Sunday, 11 January 2015

A Painter's Problem....

Do you ever feel like you've painted yourself into a corner?  Or you've left a small path but that only leads to another corner?  Catch my drift? Decisions are what shape our lives.  I like to think that I think things through and make the best choice possible most of the time, but let's be frank, half the time we are just shooting in the dark hoping to hit our target but with no clue of a direction. I have always been an indecisive person, but when it came to marriage I was totally sure 100% that he was who I wanted.

I've been struggling lately. It is hard to have people know such a vulnerable and personal truth about yourself. Yes, my husband had an affair, but I wish no one knew.  Then starting to show a pregnant belly a few months later after he left. .. It was a dream come true. ... not.  There were days I literally would try to convince myself this was all a silly dream and I was going crazy. I would act so strong and say what was expected of me, when all I wanted to do was scream until I had no voice and cry until I could go to bed again. Why? Why me? Why him?  Had I done something wrong? Were we an exception and never meant to have happiness? Will I be alone forever? I can't move on... I don't want to move on. The joke is often made that women have a lot running through their heads, well imagine these thoughts 24/7 flying around in my head and myself actually buying into it. Who would I be without those thoughts?

Change happens slowly. Sometimes we move backwards many times before we march forwards. My life has been a well trodden path of backwards and small steps forwards. I have always wanted a "normal" life. With a husband who loves me more than I can imagine and babies...lots of babies! That white picket fence portrait of a life was my dream. I wasn't a perfect wife, no one is, and there certainly is no perfect husband. As life unwinds and we make mistakes, we learn and grow.

I have often looked at my difficulties as a failure. I have anxiety disorders therefore I have that true? No. Even typing that out and reading it over in my head makes me....speechless. The only way my life can involve the word "fail", is by how I deal with the situations my disorder puts me in. Even then, I must learn to be kinder to myself and try, try again. Then taking that further, when someone else is dealing with a rough issue, we ourselves must be more merciful.

As recommended by my therapist, I took a personality trait "quiz". It involved MANY questions which eventually led to a list of 20 or so attributes; number 1 being my strongest trait and number 20 being the weakest. Anyone want to guess what number 1 was? Kindness.....Hmm that doesn't make sense. I have been so unkind to myself for 24 years, yet kindness was my number 1 attribute. I tried to make sense of this, but came to conclusion it must be a mistake. Yet as I sat in the office discussing this with my therapist, it all came into view. This is a double edged sword. I have essentially been kind to a fault with others. Taking what others thought, trying to please everyone, never questioning because I thought questioning or voicing my opinion was unkind. I did the same to myself, I believed my thoughts, those nasty thoughts telling me I wasn't enough and I couldn't handle anything on my own. Because of my mentality to not question as to offend, I simply did not question what was in my own head. I became increasingly hostile towards myself and my mistakes, that no warmth or love was present. Can anyone else relate?

I was buying into whatever thoughts came my way. "I'm not skinny enough", "I'm so dumb", "I'm awkward", "No one enjoys my company", "I'm not good at my job", "I"m the reason he left"..... We all get these sometimes, but it is up to us whether we believe them or question them. I challenge everyone out there to question your thoughts, it may sound completely wild, but try it. Just today I said to myself I was a lazy person....well is that true?? No. I have accomplished so much, that taking a day when I felt sick was not lazy....because I would not think that of someone else. I was just being too hard on myself.

So am I a failure? Am I the reason he left? Am I dumb, naive, or awkward? I'm going to stop, and question these thoughts because if I buy into them I am only sending myself down that path of anxiety towards a pit of depression. I'll stick to the same cycle my brain has been on for years. The truth is I'm the farthest thing from a failure, he left because he wanted to leave (it was a choice for him), and ya sometimes I am naive and awkward...but who cares!? It is time to stop painting ourselves into corners and begin opening up opportunities for us to succeed. The only person who will stop me from being happy is myself. We all have a decision to make on how we let our attitude affect our lives. If I choose to continually see the negative in my life, eventually I will have lost the ability to see the positive.

So as the new year begins, I have challenged myself to create a more positive and realistic view of my life. This is my decision, this is my life, only I can change how it pans out. I can dig my own holes and create problems for myself, but just because someone digs a hole in front of me doesn't mean I have to fall into it. Get what I'm saying? Many of our trials will come from another person's actions. Someone else will have made a decision and because of that action it will cause great pain and trials for us. Well, instead we can walk around the hole and avoid the darkness Satan so wants us to be thrown into. There is a bigger picture, and sometimes I forget that. I forget my Savior and Heavenly Father have a plan for me, and these hard times I often feel are only preparing me for what is to come.

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