There is a shift happening in my life. I’m not quite sure if it’s that I’m finally turning the corner or I’m falling into a deep depression. Depending on the day, it can feel like both. Here we are in November and last January, I decided to completely transform my life. I promised myself that 2018 was going to be the year that my life was going to manifest into everything I desire. I was going to lose weight, find the love of my life, get a big promotion, doing what I love and be well on my way to becoming a best-selling author. Well…I did lose 35 pounds so far…the rest hasn’t happened—YET!
During the summer, I felt fantastic. I had my old confidence back. I was ready for a summer romance to turn into happily ever after and I was optimistically waiting for my big break. When that didn’t happen right away, I started to fall back into those old patterns of self-doubt and the belief that life just dealt me a bad hand. I mean, that annoying little voice in my head just got louder and louder. Telling me, “You’re just not as special as you think you are.” “You’re never going to find a decent man.” “Your writing sucks…no one’s going to publish this shit.” “Your career is going nowhere fast.”
That never-ending loop of negativity from the worst critic of all—me.
I had a handful of disappointments with career opportunities that fell flat and men that ended up in the overflowing heap of shit with nothing more than lessons on what to avoid. My optimism was slowly wavering and my self-confidence was being chipped away bit by bit.
I knew I had to snap out of it somehow, but the weight of self-doubt began to smother me. I decided it was time to take focused action, just as I did when I started my Ketogenic diet. I was focused and unwavering. I celebrated the little successes every time I got on the scale or slipped on a pair of jeans that used to be too tight. It didn’t just happen. I had to work hard at it and be patient. The same goes for my career and digging my way out of debt. I can’t let a few setbacks get me off track. I have to hold on to my faith every second of every day and believe that the universe is shifting things around in alignment with exactly what I want. It might not happen the way I think it will, but it will happen. I just have to be willing to put in the work, even if that means making serious changes in my life.
That is where the shift has happened. I’m the person that just wanted to escape on the weekends partying with my friends and using alcohol as a way to forget about my problems. I still am from time to time, but I realized that alcohol was part of the problem, not the solution. I also realized that drinking too much alcohol (especially vodka) on the Keto diet not only slowed my progress, made me feel like total shit the next day, but also acted as a truth serum—that frankly nobody wanted to hear nor was it my place to share my stupid opinion. Sure, most people say things they shouldn’t say when they’re drunk, but I’m so hard on myself the next day that I realized that it isn’t worth the scrutiny of my inner dialogue.
Bottom line is, I just can’t drink like I used to nor do I want to. I realized alcohol is a depressant that was holding me back from achieving my goals. The problem is, I had a bad case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and my friends are drinkers. Which is fine for them, but bad for me. I had to learn to start saying no to going out all the time and listening to my body. I used to go out every Friday night no matter how tired I was after work. Now, I’ve learned to say ‘no’ and I’m okay with it.
I finally learned to be okay with sitting with my loneliness. In that loneliness, I find more of myself. I’m embracing my fear like a hurt little child and telling her that everything is going to be okay. I’ve accepted that I still have some work to do to fix myself, but I can love myself on that journey.
I realized that I didn’t love myself…not really. I was trying to fit into what everyone wanted and make everyone happy, but when I fell short of that, I beat myself up for days sometimes weeks. I allowed people, especially the men I dated, to treat me with less respect than I deserve and because of that, I was creating a misperception that all men are manipulators, selfish and liars. How in the hell, am I going to attract love with those beliefs?! I’m not!
A shift has to happen within me, in order to receive the love and life that I want. I have to believe in my abilities and love myself enough not to attract a man that is anything less than what I know I deserve. Deep down there is a part of me that feels unworthy of that. I realized it one day when I was meditating. I had an epiphany that I’m holding on to the shame of losing my house. Every time, I went out on a date, I would wonder what he would think of me if he knew the financial mess I am in or how I hate my house because it’s falling apart and I don’t even give a shit. I felt enormous shame. I felt like any decent guy would run for the hills. Who’s going to love a broken mess like me in a broken home? Literally and figuratively.
These are all lies I tell myself of course. The truth is that I don’t love where I am at this point in my life, but it doesn’t define me. I achieved a success that was stripped away and it took my self-confidence with it. I know I am greater than my circumstances, but until I’m out of this mess, I feel unworthy. Ain’t that a bitch.
I forgot to find gratitude for everything I have and everything I’ve learned. After all, our failures are our greatest teachers. I forgot that my greatest achievement is my three amazing kids that I adore.
Just the other day, my son was reading an essay he had to write for school. He wrote about me. He wrote about how strong I am and how hard I work to provide a good life for them. That even after working a 10-hour day, I always come home and cook dinner and have a smile on my face–even though he knows I’m struggling. If that is my only accomplishment in life, then that is enough. After I balled my eyes out, I realized that I didn’t fail–I showed my kids resilience. That is what I’m most proud of in life. My kids.
This was where I had to recognize that none of my dreams would have been shown to me without having to lose it all. My marriage, my job, and even my home. Sometimes you have to strip everything away to find yourself. You have to face it head-on. You can’t hide from it or wish it away. In order to turn the corner, you have to do the work. If you feel stuck or feel like the same things keep presenting themselves in your life, it’s because you haven’t dealt with the root cause. You have to dig deep, sit with your loneliness and find out what you are really made of in order to make a change. Otherwise, you’ll keep riding around the same merry-go-round in circles and never turn the corner.
With Faith, Hope, and Love,