How to begin to have the life you want

I was asked yesterday..
HOw do you begin to have the life you want.
How do you deconstruct your entire life?
The first step is, of course, realizing that you are in a life you DON'T want.
Many people don't even acknowledge the fact that they are miserable.
Or if they do, they think it's normal.
The idea that you have created your normal is hard to believe..
when your normal seems so shitty.
The thing is..
you have to want to feel better.
You have to want to be better.
Or you ain't gonna make it.
You chose your life, remember?
There is a reason you chose it.
Changing your whole life is a bitch.
It's worth it..
but this isn't a 3.5 miles walk-athon for fundraising..
this is training for the soul olympics.
I am going to post something from January 12th, 2000
This is about 7 years before I really began to change my whole life.

January 12, 2000

Well, back here again.
I get frustrated easily
I make a big deal over everything and nitpick Kate.
I am a fucking martinet who eats too much and spends too much.
I am tired and stressed.
I feel like I clean all the time and the house is still a mess.
Life is the same-day after day
Nothing changes
I get up, do useless errands and go to bed.
I have been doing this for six years.
No wonder I nitpick Kate...
I need to figure shit out or I will be STUCK IN THIS FUCKING HOLE MY ENTIRE LIFE.
(and here is why I know the date)
January 12, 2000

and there you go folks.
That was me..fourteen years ago..it took me 7.more.years.  to start changing my life.
I had to recognize that I has lost my voice.
All that up there..
was a product of me...trying to be the picture of what I thought a mother and a wife should be.
The first step is hearing yourself.
And believing yourself.
When you are morbidly obese...
at some point you stopped listening to yourself..
because deep down you believed you weren't worth listening to.
So you began to listen to all these voices that tell you...
'have a sparkling home...your children will be healthy."
Never complain
good mothers ___________ (insert socially acceptable quality here)
The one voice of mine that I listened to was the voice my mother gave me..
That my children were their own people...and I was not to live vicariously through them.
And I honored that...
But it didn't stop me from tearing myself apart...
You want to change your life.
Stop eating!
Not to lose weight...
set a calorie cap where you KNOW you won't be hungry...do it for a week..
feel your emotions..and when they come.
what are YOU SAYING!
What do you say to yourself!
And that, my darlings...will tell you everything you need to know about what you think of you.
Unless you know that...
unless you know where your own brain is..
you can't go anywhere.


Sean Anderson said...

Fabulous post. Powerful, thank you.

Anonymous said...

What a dark and tortured place you were in 14 years ago.

I had to stop and think if I had ever been there. At first, I couldn't find that memory and wondered if I'd ever been anywhere close to what that post reveals.

I looked back for several minutes. And, a-ha!, I found it. It was 38 years ago. (I am old, after all.)

I'd just had my second child...that year. Yeah. My husband was working 6 days a week, sometimes 16 hours a day to support us.

Me? I was collecting sleeping pills. The anger in your post reveals desperation, but also hope. I had no anger, I was hopeless and defeated, and knew it was all my fault. I knew I was defective...and was making my plans to die.

I had it all figured out. I'd take the overdose when Bill was on 4x12 shift, about 45 minutes before he got home. The babies would be sound asleep and he'd think I was, too. In my plan, he would be none the wiser until morning came and the babies woke up, but I didn't.

And, then, Jesus showed up. As hokey as that sounds, that IS what happened.

He told me that He knew me, all about me--the good, the bad and the beautiful. He knew heart adn my dreams and my fears. And He loved me.

It happened in my living room. I wasn't attending church during that period. I wasn't raised in a Christian family. I had no background that made me think such a thing could happen.

But it did. And it saved my life.

Then, I had no resources for hope or help. Now everything is different. Until this post, I had almost forgotten what it was like to feel defeated...and completely without hope.

Sorry this comment became a post, and thanks for causing me to look back and remember from whence I came, and no matter how I sometimes sound in my own "Woes is e I can't stick to my plan." posts
the fact is--I always have hope and there is always, sometimes only dimly, but always joy in my soul.

I am forever grateful.


Kimberly said...

I swear it's like you're in my head. I just wrote a post yesterday about this very thing...being what I think I'm supposed to be instead of who I truly am. I'm just now starting to grasp this in my own life and that underneath it all...I'm pissed off!!! Thanks Chris...you're a voice in the desert!

Oh, and thanks also for your response yesterday...I needed it all wrapped up into something I could grab hold of. And I am.

Robin said...

First, I thought I commented on this when I read it the day you posted it. Guess not. I think that the loss really begins when we hear our internal voice and then disregard it. Once we do it the first time, it is easier to do it again. And the results are usually bad. So, then our internal conversation plays like, "You are so stupid. You knew that was a bad choice but you don't have courage/smarts/know-how to do anything right." Blah blah blah. So, we need to turn that garbage off and just go back to listening to that inner voice and then following it. For me, that was the first step in voice recovery.

I plan to use your previous blog post this weekend... maybe today.

And I dedicated something to you on the Thursday post.