July 8, 2017
About 13 years ago, I recall sitting on a therapist’s couch, dissecting my post-cancer PTSD and anxiety. I was desperate to release all the pent up pain, but recall thinking, “If I tap into this sadness, I will never stop crying.” I eventually let go, realized I would not drown in my tears and, throughout my twenties, learned that avoiding those fears actually gives them more power of me. I was being held back by holding on to control and strength. Yet, to survive certain experiences in life, we turn to specific parts of ourselves that are needed in a given moment to see us through to the other side. It is survival. Aspects of self are shut down and others bolstered because it is how we are able to put one foot in front of the other. Compartmentalization allows us to breathe and live another day.
In the last six or so years, I have navigated through so many changes, some born within and others external. I left my marriage and closed my business. I moved to a new home. I faced issues of betrayal that were shocking, yet systemic. I struggled for years to figure out who I am and how I want to show up every day for myself, my daughter, my friends, my family and my community. I opted to remove my implants and go flat. I stepped into sharing it all publicly. These years have required strength, focus, clarity and quite frankly, a whole fuck load of badassery to survive. I leaned on those parts of myself that carried me through and pushed aside the ones that left me feeling more permeable and open.
And now, like that moment on the couch, there has come a time when I see how those very ways of being that kept me alive are now holding me back. We are infinitely faced with the task of integrating who we are in each new moment. With a racing heart and a churning belly, I know that the only way through is to admit my deep desire for softness, vulnerability and connection, and to trust that I will not drown in the admission, but be met and held here as I again rebalance my whole being.