A few days after the meltdown I wrote about in “I thought I Couldn’t Go On”, I woke to find a new version of me, I don’t know where she came from, I don’t know if she had been hiding deep inside me for a while or if she developed over the past few days. I have always known my negative voice, but never had I experienced such a positive and happy voice. I wonder how many versions of me there are, do we all have different versions of us? Not the sort of question I would be happy to ask anyone, well with the exception of my counsellor.
The positive voice
It sounds mad when I talk about a new me, but that really is the most appropriate way I have to explain it. I woke up and felt no different, but when I decided it was a hot day and I wanted to go to the beach, I didn’t endure the usual argument inside my head. Normally I question in my mind all the reason why I shouldn’t go out, all the things that could go wrong, all the reasons I should stay home – but not this day. This day I was going out!
Stopping at the shops, I saw myself in the glass shopfront, looking at my reflection normally makes me want to hide, shrink, become invisible, anything but look at that! But today I said yeah, I am not a beauty but so what?! Yeah so what! Who cares what people think? I walked around the shop feeling this incredible confidence I didn’t know existed. I told myself all was well, that other peoples opinions were their opinions and didn’t affect me.
WOW! This was so not like me and it felt great! This version of me is one I hope decides to stay.
Feeling free and light
I decided to go the beach. I walked along the sea wall, something I do frequently, but this walk was different, I walked with my head held high, I smiled at people and it wasn’t just a facial expression, I actually felt the smile. It’s so unusual for me to feel a smile. Usually I would have talked myself out of going into a café, I talk myself out of so many things I want to do. Today I’m going in the café! I sat, sipping my cold drink, smiling, the sun on my face and felt great. I mean, I don’t know if I had ever felt this happy and content before, if I had then I don’t remember it, it’s certainly been awhile.
Driving home after such a great day by the sea and I thought about this new me, how great I felt when only days ago I had wanted to die. I was slightly shaken by how I felt, like I was a completely different person, happy and confident. My body – particularly my stomach and chest – felt light, not the usual heavy, tight and knotted feel. I had no idea if I would continue to feel it or she would disappear as quickly as she had materialised. Feeling quite emotional, I pulled the car over and randomly decided to record a message for myself. Now this is a very new experience for me, it is rather strange to create a message from happy me to a potentially suicidal me. I have since felt the need to hear the message and believe it or not it has helped during some dark moments.
Message to myself
Despite it being a rather personal message to myself, I have decided to share it with you, because this is a big part of my journey and a rather large step in the right direction – even if I continue to take one step forward and two back.
“If you are listening to this, you are having a real s**t day. I’m having one of the best days I’ve ever had, I feel the strongest I have felt. I want you to know you can feel like that again. You are going to have bad days, sometimes it’s going to be really hard and you will have that twisting knot and a sick feeling in your stomach. You will feel scared and feel like you can’t cope. But today I know that I can feel something else. It’s hard to explain it to you, but I am going to try.
I’ve had an horrendous week, I really thought I was going to kill myself, but I didn’t. I wanted to scream, I just felt like I couldn’t take any more. And maybe sometimes that is what you need, to reach breaking point. You can either fight this or give in. Don’t ever give in. I want to fight this more than anything and I am telling you, you can win this. You can have the life that you want. Yesterday I lost the plot, I just screamed and shouted, so much pressure was released. I screamed about how I was sick of being trapped, constrained and scared. I’ve suddenly got a real sense of power and determination, I’m sure that I am not going to hold on to it, but I didn’t know I had it and I do!
Today I didn’t want to curl up in a ball, I didn’t want to be invisible and it felt great. I don’t care about anyone anymore, I only care about me. In my chest and in my stomach, I can still feel it, but it’s not that normal feeling, it’s not heavy. It’s just so strong and powerful and determined. I am going to win this! I‘m going to get out of this relationship, I am going to put my past behind me, and I am going to live my life! For once I am going to live my life for me, because today I actually believe I deserve it. I really want this”
Was this really me?
“So, if you are listening to this, you’re having a really bad day, remind yourself inside you have got the strength to do this. It doesn’t matter how long it takes or what we have to go through, we are winning this war. And it is a war. It has been a constant battle, but this is the final battle and if we can get through this, then we are free. And that is what we need right? So, don’t give in, please don’t give in!”
I felt excitement
Now I don’t feel excitement very often; if it all. But this new me does. I was driving along the motorway on a lovely summers evening, heading to a place I had never been and wasn’t particularly clear on how to get there, but I didn’t care. I was on an adventure, breaching all of my usual rules and worries, I was happy, free and excited. The music was blaring, the sun was shining, and I was smiling.
After the amazing day yesterday, I had just seen my counsellor and now I was heading to Norfolk. My had friend had messaged me, she was away for a few days, staying in a log cabin in a forest and there was a spare room. The next day they were going on a boat trip and I was invited to join them. Now I would normally either decline such an offer or accept it and then my negative voice would chip away at me until it eventually convinces me that I cannot go. But I was on my way!
I’m glad I went, because I had a great day out.
I Went shopping
I have never liked shopping, going into a shop fills me with dread. I don’t even know why, it’s just every time I want to go into a shop (of any description) I suddenly come up with a multitude of reasons of why I either can’t or shouldn’t. I shop online whenever I can, but even that is a chore not a pleasure.
After returning from Norfolk I decided I needed some new clothes because I had lost some weight. This time I didn’t view it as a chore, I spent almost 5 hours walking around shops. For once I didn’t want to be invisible, I wasn’t conscious of my weight, for once I truly believed I had as much right as anyone else to there. I went in shops I haven’t been in for twenty years, shops I had told myself were for skinny people, not someone like me. A first for me I looked at clothes I wouldn’t usually look at and I tried clothes on . I spent a fortune and I felt great!