Monday, April 22, 2013

Just Let It Go

For those that use to read me regularly you may have noticed that I haven't written anything significant for quite some time. Writing is my Thing. It's what I do and I have always enjoyed it since I realized I do it rather well. However, this past year hasn't been My Year, so to speak. I've been in an up and down roller coaster ride that has had me either hanging on for dear life...or raising my hands in the air and enjoying the thrill. All this has resulted in one very troubling aspect in my life...I lost the desire to write.


It just left. No idea why...or really when but I realized at some point that I just had nothing to say anymore. Or maybe I felt my words had lost their ability to really convey what I was feeling or what I wanted to express. I have no idea but the end result was silence in the one area of my life I had always depended on to get my demons out...or my humor (I choose to call it that) or whatever was on my mind. Without being able to has all been locked up inside me...and damned if I haven't suffered because of it.

I went down the rabbit hole more or less and apparently enjoyed it so much I decided to stay there for a spell. I have been down that hole before (my past made it a place I tend to visit from time to time) but I have always used my writing to pull me back out again. This time I did not have even that ability to rescue there I stayed.

Around the first part of this year I had a revelation of sorts. I was angry. Very angry. Angry at the people in my life (past and present) that have done things to me that turned me into a negative, pissed off person. Every day I was fuming about one thing or another. My temper, which use to be so hard to trigger, was now on a veritable trip wire. Anything could set me off...and I was a raging ball of fire. I was a seething mass of negative energy that ended up corrupting everything good in my life...because I was too angry to pay attention to the good things in my life.

I was letting my past ruin my present...and destroy whatever good my future held for me. I was allowing all that bullshit that was my past the sum total of my present life. I was my past..and my past was me. When I realized that I was allowing those people, that are long gone from my life, to still be a part of it (taking up full time rent free space in my head) and therefore impacting and corrupting it...I knew I either accepted the rabbit hole as my forever dwelling...or fight my way out of it.

Everyone who reads (or did) about my life know that I have 5 kids. I had a blast with my kids while they were growing up. We were rarely apart for any reason and they were a close knit group of siblings. My kids are mostly all grown now. I have my youngest, 15 years old, at home still but the rest are off living their lives. The silence that is my house now weighs on me terribly. Gone are the sounds of the music they all played, the fighting or laughing...the messes they each generate in their way. This silence has fueled my anger in ways...because I had no distractions from that anger and could spend copious amounts of time nurturing it and feeding the flames. My children are the soul reason I survived my marriage. Having them in my life, knowing I needed to be there for them..meant I couldn't give up or give in. Even if I felt my life wasn't worthwhile or important, theirs was...and I had to make sure they knew it. Now they are gone (generally speaking) and Ive been alone with my thoughts, my inner demons, my anger issues...and that has meant I had little respite from the inner destruction that was going on.

As I said, I realized one day that I might as well still be married if I was going to wake up every day and spend my time, my precious time, living as if my ex was still a real and meaningful presence in my life. If my memories of the past were going to keep me company as I went about my daily routine, ruining whatever happiness I might gain from even the smallest of joys then why bother living. If the experiences I had while living in Bahrain for the first 20 years...were going to color and corrupt whatever came after that then what was the point of the divorce..of gaining my freedom...if I was still going to live as if I were a prisoner?

I realized that the only person that could save me from my anger and issues with my past...was ME. Once I realized this I set about on a course of emotional healing. I spend far too much of my time alone...but one thing that being alone affords me is time to think....and think... and think some more. At times I would lay in my bed, during my time off from work, and just think. I would do nothing else but think about my past, my anger issues and where they came from...and what I could do to change what I was becoming (or had become) into someone better. I would literally lay there for two days solid and just stare at the ceiling...going through every damn issue that had turned me into a person that others didn't want to be around (did I mention I have lost several "friends" this past year as well)...I thought it was them...but realized it must be me since it kept happening. I find it incredibly hard to make friends, went most of my whole life without really having any, so losing the ones I did have was like a confirmation to my already low self esteem that I'm not even worthy to remain friends with. If others can't stand me..what did that say about me?

I worked my way through issues that were like open wounds on my soul. I poked and prodded them and made them bleed out all that pent up corrosive blood until only fresh blood remained. As I dealt with each issue I would ask myself...why is this still making me so angry...and is it worth it still? Of course, most of the time (damn near every time) the answer was no. Anger and self loathing, low self esteem and feelings of unworthiness were not worth it. My past was what it was...I couldn't change that...but I could change today, tomorrow and whatever came after that. As I worked my way through each and every issue...the end result would be to Just Let It Go.

Like a balloon that yearned to be free and sail off into parts unknown...I released, one after the other, issue after issue that was weighing me down, corrupting my relationships, my goals, my life. As each balloon sailed away I felt myself become lighter inside. I started feeling something I hadn't felt in so long I wasn't even sure I was calling it by the right name.

I started feeling happy. (don't be as shocked as I was please)

Happiness is not a feeling I have really felt too often in my life...and when I say happy I mean more than just a fleeting moment of happiness that is more like a memory than a state of mind. It felt unfamiliar and alien at the beginning...almost like an impostor had set up residence after I kicked out the abusive squatters. I almost didn't know how to handle this new emotional state. I felt like a beginner at happiness..a noob that needed to feel my way around and learn the rules and tricks before really putting my all into the game.

Apparently the "new" me was attracting some attention. I have had people at work comment more than once that I always seemed to walk around with a scowl on my face (I'm sure I was as I always had some inner demon playing with my mind)..or that I looked like I wanted to punch someone. Now they were amazed to notice that I was smiling, whistling...even singing...while going about my work. I had a few people ask me if I was in love..had I found someone that had brought about this change. Well, first off, yes...I am in love, have been for years now, but that relationship was one of the ones I was busy destroying due to my anger issues and one I was desperately trying to save at that point....but the reasons for the smiling, whistling and singing was due to another person all together.

Me. I was happy....or working hard so that I knew it was coming. I could feel it...see it...taste it. As I worked my way though each issue...I finished with it..and then Just Let It Go. I could not possibly explain with adequate words the effect this had had on me emotionally. Yes of course I still get angry (more than I like still...a work in progress) and I know that to never get angry is just not possible...but when I trip up and fall into a full blown anger melt down, I mentally try as hard as I can to reign myself in and put a halt before it gets out of control. (again, not always successful but I'm far better at it then I used to be). I ask myself, will this matter in 5 minutes, ten...tomorrow...and of course it most likely won't. And when I realize this...I can almost  feel myself relax and feel the anger start to recede and dissipate. It has stopped my anger in its tracks most of the time...most, work in progress as I said.

I have reached a stage now where so many things that use to set me off (thoughts of my past, of Bahrain, of certain people) don't really affect me at all anymore. I can think about them without feeling that tightness in my chest that would be an indicator that rage was building. I can talk about them without gnashing my teeth or getting angry at the person I'm talking to because the person I'm really angry at isn't there. Those balloons have sailed...and I have never heard of a balloon that was set free...come back to its owner.

Now, if there was one set back to all this emotional's convincing others that it's actually taking place. People who know me, love me, are so used to Angry Red...that they are suspicious of New Red. For some reason they would rather believe that you can't change who you have always been even though those same people have been encouraging me for years to do exactly that. I have actually gotten into arguments (go figure) while trying to convince these same people that the changes are real, are reaping benefits and are permanent. I much prefer New Red to Angry Red...why would I go back to that...and why do those I love most keep insisting I do? I have no idea.

Anyhow, I have a lot more to say. That makes me happy just writing that as it means I have more writing to do...and I realize this post is not up to my usual standards but I felt the need to write and I haven't felt that in such a long time...I'm just putting it out there before the mood disappears. So you guys (if there are any readers left) get a rough copy and I'm sorry for that but it is what it is. 

A few topics I will write about are my two recent trips to Bahrain (yes...imagine that), my new status as Grandma (my granddaughter is amazing) and what the future might hold for me. I became friends again with my ex from high school and other topics that might be of interest.  Stay tuned...if you are interested. I know I am.


Tracey's Life said...

Hugs, glad you are on your way back. I think we have to go through our own darkness to get to the light.

Sarah said...

I really admire you! There are so many people who never admit they have anger (or other) issues, let alone so publicly, and let alone actually work on fixing them.

As for convincing others - given enough time, the changes will become undeniable. Give it time.

Coolred38 said...

Tracey...I have been through plenty of darkness and I'm sure I still have some to work my way through, but I know I can see the light at the end of the tunnel so I'm good.

Sarah...Thank you. I have always known I've had anger issues (that manifested really during the last year of my marriage) but attempting to do anything about it was never really something I attempted. Consequently...I have suffered and made others suffer from it. I hope to amend that with those closest to me. I hope there is enough time left for that.

Anisah said...

I am so glad that you are in such a good place. You deserve it!

Are your kids living nearby, in the area, or a ways away?


oby said...

I have always beleived that Letting it go or forgiveness is something one does not for others who have hurt them but for themselves. It allows one to breathe again and live. NOT an easy thing to do though. Much easier in theory than in practice. But the truth of it is is that we carry all that baggage and hurt with us and the ones that have harmed us have moved on long ago and not thought about it at all. I am so happy for you Coolred! I look forward to reading more from you. I am glad that you found your voice again.

Coolred38 said... 3 youngest live around me (the youngest with me) and my two oldest live in Bahrain. I had a feeling when I left Bahrain with all my kids that at some point some of them would return. After all, it is their home.

Oby...I tried before to change myself but I was doing it for others. To maintain relationships etc., but it never worked and I failed horribly...causing more hurt to myself and them. This time I know I'm doing it for me and it has made all the difference. And I agree, usually the ones that treated us so badly don't even think about us after they (or we) walk away. We, the abused, are the ones that allow them to continue abusing us by keeping them constantly in our thoughts.