HI LOVE – YOU MADE IT!
I AM SO HAPPY THAT YOU FOUND YOUR WAY HERE. YOU CAN REST HERE AWHILE.
You feel like you’re faking it. You should be happy but you don’t feel what everyone else feels. And it looks so damn easy for everyone else.
You never feel comfortable in your own body.
You feel numb, exhausted, alone, and isolated even when you’re surrounded by your closest friends and family.
Whenever feelings start to come up, you automatically reach for a distraction—TV, eating, scrolling through social media, or diving into late night work emails.
You feel like a mess.
You are not a mess. You are a deeply feeling person in a messy world. -Glennon Doyle
I ALWAYS FELT LIKE A MESS
Several years ago I found myself in a low place. Bitterly single. Broke. Addicted to working. Surrounded by people but completely alone. Uncomfortable in my skin. Carrying so much extra emotional and physical weight around that I was exhausted. And resigned to always feeling like that.
It had been a S L O W descent into this misery. I grew up in a small town in upstate New York. My house was surrounded by woods without neighbors in sight. I was quiet. Painfully quiet. I never felt safe which I realize now stemmed from witnessing domestic abuse in my family. I was fearful and alone so much of the time.
So, yes, I was quiet. But that had more to do with the fact that I had no one to talk to and less to do with the fact that I had nothing to say.
But that quietness stuck. I moved through school feeling weird, invisible and awkward.
Somewhere along the way I picked up the story that I wasn’t enough. Thin enough. Pretty enough. Cool enough. Smart enough. Popular enough. Interesting enough. Good enough. So I tried to hide. If I could blend into the background maybe no one would notice just how not enough I actually was. And I excelled at hiding. I was even voted Quietest in high school.
But the thing about blending into the background is…no one can see you.
And we all crave connection and being seen.
Because I spent so long hiding, isolated and quiet, I never really learned how to express myself. Or truly connect with people. Or get comfortable with being myself. I made friends but still never felt understood. I got good grades but never felt proud. I didn’t feel much of anything. And with each passing year that numbness grew and grew until every inch of me was numb.
Eventually the numbness became painful, heavy and debilitating. It clouded every part of my life. I could be in a room full of my friends and feel totally alone. I entered relationships that I knew didn’t stand a chance. I spent money that I didn’t have. I worked and worked and worked because I attached my self-worth to my success at work. Plus working all of the time was an easy excuse to further isolate myself. I wanted something better but I didn’t believe that it could happen.
THE MOMENT I CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT MYSELF
One night in late December 2012 I was wide awake at 3am and I found myself under the covers scrolling through Facebook so I wouldn’t wake up my boyfriend. I was paralyzed by fear and the need to be perfect. I felt sick all of the time. I spent almost every night curled up in a ball on the couch, exhausted, and in so much emotional and physical pain. And I truly believed that this was going to be my forever reality.
I ended up on a post that mentioned a new book, May Cause Miracles, that was about to be released by Gabrielle Bernstein. I had never read a self-help book, had no idea who Gabby was, and certainly didn’t believe in miracles but…there was something about the book. Gabby was on the cover and she looked so happy. She looked how I longed to look. She looked free. So, thanks to Amazon 1-click ordering, I ordered the book before my mind could talk me out of it.
Everything started to change the moment I placed that order. I had found something – I had found a new story. I allowed myself to believe that there could be another way – a better way. I was sick and tired and being sick and tired. I had no clue how to stop faking it (and didn’t even fully believe that it was possible) but I had a glimmer of hope. And that’s all it took. That slight willingness opened the door to a life I never even imagined possible.
I learned the most important lesson of my life on the pages of that book: happiness is a choice. Fear is a choice. Love is a choice. I had always believed that some people were happy people and some people were not. And I was definitely in the not category. It was hard coded in our DNA and fight as you might, it couldn’t be changed. So why even try?
I learned that happiness isn’t something that happens to us.
I let go of perfectionism and allowed myself to try new things. And didn’t fall apart when I “failed” at them.
I developed a meditation practice that taught me to feel at home in my own body.
I replaced doubt, shame, and judgment with affirmations, journaling, and essential oils.
I stopped turning to processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine in order to numb myself out.
I learned to listen to and trust my intuition.
I allowed myself to be seen and finally found friends that I could be myself with.
IT’S YOUR TURN TO STOP FAKING IT
GET TO KNOW ME
- I am currently reading Harry Potter for the first time.
- I try and try but can’t keep a succulent alive to save my life.
- I have a 12-year old rescue dog, Scout.
- I designed my own women’s studies and psychology major in college.
- I am a director of academic advising.
- I can’t cook unless it comes from a cookbook.
- I always have a crystal in my bag, on my desk or on my nightstand.
- I have chronic Lyme and Epstein-Barr and my self-care and spiritual practices are a major part of my healing protocol.
- I trained as a holistic health coach at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
- I completed Gabby Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie Masterclass Level 1 and 2.