A few weeks ago life gave me (us) a slight plot shift.
And (almost) everything in me said just hide in a bag of Doritos and a pint of ice cream.
To pull away from allll the people. Because hiding is good and safe, nice and cozy.
This plot twist was learned of while at work. My typical reaction when learning of plot twists publicly (or through a phone call while among a sea of people) is just breathe and keep moving. Falling apart with worry and panic in the moment has never been an option. Boxing the feels away into another compartment of my brain has allowed me to keep myself together while being around others. When this unfolded, I couldn’t fall apart. Not at work. Just keep smiling was the goal. There would be room to rage, cry, and be still - later.
As Danny nearly hyperventilated on the phone while telling me of said plot twist, I was surprisingly calm. I stepped outside of the office, looked up at the bright blue sky, and just told myself to breathe as he delivered the news. Maybe because I was at work and I had a massive amount of shame over it, I was able to pull it together so well that no one would be able to pick up on something being wrong. I felt the burning need to hide this news at all cost in that environment (and they still don't know).
We’ve lost a car before.
But losing one this time had a deeper sting for an assortment of reasons - one reason being that it was our only car.
Finances mixed with health issues can be the biggest bitch. Cleanup from challenges as far as a year and a half ago can linger to bring things in the now crashing down. Catching up is hard as hell. Exhausting. And not always successful - as we have learned (again).
For the last several months, I have experienced what severe, raging anxiety is like at 3pm and 3am. Even in the plethora of plot twists I have lived to tell about, I never had anxiety on this level. The thoughts and fears over all the what ifs (and the what ifs of family/friends reactions) consumed my energy, my creativity, and my health.
Shame flooded me on this one. Shame is something I have experienced multiple times in my life but it never stings less when a fresh bout of it comes in like a tsunami. The level of shame felt is off the charts. I wanted to do nothing but hide during the first couple of weeks. To bulldoze our life here in SC and move to any state (or Canada) to have that delicious fresh start people speak of. But that isn’t an option - and probably for good reasons that one day I’ll see.
So how am I navigating through such a colossal financial fuck-up?
Giving myself compassion. And damn, it is a constant choice I have to make each minute.
Giving myself grace that even though the fight to hang onto our wheels led to failure, Danny and I gave it our best over these months.
Reminding myself that boundaries are healthy. We fucked up and we own that. But it doesn’t mean we are now doormats for should’ve and could’ve to land repeatedly on us with their muddy boots.
Repeating my gratitude that I have a Mom willing to help with the basics of trips to school, work, and the grocery store.
Repeating my gratitude that all the main things like a home, food, clothes, employment, and yes - the internet (it's vital, y'all) are all a-ok.
Choosing not to stop writing/creating.
Choosing not to hide from the world completely.
Choosing to believe it won’t always be like this.
Choosing to believe my abilities and worth are not tied to any of this.
Choosing to fight, claw, and dig my way out of shame instead of being consumed by it.
And choosing to believe that by the end of summer we will accomplish needed goals to get wheels again.
Why am I sharing all of this?
Because the way to start killing off shame and feel some freedom is to pull shame out from the shadows.
I debated hard and long in sharing all of this. But letting truths be liberated no matter the vehicle that moves the story is choosing courage over fear. For way too long I have chosen fear over courage. I’m kinda over it. And I can’t help but to remember “love rewards the brave.” Always and ever.
I’m choosing to remember from the out loud brave of Glennon Doyle - “I can do hard things.”
I’m choosing to ponder on the out loud brave of Cynthia Lee - “What if undone is complete?”
I’m choosing to marinate my heart in the out loud brave of DLP - “Even in despair, you are magnificent.”
To choose braving seen, is to choose my liberation.