Its a question I keep coming back to.
Anxiety makes sure I visit this subject frequently. I really think it has an agenda…..Make her doubt herself and her ideals at least once a month…..at least!
I have a friend that when we hung out last time told me I was allowed to be paranoid. It came up in conversation over car seats/booster seats and the like. I am not only not ready for her to be in just a booster but I am incredibly anxious about it too. I am good with if she is just going to a friends house in their car or the like. Get rid of the carseat(of some kind) instills complete and utter panic in me.
Have we ever really just given ourselves permission to be who we are? Do your friends ever give you permission to be who you are?
I know I am paranoid about alot of things when it comes to my daughter. I know it has a very weird logic. I may be completely paranoid about one area and completely unfazed in another.
Its not something that we typically stop to think about. Its not something that I would put up there on my list of why I am friends with a person. It might be why I decide a friendship is not worth the effort anymore though.
So as I drove home I began to think (this is how alot of my blogs start, driving or walking) am I okay with me?
Am I okay being paranoid? YUP I sure am. I know it causes way too much grief for me if I try not to be. I have been there. I have done that. It only made me feel worse.
This doesn’t mean I am not proactive about it and it doesn’t mean I don’t want to change it or at least try to curb it.
For the most part I am okay with being the introvert (until you get to know me) and the quiet one. I am okay with being known as an anxious and paranoid mom. I am okay with being known as the one wtih Chronic pain (but we all know she is faking it) Mom. I am okay in being completely obsessed with Dr. Who and other Sci Fi shows, or authors.I am okay with being a complete bitch to someone in order to protect my child. I am okay with having strong opinions about things. It took me a long time to get here. It wasn’t always okay. Its easy to say it doesn’t matter what others think, its another thing to actually do that. I am not completely to that level. I still find myself wondering what others think. Its still a process of reminding myself It doesn’t matter what they think. It only matters that I am okay with it. It only matters that if I am not completely okay with it that I am gentle with myself while I am trying to change that.
We have been told for too long its not okay to look too closely at ourselves. Its not okay to change. We have told ourselves for too long we shouldn’t make others uncomfortable or offend them. We should conform to the majority. This is what was drilled into my head. Spoon fed from my first school experience. Yet at the same time we are told to stand up for what we believe in. No one ever saw these as contradictory.
Along the way I have found its hard to not judge others. Its hard to stand out from the crowd. Its hard to say this is who I am and I am okay with it. Its hard to stand up for ourselves and say yes my pain is REAL! Its okay to stand up for our children to be loud and obnoxious until they get what they need. Even if that is just a class sit down to discuss how we don’t need to worry about being fat or who is fat that we are all just who we are. After all who are they going to learn the most from?
I remember judging people who went to psychologist or who were in therapy. They must be really crazy. Until I had to go. Until I knew if I didn’t get help that I would mess up my kid. Do you know what made that process easier? Other people saying that they saw a therapist. That they had the same struggles. Its really helped me be more open minded about other things that I might not have alot of experience in. Say in taking pain killers daily….
I am not saying I am perfect with who I am…I am just saying I am okay with who I am. I know there are areas I want to change. I know there are things that don’t need to be changed. Perfect tends to be an illusion anyway. We don’t need perfect. We do need okay. Being in chronic pain and being a parent has changed who I am. Who I am down at my core. In ways that I would have said couldn’t be changed. Once I acknowledged that and tried to leave behind my picture of who I should be and just be who I am it all got a little easier. Getting to that point though was one of hardship and tears and anger too.
Not every friendship is going to be so revealing, or so helpful as this one is to me. I truly think this friend was put to cross my place at that right moment. I would not have been ready for it at any other time. There were years that I had to do this for myself that I had to stop and think about each friendship. Years I did it in therapy with someone who didn’t know these people. Who was labeling their behaviors.I liked them for who they were and that was okay too.I just didn’t always look at what I took away from those friendships and I really should have been. Now that I do know to do this, its like why did I never do it before. It was probably why my friendships before therapy were so off and on or so short lived. I still fall back on friendships that are more emotionally draining than they are helpful. Its who I am. I know that I will always have a few of these kinds of friendships in my life.
You have to be okay with you before you are okay with others. Check in with yourself every now and then…Am I okay with me?
Yup I am!