So, let me set the scene. Frank and I are listening to the oldies station, which is the only one that comes in remotely clear at Bohemian Bay. The angelic voice of Minnie Ripperton is crooning the lyrics to "Loving You"
Lovin' you is easy cause you're beautiful...la-la-la-la.la-la-la...
Frank: Is loving me easy?
Me: No. Loving you is like being strapped to a bucking bronco, then shoved into a bouncy castle that is affixed to a Tilt-A-Whirl, which is located on Bourbon Street during the height of Mardi Gras with a hurricane barreling down on New Orleans...but I do it anyway. And, always will.
And this is what marriage to a marvelous man with awesome ADHD is like--exciting, exhausting, scary, sexy, dizzying, fun, and infuriating, but totally worth it.
For several months, every day started with a black tide that rose and washed over me, leaving me lonely and scared, unable to fully-function—not feeling up to seeing anyone or doing anything. I’ve only just recently found a renewed sense of hope and purpose.
Of course, to keep history from repeating itself, I became determined to figure out why. Why? I have a loving husband, fabulous friends, free time, disposable income, decent health, and even a place to get away, so why in the hell was I so damn melancholy? Why? What was I missing?
After serious soul-searching, I realized what I lacked was a solid sense of self-esteem.
It’s something I’ve been struggling with since my late twenties. At least three days out of every week, I have a crippling level of doubt about my abilities and innate worth. Of course, I’ve mastered the art of faking it. I’ve learned to psych myself up, pull up my big girl thongs, put on the game face, and pretend to be bold and badass. But when the bravado fades, I'm an exhausted heap of unhappiness.
I could blame it on an excessively dysfunctional childhood. Seriously, my formative years were fucked up…like verging on Augusten Burroughs-level fucked up…but I don’t want to blame this on anyone or anything. I just want to fix it. I have to fix it. Why? Because I’m almost fifty years old. I don’t want to waste any more time. I want to be able to fully embrace exactly who I am, become audaciously authentic without fear of judgement, and then use it for good.
After reading dozens of articles on the topic, I’ve compiled the best advice from each on how to achieve real self-worth and lasting self-love. This is what I came up with, in my own words:
1) Treat your body like a temple, not CBGB during the early eighties.
2) Perfectionism is a punk ass bitch...and social media is its BFF.
3) Stop talking smack…about yourself.
4) Know yourself as well as you do your favorite celebrity.
5) Learn to have fun with flaws.
6) Get an attitude of gratitude.
7) Reserve a sheet of gold stars just for you.
8) Double dog dare you to try new things.
9) Realize nothing is as sexy as kindness.
Each week…month…fortnight…hell, however long it takes…I’m going to work on one of these principles. Come along on the journey with me. Come on…please…it’ll be fun. Perhaps, not eating cupcakes with sprinkles in a pile of kittens fun, but definitely kayaking in a kaftan while bourbon-tipsy fun. So, let’s harness the sun and do this. Let the manifesting begin.
When I was raped,
I didn’t scream.
In the next room.
I didn’t want to wake her.
I didn’t want her,
To see me naked.
I didn’t want her to know,
That her grandson,
Was an animal.
Because as taught,
I respected my elders.
More than I respected,
My own body.
UPDATE: I have now found my voice and am not afraid to scream. Loudly.
the bourbonistA, Promoting Debauchery and stamping out political-correctness one blog at a time.