and there is no getting out of the hole I have dug; so I might as well give up. There are other days were I am hopeless, lost, and heart broken searching for guidance on how to fix what I have broken.
Right now, I feel like I'm stuck in the hopeless, lost and heart broken. I need to fix things. I need to come up with a plan. A plan that is going to need to include a lot of struggle and hard choices. Honestly, I really need a shoulder to cry on, arms to wrap around me to tell me it will be ok, and someone to tell me what I can do to fix it. Really, I need my mom. She was that person for me. She would always be able to tell when I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She always knew when I REALLY needed a hug. Unfortunately, I have had to set healthy boundaries and make the choice not to have my mother a part of my life. I'm starting to regret that choice out of pure selfishness. Because right now, that little bit of good she did for me is what I really need. The reality is though, it doesnt change anything and it doesn't mean I can allow a toxic relationship back into my life just because I am at a low. Just because I had to make this choice doesnt make her any less my mother, or make it not hurt.
I have to learn something new... I have to learn to deal with it on my own. I have to figure it out, and find places of support that almost feel like some of those pieces of her are still around. Digging up the strength I know I have in me, and my driven mind set isn't easy. That woman allowed herself to be buried under her anxiety and depression. Resurrecting that woman I once was has been incredibly difficult.
Brittany, you have always been fearful of the unknown. Hesitant of taking a leap because of the possible outcome. But you never let that fear get in the way of jumping. Did you have anxiety, and doubts? Absolutely! The inner voice cheering you on was always louder than those fears. Somehow... no matter what you faced, you over came what you were going through. Not only did you achieve your goals but there was always added rewards.
You were working at the daycare full time and took on a 2nd job at subway to afford the new used car you just bought. Your first big girl car payment. 2 months after working at subway, you decided to quit your job at the daycare and go back to school. Shortly after quitting the daycare, you were faced with a choice as you were offered a management position at subway. YOU. After 3 months of working there. You decided to take the opportunity as the opportunities and benefits that came with it seems so great at the time. After 6 months of working for Subway, and 3 months of managing you were offered a position at another store. One that was on the verge of being shut down due to failed inspections. You took that store and you turned it around. Made it into what it could be. You continued to bust your ass, working 60-80 hours a week, and were offered a position as a general manager after a little over a year of working there. In the short time there you had advanced and accomplished so much. You had so much potential. Although the position felt like a great accomplishment, it didn't offer you the money you were looking for and you continued to work too many hours. You were tired. You needed to find your way out. Somehow, an opportunity opened up for a position to be an office manager for an internal medicine doctors office. So you quit subway and went there, never having experience in that field before. You NAILED it. You learned how to do just about everything. Run the office clinical and clerical, since it was just you and the doctors. However, this job didnt pay enough money and you were evicted from your apartment. So you decided, to get back on your feet you would go BACK to subway. It was easy because the shifts were opposite. Then all of a sudden you found yourself working two full time jobs to try and get back ahead. 9am-5pm doctors office, get to where you were staying and hopefully fall asleep by 6. Wake up and work subway from 10pm-6am. Go back to where you were staying, take a two hour nap, quick shower, throw on scrubs and then back to the office. You were tired and needed a different opportunity. Something with benefits. So you decided to quit the doctors office; with no other job lined up. You knew you needed to find something more. Luck behold, the person you were training to take your place told you about a place she came from called "Five Brothers". When she spoke about the job, the money and the benefits you decided "why not" and applied. You got the job!!! Now you have your very own big girl health insurance you are paying for, you are making good money, and it seems there is potential within the company. During the call you were told you are working in the Grass department, but you heard graph. That would just be silly if they had a grass department. Nope, they were right. Your training was a learn as you go kind of deal, but you nailed it. In fact, you did so well that after the grass season ended they asked you to be the official "trainer" and write a new manual. You did it.. less than a year into the job and you were prompted. The following year after the beginning of the grass season, and after the group was trained, you decided it was time to seek out other opportunities within the company. There was a conflict of interest with some superiors and it was ideal if you removed yourself from the position. From there you were transferred to another department. The position was deemed the hardest in the company. Only the best of the best could do it and you were so excited to learn something new. You learned it. During the process a wonderful opportunity to be the trainers assistant presented itself and I snatched it up! This eventually lead me into becoming a trainer myself; as it was decided more than one was needed. I helped with training material and also assisted in making the system the company uses more user friendly, for faster processing. Unfortunately, due to where the economy is at right now, there were no more people to train. So, for the first time ever you had to do the job you were training others to do. You NAILED it. You have accomplished so much life wise and career wise over the last 13 years. (BTW can you put this stuff on a resume because DAMN)
I need this. Here. To read over and over again. To remind myself what I have faced before. Where I was and where I am now. Although I am facing yet another hard phase in my life, I need to remember my strength and tenacity. I've got this. Think, collect my thoughts and make a plan.
At 30 years of age, I never thought this is what my life would be. I would be lying too if I said I wasn't disappointed. It's hard to go from seeing a certain type of future for yourself, to re-imagining in real time. The life I live right now is by no means not good, it's just not what I thought it would be.
When I was younger I had an optimistic outlook on life and what my future had in store. I thought by the time I was 30 I would be in a different place in my life. Now... not necessarily better, but definitely different. I thought I would have been married by now, or at least engaged. In my mind it always played out that I would get married after having kids and doing things backwards. The guy I would be married too would know my past and be compassionate and understanding of it. He would be my partner, and make sure every day I knew I didn't have to live life alone. It was always somewhere in my mind that the person I was with would be just as imperfect as I was. But, with us being together we would love and support each other at being the best versions of ourselves. I wanted to grow with the person I spent the rest of my life with. There would have to be lots of laughter too. So much that my stomach would hurt and even when I wanted to cry all I would do is smile.
I would have been a young mom starting off having kids in my early 20s and they all be fairly close in age. So by the time 30 hit I would at least have them all potty trained. my kids would have his stubbornness and carefree attitude. The would have my heart and creativity. They would be raised to love animals and nature, and to enjoy the simple things in life.
I would have my own house in a quiet neighborhood. My house would be 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms with a porch, and a big back yard. There would be so many windows in the house that I would complain about having to cleaning them. Everything would be soft and inviting. When people would come over it would feel like home, and people would be over all the time. We would host BBQs and dinner parties. Friends would bring their kids over to play with our kids. There would be holidays at the house were I would be stressed out for agreeing to host and sweat from cooking. But at the end of the day feel really grateful that I have an amazing family. I had even pictured my siblings and parents being in this picture.
Although I am a hard worker, I never imagined myself as a "career" woman. My life would matter more than my job. And I would make just enough money where we would maintain a simple life style; along with my husband. We'd all raise a puppy when the kids were old enough to help out. This would be the 3rd dog as we had two from before we had kids. There would be meals every night at the dinner table, and my kids would brag to their friends how good of a cook their mom is. Again, laughter. So much in the house. There would be bad dancing and singing. Movie nights until the kids couldn't stand the idea of hanging out with their parents any more. No matter what thought I would be a place to go for advice, laughter, guidance, and probably money. Home is where the heart is and that would be me.
I thought my focus at this point in my life would be to build a family and a simple life that I always wanted. Honestly, because none of this has happen yet, I dont see it happening for me at all. Now, this is not to say it isnt going to happen. However, this means that it cannot be my plans anymore. I don't have the family I did before because of healthy boundaries I needed to set. I don't see anyone wanting to marry me because I am a little fucked up in the head and hard to love. I spend more time alone, than I do with people. And now... my job is my life because I don't have anything else to focus on. So, where do I go from here? Do I create career goals and work on those? Plan to travel, to see the world? Collect more cats and maybe more dogs? The fact that I am so lonely and I dont know where to begin this new re-imagined point of my life, makes me want to cry.
No matter what this life has in store for me... I will make sure its lived with a lot of love, laughter and the appreciation for the simple things in life.
I'm 8 years old. I'm cleaning my room and playing while I do it. It's taking me too long is what she says. She comes bursting in angry. I don't know why she is so angry, I'm cleaning like she asked and I'm leaving her alone. She rips everything down from my closet and throws it around. Takes out my dresser drawers and dumps them on the ground. Everything is happening so quickly, and so loud. I'm begging her to stop... and I'm sorry for taking so long. I start to cry. She is mad that I'm crying because I brought this on myself. She gets really close to me and I flinch as she grabs my shoulder and shakes me. She says to me through clenched teeth, " Do I need to give you a reason to cry!?". This scares me, and I say no but start to cry harder. She continues to trash the bedroom and saying that she is going to throw all my stuff away so this can't happen again. I'm still crying, I just want her to stop. She is REALLY angry now since I won't stop crying. She grabs me by my ponytail, yanks me and throws me down on my bed. I hurry and crawl into the fetal position because I know what is going to happen. She hits me and keeps hitting me. She doesn't stop hitting me until her boyfriend at the time tells her that is enough. She then leaves the room and I lay there trying to stop myself from crying. I need to get up and hurry to get this room cleaned before she gets mad again.
I'm 10 years old and its summer time. I'm grounded for some reason again, although I can quite remember why. I'm bored and its too quite in the house. All I am doing is starring at my very white walls thinking. Thinking it would be okay to ask my mom if I could go out and play. Not to sit in the house. She is always telling me that I'm not active enough. I decided to be daring.. I went downstairs to my mom's room and asked. The thing I did wrong, then thing I miscalculated would be her reaction. I could never seem to get that right. I woke her up from her nap to ask... that was a HUGE mistake. She told me no, and then I went back up to my room. 5 minutes later I could hear the foot stepped pounding down the hall. She came bursting into my room screaming. "HOW DARE YOU WAKE ME UP TO ASK ME TO GO OUTSIDE WHEN YOU KNOW YOU'RE FUCKING GROUNDED!!!". I backed up on to my bed bracing myself for what was going to come next. She had a spatula in her hand and while she was screaming she raised it to hit me. I quickly got in the fetal position; trying to bring my legs and arms as close to my body as possible while protecting my head. Anticipating the impact. She struck me several times, all while I begged her to please stop and saying that I was sorry. I was always sorry... I had huge welts on my thighs for days. I tried telling the school what was going on. Instead of calling CPS, they called my mom. I went home to a very angry mom, two brother that were shocked that I had the balls to say anything, and a lot of yelling. I was an ungrateful piece of shit and I needed to go live with my father if it was so bad living with her. Being abused is being locked in a closet with no food, and being burned with a curling iron. I was simply just properly punished in her eyes. This was the first time I was "kicked out".
I'm 13, everything hurts. All I want to do is cry and I can't seem to face the world. It feels good to get release while I run the scissors across my wrists and cry. This is pain I know I am feeling, this is a pain that is real. Afterwards, I lay in bed. I can't bring myself to go to school.
I'm 15 years old and on the front porch of my childhood home. I'm not allowed to come in. I have a bag of clothes next to me and I'm waiting for my dad to come pick me up. She's screaming, she is always mad about something. I'm trying not to cry because I don't want to get it. She is screaming at me that I am ruining her marriage and that I am causing her unhappiness. This is the first time I remember feeling like I wanted to die. I was a good for nothing piece of shit like she told me I was. I was ungrateful, a brat, and an over eater. No one wanted me around...
I'm 16 years old, it's a school morning. I am sound asleep when all of a sudden I am woken up by my door bursting open, and my lamp being thrown against the wall. My immediate reaction is to scream. I scream so loud my vocal cords hurt and I am shaking I'm so scared. It's my mom. She is mad because I didn't make her coffee for her before I went to bed. She specifically asked me to get it ready for her in the morning, and I told her I would in a little. I completely forgot and went to bed. She is mad because she asked me to do that ONE thing and I forgot. I always forget. Now, she didn't have a pot of coffee to wake up to.
I'm 17 years old. My mom and I aren't getting along. I don't remember what we were fighting about but it was something. I had a school play I was going to be apart of, and she said I could do it any more. I agreed with her, but knowing that I was going to disobey her. She saw that I had a bigger bag than normal and my curling iron in my hand. I don't remember the escalation, but she had told me to put the curling iron back in the house and I said no. She went to go snatch it out of my hand, while doing so poured her coffee halfway down my body and hit me in the head with the curling iron 3 times. I of course stayed home from school, but she said I wouldn't go to school again. She would withhold me from going because school was a privilege. I told her she couldn't keep it from me. A week later... I moved out for the first time. That was the first time in a long time I felt free.
I'm 26 years old. My mom and I are fighting because I won't watch her difficult misbehaved dogs while her and my stepdad make a trip down to Florida. One they can't afford. She asked me to watch them, but it was a redundant question. I lived with them and didn't pay rent. I OWED it to them do it. If I chose not to, I would have to pay rent so they could board the dogs for their trip. Either way I was forced into an uncomfortable situation. So I decided that I was going to move out. This made my mom and stepdad VERY unhappy. My last night there, I was corned in the upstairs hallway by her. I had just gotten home, and she came stomping upstairs. She corned me so I could leave, that I was forced to hear what she had to say. She had her finger pointed at me and she was talking through her teeth. I don't remember what was said to me exactly but it was something along the lines of being an ungrateful bitch. I was terrified that she was going to hit me. When she was done yelling at me, I went in my room and cried hysterically. I knew I needed to get out and never come back. The next day I moved out. And guess what.... they found someone to watch the dogs without my help and money.
I'm 26 years old, in my very own apartment. I think I am in love but with a man who has some problems. He drinks, a lot. And he is crazy possessive and jealous. He has been accusing me of sleeping with all my male friends, or wanting to. He tells me that he doesn't like big girls and that I need to lose weight. He follows me EVERYWHERE... I just need to get away. He was drinking again, and I needed some space to think. So I decided to take a shower. I forgot to lock the door and here he comes in the shower while I'm washing my hair. He thinks its cute, but he's invading my space. I don't get mad or upset, because I don't want him to freak out. I would like a peaceful night of sleep. Some time later, we are having a good night and we are both having a drink. I have to use the bathroom and he thought it would be cute to say lets go together. I immediately get weirded out because he keeps doing stuff like this. I tell him no as calmly as possibly. luckily he just laughs it off and it doesn't turn into an escalated matter. I can't seem to shake him. Him following me or wanting to be around me. He texts me several times a day while I'm at work. If I don't answer, then he gets angry. If he gets angry, He drinks. And then its a shit show when I get home. I can't seem to shake him. I need to get out and I need to get away. I have my friend fake an emergency so I can get out and get away. I worry that he will follow. I feel trapped....
There are times when she breaks down. There are moments in which she falls apart. These are the moments in time where her smile becomes an expression of strength but you'll never know her battles because she goes to war in silence.
My family is full of addicts. I was so naive to think because of the influences I have had I would never become one. Boy was I wrong... I don't have a singular habit that I am addicted to. I have multiple bad habits to fill the need of my addiction. I'm addicted to a feeling. My name is Brittany and I am addicted to feeling happy. I have had a taste of true happiness. You know the kind where the sun is shining, there is a good song on the radio, and all you can do is smile. Everything is just right in the world, in that moment. All the bad that weighed you down before is a forgotten memory. However, that feeling is only temporary for me. I don't quite understand though, why the feeling is only temporary for me. The more I try to keep it the feeling around the more reckless I get with my behaviors.
One of my most recent developed reckless behaviors is drinking. Drinking to fit in and seem fun. Drinking to mask the pain. With the first sip of alcohol, the weight of the world flies off of my shoulders. I feel like dancing and singing. It started off drinking more frequently with friends, and then slowly I found myself drinking alone more often than not. When I would drink alone, it wasn't just to feel happy. It was also so I could sleep. So that meant instead of a glass of wine, I drank a large 1.5 liter bottle. Instead of 2-3 beers, I would drink a case. I didn't have a limit. I drank until it was gone.
That same trend continued when I would go out to the bar. I didn't know how to, or didn't want to, stop at one or two drinks. And more often than I am willing to admit... I drove home drunk. In this search of happiness at the bottom of a bottle, because for a brief moment it gave me a glimpse of what I was searching for, I have made many poor choices. I have made a complete ass of myself too many times to count, and I am mortified but my actions when intoxicated. I often make jokes about "drunk Brittany" but deep down inside I hate her and she isn't funny. Just like I hate fat Brittany. You know the big girl who eats whatever she wants when she wants, but has all the fake self confidence in the world.... I think any addiction persona I take on is a sad and pathetic version of me.
I never had a life altering experience from drinking that made me hit rock bottom. I didn't get arrested. I didn't lose my license. I didn't kill anyone. I am currently thanking God for that because I could have easily done all of the above.
I recently took inventory on my life and came to realize that I base a lot of my choices around drinking, hoping for that moment of happiness to come back. I make plans for the weekend based on how hungover I will be the next day. I budget money for booze and every time I go grocery shopping there is at least a bottle of wine in my cart. They truly meant it when you have bariatric surgery not to drink. Do not drink because you will substitute one addiction for another. That is exactly what I did. I used to eat to feel happiness. Honestly, I think everyone can relate to food giving them the feeling of pure joy. However, for me it was killing me. So I changed that. Or so I thought....
I'm getting fatter and my memory is turning to shit. In my early years of drinking I have never experienced black out moments. Now they happen frequently. It's like I know what is happening in the moment itself, but it doesn't convert to long term memory. There have been many times that my memory stops very early and I have no clue how I even got home. I keep wondering how I have gained so much weight when I have pretty much ate the same, and even when I diet. Then I put down a case a of beer or liter of wine.... there was part of the answer there.
I said before I drank to help with my insomnia as well. After awhile it got later and later I was staying up to drink. A few drinks later, or one too many, the "happy" feeling would stop and the pain would wash over me. Recent suicide attempts or self harming have all been when I was intoxicated.
All of these moments have added up in my head recently. The reason behind why I do things, and how they have effected my life. I decided that drinking hasn't given me that "happy" feeling I am looking for in a really long time. I don't believe it truly ever did. It is possible that it heightened whatever feelings I had. Whether they were good or bad. I have decided to live the sober life of a little while. Currently I am 8 days sober and riding the struggle bus all the way to funky town. Nights like tonight I would have a glass of wine and a bad chick flick on the TV. Instead, I have a diet coke and pouring my heart out to anyone willing to read this.
Happiness is a feeling I desperately want to remain in my life more consistently. I need to learn to develop more healthy habits in order to achieve that feeling. Working on feeling accomplished, and work on my self confidence. Moments, feelings and character building that will allow happiness to stay around longer than a brief moment. Slowly I will find my way back there. When I do, I don't ever want to let it go.
I used to feel too much and I used to not feel at all,
Down on my knees I would pray, "someone please catch me if I fall",
Fall to pieces; completely shattered apart,
All fitting together like a mosaic work of art,
My soul I sold for a small temporary piece of mind,
Sex, booze, or pill any swift relief I could find,
At the bottom of the bottles, or in yet another mans touch,
Even in the endless amount of searching it all became too much,
Each continuous moment was a hurricane of emotions,
High and Lows with to many should I stay or should I go's,
Stopping to take a breath, looking deep inside myself to find the answer to my question,
Only to learn life's most valuable lesson...
The feelings I feel so deep are valid and I am enough,
The chaotic life is undeniably worth living even when it's rough .
- Brittany Sergent
Sometimes all you need to do is give your heart a break. Just for a moment. A break so you can collect all your deep thoughts and repair your heart.
I turned 30 this year. This is a big number for me. Not in the same way its big for most woman. Most woman dread turning 30. It's that one birthday that woman feel as if they are getting old, and it's only down hill from there. Some unmarried with no children, such as myself, feel as if they are past their prime. At this point in their life they collect cats (DONE) and settle on become the best aunt (DONE). I'm not going to settle, and I'm not focusing on any of that typical shit. I'm no different at 30 than what I was at 25. I still have the love of life and dream big dreams. I want to take on the world and make a difference. One day I will. This year I made a promise to myself that I would love myself more. Do more of what I wanted, not what is expected of me or what other think I should do. I have a tendency to make goals and never see them through. For one reason or another I always have an excuse. Not this year... This year I'm going to better by my self.
For my 30th birthday I decided to take myself on vacation. Originally the plan was to spend some time down in Miami with my Cousin/Best Friend/Partner in Crime. But life always seem to get in the way of big plans, and it doesnt normally happen. Then, I wanted to take myself to California and knock something special off of my bucket list. However, that idea came to late and the money for the trip wasn't in the cards. So... there I was wanting to do something and limited funds to do so. I decided on South Carolina. A place I had been so many times, and fallen in love with more and more with each visit. It was the place I learned about a version of myself that I loved. The woman I always want to be. Life is simpler down there, and easy going. All my anxiety and worry go out the window.
There it was, the plan for my 30th birthday. All the decisions were made by me. Making decisions about when, where and how. What means to get down there, and the money to be down there. best decision EVER. It was much needed time away from my crazy life and it brought a lot of clarity.
For someone like myself, I normally have every aspect of anything I do planned. Right down to the things that could possibly go wrong and see a solution out. Except for this time... I was so excited and so hopeful I never saw it coming. I had landed in Savannah Georgia. You could feel just landing the sweet humidity in the air. I was almost home; or the place my heart had claimed as home a decade ago. I was in line to pick up the rental car, ready to hit the road. I had called the company I reserved the car through as I wanted to ensure I could use my debit card to get the car, and that a deposit was not needed. They assured me over the phone that I could use my debit card, and since I called there was no deposit needed. Well... it was too good to be true. I got denied the car rental with my debit card because I did not have full coverage insurance. Apparently unless you have a major credit card in your name, you need full coverage insurance. After venting my frustrations to a group of friends, apparently this is common knowledge that I did not possess. Life lesson learned. Here I was, ready for vacation and stuck at the Savannah Airport. I immediately got to beating myself up for taking the easy way out and not driving like I originally planned. If I had just sucked it up and drove I would have a car. A character defect of mine is immediately going to a dark place in my mind and think about all the bad things to list them off. List them over and over again until I am in a terrible mood and begin to cry. Crying in the middle of the airport or throwing a temper tantrum was not an option. I had to put on my big girl pants and make a choice... I needed to figure out a way to get to my destination and then from there I will figure it all out. It was clear that captain "I dont know/I dont care" wasn't going to help with any decision making. Which in turn left me feeling more frustrated and now alone. I decided to get a Lyft. It was that or be stuck at the airport and that wasn't about to happen. This was my first every Lyft ride and it cost me $80.... 80 fucking dollars. I was still going to be there for a week with no transportation... that was a problem I would need to figure out at a later date.
After a near mental breakdown and a long almost mile walk in the South Carolina humidity, I had finally made it. Sometimes, with a little bit of faith, things work themselves out. Where we were staying on the island had a trolley. It took us to a bunch of different places. Including many of the places I wanted to see and go. I had to make a few sacrifices of plans that I had, but in the grand scheme of things, it was all very small. My vacation consisted of days drinking by the pool getting a tan or catching a sunburn. My night were drinking some more, and falling asleep early because of either too much booze or too much sun. I ate some of the best food of my life and got to spend some much needed time with some family.
The condo was right on the Sea Pines Plantation on beautiful Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This condo was much like the others you could see around the area and they were all connected in a way. However, there was something about the one I stayed in that was special and unique in my eyes. It could be because it was where I would live for the weekend, or that I was actually finally there. The condo was two stories. The first floor had a full bathroom, bedroom with two twin beds, kitchen, dining room and living room. The second floor had a sitting room, and a HUGE master bedroom with a full bathroom. The bathroom had a walk in shower that would make anyone's dreams come true. On the first floor there was a deck on the rear, and from the deck you could see a pond. Not only was it absolutely beautiful and serene but I provided me with some of the most exciting and memorable experience. A sight that is very common in South Carolina but very rare in Michigan is an Alligator. I was lucky to see one two or three times.
5 out of 7 of my days were spent by the pool, and if we are being honest... I didn't make it to the beach. I'm not even mad that I didn't make time or plans for that. The beach is so messy and can be uncomfortable. I did make the time to visit the ocean though. Close by the condo was a place called Harbor Town. As you can guess by its name, there was a Harbor. It's fun, beautiful and magical. Groupon had a great deal on a dolphin cruise departing from Harbor Town. I have previously visit South Carolina during the summer. First, during my summer vacation while in middle school. Then, with family. Never during those experiences had I seen a dolphin. My first sighting during the cruise I smiled so big, and honestly I don't think I stopped smiling. I was so excited for the experience that I forgot to put on sunscreen! It was over cast, and we were on the ocean for an hour and a half. Needless to say I was pretty sunburn.
I would love to go on and on about the food that I ate while I was down there. However, I don't know if I have enough knowledge of adjectives to describe the tastes and smells. My best experience with food has always been with my Uncle and Aunt. Whether it be at their restaurant or at their home. My Aunt's motto is "just try it". That motto has made me try and learn to love so many different types of foods and textures that I never thought were possible. The way they make and prepare food is something poetic. The taste and textures will make you smile, dance in your seat, moan with a mouth full of food and eat until you feel like you can't eat any more. If you decide to go down to South Carolina and happen to be in or near Beaufort or Hilton Head Island you HAVE to go to Wren and Jane. The BEST food you will ever eat, and I'm not just saying that because they are family.
I'm home now, and it has been difficult to get back into a normal routine. If I were to be honest with myself, I feel kind of down. Its not the same feeling, smell, sights or vibes here. However, I am incredibly grateful to be back with all my pets.
This was a vacation I will remember for a very long time. ♥ Here's to hoping I have many more adventures to include with this one in the near future.
You carry so much LOVE in your heart. Give some to yourself.
Have you ever stopped and reflected on your life and during that reflection had mad some decisions? Did the decisions consist of stopping, doing less, or ending something in order to make yourself happier? During this reflection, did you ever consider instead of focusing on all negative energies you need to remove, focus on ADDING MORE to your life. If you add more positive in your life, and it fills your life, there is no more room for the negative. Or at least very little room.
I have decided the MORE I need to add into my life is LOVE for myself. Love how I am and who I will become.
Part of loving myself is making sure I get up every morning and do what I love, make myself feel the most beautiful I can. This means getting in the shower, playing with my makeup and doing my hair. This is time consuming but for me and very much worth it. When I put my makeup on I feel like I'm ready to face whatever the day brings. I imagine its what a person who enjoys working out feels like. A better, stronger version of myself. I document these moments by taking and posting waaayy too many selfies. It's not because I'm conceded or I want attention. For me it's documentation that I managed to concur my anxiety, and my demons. In a way it is also an affirmation. No matter how unworthy or insignificant I feel, when I see the pictures I think "wow, I'm beautiful".
That part of loving myself is something I'm used to, and is the easiest go to. However, the feeling is only temporary because makeup only lasts so long. The next day I have to do it all over again to get that feeling. I often fantasize about what it would be like to wake up and feel good about myself first thing. To feel the same way I do when I put myself together in the morning. This leads to so many more questions, and is part of the reason I can't sleep at night. What is it that I need to add to my life to make me feel that way? To make me wake up and love myself first thing... Do I need to look in the mirror and sight morning affirmations? Do I need to study and read books on how to learn to love myself again? There are so many questions and so many variables. When you take inventory and think about it, it really doesn't have to be so complex.
I tend to rush things and if its not perfect the first time I give up. I give up and forget why I even attempted to begin with. I have an example of a situation that happened recently. I bought a new straightener and was so excited to use it. I tend to get stuck in a video vortex. So, naive Brittany thought that she would easily be able to curl her hair with it the first time. I was very wrong and got frustrated quickly. I almost gave up and said to myself , "Im good at what Im good at and I shouldn't bother with anything new". Then I thought about it... Why do I have the skills I currently possess? Practice... lots of practice and trying new techniques. I was never perfect on the first try but I did it over and over again until I got it right. So what made this new technique any different? Nothing but the mind frame I was in.
I feel learning better ways to love myself is the same thing. I may not get it right the first try. Hell... I may get it right 3 days in a row and on the 4th end up in tears in front of the mirror cause I hate myself. But I need to start doing something. I made it a goal to add 3 habits into my life to learn to better love myself.
1.) Stop apologizing and making excuses for other people's actions towards me. I am not a victim. I am human. If I continue to apologize for everything I do or say then there is no confidence in who I am. There is a sense of self doubt. Moving forward I am going to stop apologizing and making excuses for other people. This is me. Take it or leave it. But wait... didn't I say I was going to add more to my life instead of taking something away. Right... So, instead of stopping a habit I am going to add one in the same aspect. I am going to start being confident in myself and my choices.
2.) I am going to be creative more often. Write, and paint. Put something together. This makes me feel good and positive about myself. Every time I write a blog and post it, even if its poorly written, I think "Hey... I did that!". When I paint a canvas and actually finish it I can't believe I did that. I want more feel good moments like that in my life and I deserve them.
3.) Be more active outside my home. Over the last year or so, I have been secluding myself and avoiding people. I allowed my anxiety and fears to over take my life. It soon became stronger than my own self will. I'm going to start saying yes to more invites, but ensure their are healthy boundaries still. Take myself on adventures and go to a movie or take myself to dinner.
Three simple things. All of which were very hard for me to decide. I had to decide if it was right for me, and if I was capable of doing it.
I don't need to start to loving other people less or different; I just need to learn to love myself as much if not more. I feel it's the only way I am going to heal from what I have been through.
****WARNING- this is not a lighthearted post and may be difficult for some people to read. If you yourself are having suicidal thoughts please reach out to a doctor or a loved one. You can also call the suicidal hotline at 800-273-8255. Speak out and don't keep it in***
She stopped looking both ways before crossing the street;
she stopped wearing her seat belt in the car,
and she stopped counting the pills before she took them.
She wasn't trying to kill herself,
but she did stop caring whether she lived,
The thoughts of not wanting to exists consumed me. It was peculiar how much the thoughts and feelings were like what you would see in the movies. There was a million voices surrounding me, but I was the only one that could hear them. My psychical feeling was that of a deflated balloon.
I am a natural humorous and outgoing person. Not one person around me could tell by looking at me that I wanted it all to end. But I would cry in the bathrooms at work, or alone on my bedroom floor. Then after I pulled myself together I would drink until I couldn't feel anymore. The fact that the feelings only grew stronger and stronger no matter how much I tried to fix it scared the shit out of me.
I remember one night, I drank about 3 liters of wine. I was at a such deep low that all I could do was cry. I text a few people... My brother telling him Im sorry and tell my nephew I love him. My best friend my password to my phone, and a few others. The next morning I woke up late for work. I didn't remember ANYTHING that happened but the texts I read helped jog my memory. I made a sad attempt at suicide. I say sad attempt because there is no way that what I did would have actually done the trick. At the time though, I thought it would. When I came to the realization that I had finally reached that point, I was in shock. All I could go was hold my hand over my mouth, gasp and then fall to my knees in tears. I was terrified that I had reached that point and if I was capable of that, what else was I capable of. Feeling like shit, I pulled myself together and went to work. There were two people out of the dozen I saw that day that knew because I told them. But for the most part no one knew what had happened, or how bad my heart was hurting.
That's the sad part about it. Not sad for myself. I feel sad that no one noticed how bad I was hurting, and cannot imagine who else goes on with life feeling the same. Can you imagine the person you are joking around with and laughing, was in the bathroom floor the night before taking a knife to their thigh just so they could feel something real?
Once I had the realization that I was scared of what I was capable of and terrified of death, I spoke out. I told several people and asked for help. My aunt was my saving grace because she got me back into therapy. At that point, my healing began. I started speaking my real truths and not what I thought others wanted to hear. But I was still hurting, and I still had those low nights. My behavior was still reckless and destructive. I was very reluctant on taking any kind of medication to help with my mental health. The reason being was my family has a history of addiction, and I didnt want to add to the family tree. There was a crossroad I was met with and had to make a decision. Either keep down this dangerous path that would more than like end my life too quickly, or keep seeking help and go see my doctor.
I thought about having myself admitted two or three times, but wanted help, not sedation. Unfortunately, the mental health system isn't what it should be. It took a lot of courage to make a doctors appointment. To go into the room where I go for a cold, feeling healthy, and telling them that I need help. To admit my faults and say things I never dared to say out loud.
I am four months into my medical treatment, and on 3 antidepressants. I am still a work in progress, but starting to feel like myself again. I truly believed I would not get the woman I was before back. That my demons had finally taken over who I was and turned me into a person I didnt want to me. Happiness is a thing for me now. I go weeks without crying and its been about two months since the feeling of not wanting to exist has crossed my mind. I still have my bad days and low points. But, coming from where I was to where I am... Holy Shit!
Glor;ous is tattooed on my wrist to remind me that life is glorious and worth living.
Speak out, and seek help. You ARE worth it. Life is worth living even if you don't see it just yet.
So far I have attempted to start FOUR blog posts. None of which had a purpose to appeal to an audience I have but, to release what is on my mind. Do I want to write something sad that is on my mind? Do I want to write about when I was suicidal? Or the heartbreak I recently experienced? Or did I want to write something meaningful? Did I want to write about an experience so I can stop reliving it over and over again in my head? BRITTANY WHAT DO YOU WANT!?
THAT is the hardest question “what do I want?”. You would think it would be a fairly simple answer. That some part of me would have things figured out or at least have a general direction. The truth is, I have no fucking clue what I want. I don’t know what I want to wear. I don’t know what I want for dinner tomorrow. I don’t know which direction I want my life to go in. I know nothing. I know nothing about myself. Recent self-reflections, although I have been told about it my whole life, has determined that I don’t give a FUCK about myself and give too many fucks about everyone else. There I said it! I admitted to it. Now what…?
What I want has never mattered to anyone else, so why should it matter to me? And most certainly, why now? I can answer that for myself… BECAUSE I FUCKING MATTER. Yup… it almost took 30 years for me to realize that I matter. I spend too much time thinking about what others think of me or how they feel about me, that I forget to stop and do that for myself. I am always so busy that I can't take time for myself. Or that is what I tell my many therapists who have all told me that I need to. But what takes up this time? I have so many questions. I need to speak to a supervisor because I am clearly not in charge.
I can list a million little things that I want off the top of my head. Years from now though, none of those little things will have a big affect on my life. Gotta think BIG Brittany! You can do it… what does Brittany want most of all? OH! WAIT! I KNOW! IT’S BEEN THERE ALL ALONG! OOOO Pick me! Pick me! I will tell you.
Brittany wants to learn to love herself the way she loves others. No… not just in the “I am woman hear me roar” or “body positive” way. But the true honest love. The kind where you love the demons as much as the angels. THAT kind of love.
My whole life I was taught, not just by my mother, to hate aspects of me. To dislike certain quirks of mine. To be different. Change how I spoke and how I carried myself. Even how I looked or how I dressed. Although I put on a good act that I do it now, its not true. I am self-conscious and more than anything just want to go unnoticed.
I want to love all the fucked up parts of me. The parts that people make fun of because they can’t understand. Like when I get uncontrollably angry when I am over stimulated and frustrated. When I cry because I don’t know what else to do. The parts that are naked; psychically and mentally. Me without eyebrows. I want to love the good parts too, not just high five myself. I want to love my intelligence and my tenacity. Love that I am a survivor of abuse and trauma. I want to love my creativity and embrace it more often.
I want to love myself more than I love others.
I have continued to put others first and myself second. It’s time I come first. I’m done apologizing for who I am and what I’m not. I am a work in progress and continuously changing. If you don’t like it, I accept that. In the end… I am the one alone with my thoughts. I am the one staring in the mirror while putting on my makeup. I am the one attempting to earn a decent living. I am the trying to survive this life. Not only survive but thrive.
I deserve the world. And if no one is going to give it to me, then dammit, I’m going to give it to myself. ♥
In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you go of things not meant for you. -Buddha
In my short 30 years life, I have learned quite a bit and yet not enough. One thing I am working on is the power of letting go. Letting go of what I don’t have control of and giving power to what I do. Each and every day I am baffled by how far I have come and how much more I need to grow. A while ago I learned that letting go allowed me to mature more than I knew was possible.
This is a letter to my mother. Not for her but for me.
It has been over a year since we have held a conversation. Over a year since I have told you what was going on in my life or how my day is going. Over a year since I have told you my fears or my accomplishments. Over a year since I have said, "I love you" and for you to say, "I love you more".
I have made the decision to not include you in my life; yes. However, it would be a lie if I said I hadn't missed you or thought about you. There have been days when I felt I needed your hug or your smell. The illusion of a safe place... You weren't always bad at the mom thing. Although those thoughts and feelings do make their presence occasionally, I still stand by my choice.
I have no control over your personal thoughts, feelings or actions. I do have control over if I allow myself to live around it or live without it. Because I wanted you so bad to be the mother you will never be, I made the decision to live without it. It was not an easy choice to come to and there have been many sleepless nights where it has been on my mind.
Recently It was brought to my attention that you feel like you did an excellent job as a mother. I congratulate you on those feelings and will not convince you otherwise. Instead, I free you of any anger or resentment I have had towards you in the past. After this letter, the thought of you will not get one fraction of my energy. I have chosen a path in my life that I no longer given time and energy to things that don't make me happy or bring me joy. One thing you did as a mother well is teach me how to disconnect and learn to live without you. Had you not done that so well, I wouldn't be strong enough to learn to let go of my anger.
I wish you nothing but the best on any adventure life gives you. Thank you for giving me life and leaving my all the family photographs. Initially, I was incredibly sad that you let them go so easily. However, the very selfish part of me is grateful I have them to hold on to.
Again, I free you, as well as myself, of any anger or resentment and wish you the best.
Sincerely Your Only Daughter,