Christ this years I going fast, I am looking at meetings in September and they don’t feel that far away, had a bit of a thick head past couple of days, it is back again? I feel tired more quickly, especially when I have to think. Yesterday the phone and emails didn’t stop, people seeking advice about work or personal issues, I go to meetings and I feel like I am giving all the time, but then every now and then, I get the opportunity to receive, I get the opportunity to take a look into someone else’s life and reminds me that courage is everywhere and it is always a humble reminder as to why I do what I do.
I love it when I get something back, listening to personal shares from individuals who describe how they have managed to pull through some personal adversaries and survived, for me they possessed the courage of lionesses. They were able to admit that they were not totally fixed and that they might never be, but both were thankful that they were breathing and were grateful for the support and guidance provided by our services which helped them to create a new version of themselves and a new life away from the abuse they had been receiving.
They shared how even after the abuse stopped, it continued internally. How the abusers words like “you are nothing, nothing without me” had become wired into their brain and even though they looked ok on the outside, on the inside the words continued to spin like a hamster on a wheel, they shared how they were trying their best to rewire their own internal narrative and slow down their hamster cage.
They described how after they had adapted and changed who they were to try and fit the perfect mold, the abuser wanted them to be, losing their whole identity, how they were slowly working on breaking that mold and creating a newer version of themselves.
As I listened, they replayed the negative narrative. They shared what they thought about themselves, how this made them feel, but more importantly how they reacted, they had been preprogrammed to believe that they were nothing of any worth and how they believed it. They shared of the recovery journey about being more than just leaving the physical abuse, but more about starting to untangled the hardwired thoughts that they now knew as being lies. How they had slowly recognised how their once negative thoughts had turned into assumptions, then had been cemented into beliefs and how they were having to slowly chip away their belief system, replacing and rewiring them on their way.
The shared how being exposed to new experiences helped them realise that they were actually worth more, that the limiting beliefs they had developed for themselves were no longer true, they were all lies and how one of the hardest parts of their recovery was about learning to accept that they had allowed another person to harm them in that way. They shared how their recovery seemed like a constant cycle of anger, frustration, hurt, shame, excitement or pride.
But they were determined not to give up. Because they had realised that there was so much more to them that the person or society had made them believe. They were making informed decisions for themselves, based on facts and not just another person or societies word.
Neither, one of the ladies talked about how easy their recovery had been and that’s because it wasn’t and it still wasn’t but they both shared something in common! And I think that was HOPE It was like they had woken up like a light had been switched on both realising that what was once was the truth, was a lie and they were working on creating their truth.
Hearing their stories I saw myself, their journeys took me back to a place, a time, to a person I used to be. I felt anger and hurt that i thought I had buried long ago and I realised that it would always be there, not as painful, but always be there, but now i was living my best life, despite my past. How my past had made me who I am today and how in many ways, I am now thankful for all the painful lessons I endured, whether they were inflicted by either someone else or myself.
If you are doubting yourself, seek out the stories that inspire, then remind yourself of your own story, your own story of survival and how you have evolved, changed during a time when all you felt around you was doubt and uncertainty and remind yourself that you too are a lion or lioness, that you are a survivor too and have more courage and strength than you ever knew.
So next time you are feeling low, look back and see how far you have come and
Love Fordy x