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To Own My Own Story

Nadine Shaabana; Unsplash

Writing has opened up more doors for me, than I ever could have ever imagined. It’s very often, where I come to the realization over and over again, that writing has been my first valid doorway that allowed me to introduce myself to me. It’s a deep awakening for me. It gives me an entirely brand new perspective of who I am now. While it also puts me into a position where I can’t help but look back into my rearview, and see what brought everything to now.

Now of course, I haven’t been in a dark hole of delusion for 40 something years. But what that time has been, is a time where I never made myself accountable enough to know who I really was, and even more importantly, why do I do the things I do and why do I feel the way I feel?

Being forced to face ourselves, is a process that can be quite more difficult. Not to mention that it requires a major level of self honesty. Sure, we can slack at that part, but that dishonesty is only between, ourselves and our higher power. It’s a blatant waste of time, and it will never get us anywhere, except exactly where we started off standing. This is a moment, where we should really dig deep, and realize that a total life change is in our hands. Change is the most difficult things anybody can do for themselves. Not to mention the kind of change I needed. The kind where a complete change of being is the only way out.

When you live unaccountable to yourself, mistakes are bound to happen. We often learn our best lessons, during our very toughest times. For me, it was addiction, and untreated mental health. I speak all the time about how blessed my tragedies were to me. Because it was at that time, where I was no longer able to not face me. I had to face me, and all my many untruths. You must get to a point where you finally choose to change, because you finally have no other options. I think that trendy phrase they use now is “rock bottom?”

From all those discoveries, came another incredible lesson. It was a lesson about finding the courage and fortitude to own your own story. For myself, that means something very specific.

My first act towards my mission was to leave my vulnerability at the doorstep as I walked into my new world. It was to at first confess to myself, everything dark, lonely, and untrue. I was to break down all those barriers I once had around me.

João Silas; Unsplash

To remove everything about me, that made people cringe when I entered a room. It can be quite a low, and disgusting feeling about self, when you walk into a room, and people either get up and go, or they race to their wallets and pocketbooks, to make sure they’re secure. So like I said, to sit here, and own my story, of my life, and of who I am is a way for me to not go out and look for forgiveness, but to instead forgive myself.

It goes much further then simply “forgiving” myself too. I have been forgiven by endless amounts of people. Forgiven, but still removed from my life. Forgiveness is not the top step of a ladder. It may come close, but it doesn’t equal what ahead of it.

I’ve come to a place where I seek something stronger. And more whole. I’d rather have reconciliation, then just forgiveness alone. Forgiving is to make good about a hurt, a pain, a mistake. To forgive something specific, from something small that can be grasped in our hands, to something much bigger, like broken trust as a whole. It’s one idea or act. Now to reconcile is to forgive much further. To reconcile is to make good, forgive, and then forge steps forward, to continue on as an active friend, an active loved one, an active partner.

When I look at those definitions and I think of examples, I can see so many scenes in my life of past. I see myself being forgiven by very dear friends, but then those friends felt forced to walk away from there. That kind of example is the type of thing that amplifies some of my greatest regrets. Forgiveness is wonderful, but it can be an ending. A wall. A lesson learned in a terrible way. While those who have reconciled with me, is a two way road, made back into one. A continued relationship. It’s a one more chance.

It’s not my place to tell one hurt which road to take. It’s from my mistakes, and my bad decisions. But any reconciliation, is God’s best gift, when looking at my, and the people I hope for in my life.

By writing, I was able to find that road that lead to taking ownership of all my own shit. It can seem like a whole big pile of mess. But with each passing day, and each passing week, I am blessed to learn some of the greatest lessons I ever have learned. To offer all of that to the world. Not into a force fed style either. It isn’t to hide either. But I’ve made everything easy to know and easy to find.

Andrew Neel; Unsplash

What does owning my own story do? It creates a total radical acceptance. A great feeling. It can be a discovery of an entire new freedom. Nobody in the world can ever tell an inaccurate version of my story to someone else ever again. No longer does anybody have my story in their own greasy hands. No secrets, no horror tales.

I have found a great peace from writing. Nobody can tear down a person, when an entire world knows the story. What’s even better than that is even if an enemy takes a true story of past, and spreads it to the world, I feel free knowing it doesn’t matter. Because the stories have already been out there. For a long time. Shared by yours truly.

To me, my story is owned by me, written by me, and told by me. I embrace it. And I’ll never veer from it.

-The End

Marianne Christensen; Unsplash

Michael Patanella

is a Trenton, New Jersey Author, Publisher, Columnist, Editor, Advocate, and recovering addict, covering topics of mental health, addiction, sobriety, mindfulness, self-help, faith, spirituality, Smart Recovery, social advocacy, and countless other nonfiction topics. Articles, publications, memoirs, are a voice for the voiceless.




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Michael Patanella

Michael Patanella

Author, Publisher, and Editor. I cover mindfulness, mental health, addiction, sobriety, life, and spirituality among other things.

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