Admitting it is the First Step…
So it’s come to my attention that I have problems. There, I said it. What’s the big deal? Don’t we all? Everyone has some sort of issue they’ve been hanging on to and avoiding confronting, or avidly denying. Just the act of admitting the “problem” feels unnatural. Like a primal instinct deep inside wants to burst out and take control so that you don’t lose your place as King of the lion pride once your inexcusable fault is discovered. It’s a self defeating reaction, but nonetheless the typical behavior of human egos. Thus the downward spiral persists, until something gives.
I turned 30 this month, and needless to say, something “gave.” Perhaps my consciousness had reached its last straw of being in a constant state of denial. I was attributing my sudden onset of irregular and unstable emotions to stress and hormones, but I knew better. I knew there was a bigger issue at hand, and it was snowballing inside me faster than I was ready to accept. You might say, all this over turning 30!? No, that was just the scapegoat for the psychological block I’d been choosing to ignore and deny for decades. A block that I built to hide personal truths about myself from myself, and block out the things from my past I don’t care to remember, as if they *never happened* so I didn’t have to accept my own responsibility for their occurrence.
Turning 30 messes with your brain. Some file that has been reserved for the occasion is accessed, and just like a virus you are infected with doubt. It’s like going to bed one day, still feeling youthful and optimistic, and waking up as a negative old person who is no where near where they intended to be by this time in their life. Suddenly you have a few (million) questions for yourself: why am I still in this job, why haven’t I saved more, when am I *ever* going to be debt free, why don’t I have a better relationship with my parents, why don’t I have more friends, why am I the only one who seems like I don’t have my shit together? And for F***s sake, why can’t I lose the weight and keep it off?
Que the critics : wow, white girl problems. You turned 30 and had a melt down, get over it! You have a loving relationship, a beautiful and incredibly smart daughter, and your health, right? Wrong. Well, that last one at least. My ongoing health conditions are another topic I’ve been conveniently tucking behind my denial wall, and it’s come to a point were I can no longer ignore them. I have generalized convulsive Epilepsy, which presents enough issues itself, but just recently received the news that an ongoing kidney condition has progressed to the point of Chronic Kidney Disease. I spent the first two months after getting the news blissfully going about my life as if nothing changed. I felt the same, why not right? Then, however, at an unrelated doctors appointment, the doctor reviewed my chart and peered at me with sympathetic and concerned eyes, saying, “I just noticed that you’re Stage 4… I’m sorry to hear that.” STAGE 4?? WTF does that mean…? How many stages are there? She acted like I had a few months to live! Needless to say I went home and researched like crazy. Stage 4 is a whisper away from total kidney failure, requiring dialysis. It was like getting hit with a ton of bricks. Why didn’t anyone tell me!? What was I supposed to do to stop this from happening!? Short answer: they don’t know, and try to eat better. Diets? Please don’t tell me the only possible solution you can come up with lies in the hopes that I am able to maintain a proper diet. Well, apparently, it is.
So, here we are, finally having to come to terms with my “problems.” I turned 30 and realized there’s no that can help me, no one to blame but myself. I am faced with the fact that I have such little confidence in myself to this day, that I can’t even follow through with a health plan because I have a psychological block that is subconsciously telling me that I will inevitably fail, just like my kidneys are in the process of doing. As I dedicate more and more thought to my admission, more and more obscure details and events in my life begin falling into the puzzle, and like the summer sun on a tin roof, the truth is blinding now that I have allowed it in.
Now what. I’m a 30 year old unconfident female in America. Must be 1 in a million. How do you gain confidence that was never there in the first place, how do you learn to be confident at this age, with health and body image issues, and society constantly attempting to strip women of any shred of confidence? The bigger question is, what traits are worth being confident? I learned that due to my health issues, at a young age my parents continually suppressed me from normal activities, such as sports, public school, extensive social interaction, etc, telling me I was “too sick” and gave excuses as to why I shouldn’t be held to the same standards as others. I got used to being “sick” and eventually adopted this as my identity rather than be allowed to build character and confidence honing skills or hobbies like most children do. I rarely ever complete any large goal I set out to accomplish, always procrastinate, and habitually blame my behavior on my “health” regardless if I’m experiencing symptoms or not.
I’m not saying all of this to blame my parents. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to have a child who was sick like I was. I am a mother myself, and am blessed to have a perfectly healthy daughter. There’s no telling how I, or anyone, would react to their child sick and in pain. I’m saying it because I need to get to the root of the problem, identify my role in it, and make life changes that will put an end to this trend. I know now that I have created a self truth composed of this “pity party” attitude, and described myself as a “sick person” rather than intimately getting to know who I really am and confidently sharing my positive attributes with the world around me. I am going to start by saying I’m a decent writer (don’t judge based on this work!) and continue to work on my confidence building from now on as top priority. I am *hoping* the rest will fall into place accordingly ☺
Admitting it was the first step.