Hi, friends. Since my last post I’ve had several people reach out to me. They reached out to check-in on me. They reached out to tell me their own stories of suicidal ideation. They reached out. Over the last couple of weeks I have felt supported by people both close to me and people that I don’t know very well. It is amazing how much this keeps me going. It reminds me how special this blog is to me. Please keep reaching out, even if it isn’t to me. Just check-in on your friends, you never know how much someone might need it.
This morning riding the subway there was a person. They were wearing pants on their head and screaming at the top of their lungs. The passengers on the train gave them weird looks, heck I probably gave them weird looks. Some people would enter the train car and immediately hop back off, like “not today, Satan.” All I could think for that 15 minute ride was ‘where were they going? Did they have people that would reach out to them? How different would the world look if we took care of each other instead of feared one another?’ Don’t get me wrong… I am guilty of the fear. The fear that drives my internal system and tells me people are bad. It is that baby Sarah voice that takes over. It’s a really cute voice with a bit of a speech impediment and she is not very nice.
I’ve actually been spending a lot of time thinking about baby Sarah as I move forward from my recent heart break; the role she plays in my daily life, her goals and dreams, and how they are both similar and vastly different from the person I am now. I think it is important to think of our inner child often, as they are typically the drivers of our natural instincts. Baby Sarah is a peace keeper. She always wants to make things right, even when it wasn’t her fault that things went wrong. This makes sense to me, then, that as an adult I cling. I cling to the hope that I can fix just about anything with a nice smile and a quiet voice. What magic it would be if we could simply smile and cure pain and suffering. If it were that easy, I would have fixed a lot of problems ‘cuz, to quote my many dates, [I have a great smile].
Which reminds me, in the last few week I have been on many dates. Talk about the inner child, whew. I find it fascinating the way humans behave within the first few moments of meeting. There are so many things people are willing to disclose; so many things that aren’t being said at all. Dating is mystery, excitement, and inevitable choice: Do I kiss them? Do I ghost them? Do I see them again? Do I runaway to Europe? Sometimes it feels like I am the one wearing pants on my head. Sometimes I want to be the one screaming at the top of my lungs on the subway car. With that being said, to my surprise, dating is going really well. I’ve met some really awesome people and I am feeling more hopeful about finding a partner that is kind, honest, and holds me in a safe space and I do the same for them.
In fact, baby Sarah shows up a lot on my dates. She thinks about her future and the family she one day wants to have. She also gets really, really scared. I am trying very hard to both listen and understand this part of myself while challenging it as well. From a young age I absorbed messaging that I was not good enough. I don’t think this was the message that I was supposed to receive, but this is how my kiddo brain interpreted things then. I think the point was to protect myself, but I just ended up hurting myself. I became the victim of my own life and I set out on a self-fulfilling prophecy to ensure I would continue to play out these patterns that remind me I am not good enough. This is where I have to challenge this girl because… I AM GOOD ENOUGH. I deserve happiness, love, and to follow my dreams. I actually just got done with therapy and surprise, surprise baby Sarah was the star of the show. She kept coming up over the hour and a half. My therapist also mentioned the protecting she does for me. The protection of leaving my body, the security of giving trust to those that I shouldn’t, the safety of providing ‘soft no’s’ all in hopes to avoid pain and hurt. She is my keeper after all; however, I am also on the right track with this whole pushing back thing. While these patterns provide a sense of safety they are in fact hindering my ability to live a happy life. Instead, I currently live in a constant state of fear. How exhausting…
My assignment given to me for the week is to A. Find moments I disassociate (leave my body) B. Find the places where I feel safe and happy and C. Establish more consistency. After leaving the session 20 minutes ago I have left my body twice and I have felt safe and happy once. Sitting here, writing this blog, listening to two girls watch a stand-up comedian and laughing so hard the one blew soup out of her nose, I feel safe. I feel happy. I’ve always struggled to do this for myself. To put my happiness above other things. I tend to come in second to the rest of the world. I preach self-love and then shove baby [Sarah] in the corner. I’m over it. I’m over the soft no’s and the quiet complacency. I want to say YES when things feel good. I want to demand people hear my NO when I say ‘NO’. I want to stand up for myself and not feel concerned about how people might react to that. I will be stronger, every day, continually growing into the person baby Sarah could only be proud of. So, I would like to give you all an assignment as well. Think of baby *insert name here*. How are they serving you? Would they proud of the person you are now? Is there anything you can do in this moment to make them smile? Maybe, just maybe, you have 5 minutes to devote to this reflection.
And on that note, I would like to end today’s post with a poem written by Rupi Kaur, whose words have been a guiding source in my healing and growth over the last few years:
it was when I stopped searching for home within others
and lifted the foundations of home within myself
i found there were no roots more intimate
than those between a mind and body
that have decided to be whole