You are YOU

You are more than…

I saw this image and immediately thought of a post I had written in the past, What a Radiant Crescendo. In the post, I had discussed that without school, work, or a relationship, I felt as though there was nothing more to me.

It took me some time to fully accept that I was not my illness. That I had bipolar disorder but I was not bipolar. I used to use my illness as a crutch and an excuse to why I couldn’t be great but that thought never sat well with me. When my psychiatrist and I discussed the possibility of going on disability I was, to be quite honest, upset with myself. I was upset because I knew deep down that I was more than this. I worked so hard to be more than just my illness. What I didn’t know was that my environment was supporting this idea, encouraging this idea, keeping me limited in my capabilities because I was with a narcissist. My marriage and relationship to D was a cage that kept this bird from flying. I was too successful, too well liked, too smart, too financially independent, too loved. I had cultivated relationships where I was always well looked after and for someone who had none, that needed to be broken.

You cannot heal in the same environment that made you sick. Digging myself out of that abyss I did throw myself into work and when the opportunity arose, I did throw myself into school as a way to distract myself. Work distracted me from the emptiness I felt when JJ left. School and work distracted me from thinking about my sexual assault, from waiting to be divorced. But that’s just it, they were distractions. Here I was thriving and yet inside breaking down because I don’t choose to feel my emotions, I bury them.

I had fully intended on celebrating one year of being a divorcee on February 26th. My divorce was the end of a chapter of manipulation, self doubt, a lack of self love and esteem, and alcoholism but in the end, I chose to let the day pass without a second thought. I still wrestle with the thought that I’m a divorcee to begin with, because I chose societal expectations instead of loving myself enough to leave and start over again. Societal expectations are the devil and we need to stop feeding into them.

Societal expectations are what hold us back from continuing to achieve, thrive, and work after the goals we set forth. We’re so stuck in believing that certain tasks or accomplishments should be made by certain ages, but I’m here to tell you fuck them because no matter what age I was when I finally hit my milestones they still made me feel good as shit. Societal expectations hold us back from continuing to love ourselves and stigma towards mental illnesses, invisible illnesses, disabilities, hold us hostage. Continue to thrive any way.

I haven’t changed my life one bit since I questioned who I was without those things. I’m getting ready to go back to school again, I’m still invested in my work, I did choose to enter another relationship but that took some time after my sexual assault. But I know now that I am more than these things – I am a person with a kind heart, a willing to give what I have to support those who love me and I love. I am a person who has survived all of the things that have happened to me and I am still here to talk about them. I am more than the things that have happened, that I have experienced, and I am certainly more than my illness. I am me.

Until next time – Love, Peace, and Chicken Grease ❤

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