Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Soul searching...

I was hanging out with my friend at Starbucks yesterday and we were looking over some books and talking about one in particular we mutually love. I was talking and laughing and smiling, which is what I do. A lot. He remarked that he doesn't know anyone who smiles and laughs more than I do. He says I'm so refreshing to be around because I'm so often just laid back and happy.

I laughed and told him a year ago, he would have hated to be around me. Two or three years ago, he would have hated to be around me. I wasn't so laid back. I wasn't so easy to get along with. I wasn't happy most of the time.

I'm the happiest I've ever been in life. I was so miserable and unhappy for so much of my life and my biggest issue was wanting to be happy but not really knowing what to do to get there. My biggest problem was myself. I was so hard on myself about everything. I won't get into it all here because it's more personal than even I want to get. I also had quite a few issues to deal with that I had kept held in and pushed down for far too long.

In January this year, I was looking at myself in the mirror one day. I had been crying so hard that I'd ended up throwing up until I was dry heaving. I had mascara and eyeliner dried up all over my face. Swollen eyes from all that crying. I wanted to scream at the girl looking back at me to stop being such a fucking mess.

In May, same thing on a different day. That time, for some reason, was different. I don't know why, I just know it felt different. I wasn't sure what to do but I knew I couldn't keep going on like I had been. I shuffled off to the bedroom and laid down in bed, turning the Pandora app on my phone on. A song came on and two parts of the song really hit me.

"If we're gonna make this work, you gotta let me inside even though it hurts. Don't hide the broken parts that I need to see."

"Like it or not it's the way it's gotta be, you gotta love yourself if you can ever love me."

Those lines really hit me hard and got me thinking. The song is about love between a couple, but it got me thinking about so much more than that. I started doing a lot of soul searching. I started thinking about why I was unhappy, what was hurting me, what was stressing me out. A few things, I couldn't change. A lot of things, I could address and deal with. I stopped stuffing my emotions down when I felt a certain way. I let myself cry when I felt like crying instead of pushing it back and letting myself get angry over whatever I was going to cry about.

By July, I was feeling better about myself. I felt lighter. I felt like a lot of baggage had been lifted because really, it had. I wasn't sleeping more than I needed to. I wasn't ignoring text messages and phone calls from friends. I wasn't crying on a regular basis. I wasn't mentally beating myself up. I was improving and growing.

By mid-September, I was even better. I had dealt with a lot of things, come to terms with some things, truly let go of some toxic people that needed to not be a part of my life and learned how to take it easy on myself. I forgave myself for things I had blamed myself for for far too long. I did so much soul searching and so much emotional and mental purging that it was exhausting at times, lol.

It's October now and I've still got some shit to work out. I still have a few things in my life that I'm not satisfied with but that I'm working to change. I know there will always be little things here and there but some of what's left are things that can be fixed, that need to be fixed. And they will be. I've changed in a lot of ways but I'm still the same girl. I've just grown, a lot. I've become the person that I wanted to be, that I knew I could be, if I just had the strength to overcome things and be that girl.

I wake up and don't ever contemplate staying in bed all day anymore.

I haven't laid on the floor or laid in bed sobbing in months now.

I haven't had an anxiety attack in 2 months and haven't had to take any medication for anxiety in 2 months.

I haven't looked in the mirror and disliked the person I saw looking back at me in months.

I don't have much to my name. I'm still trying to get on track financially from being unemployed for almost a year. I'm still struggling to keep my head above water with some things but I don't let it stress me out as much anymore. I still have some work to do and some improvements to make and I still struggle with not holding all my feelings and stuff in; but I'm doing better and will keep doing better.

I took this picture yesterday at some point in the evening. I was tired, my make-up was messed up, my hair was a mess but you know what? It's the first picture I've taken of myself in months where I'm actually smiling and look happy. :)

It hasn't been easy getting here but I'm damn happy for the most part. It makes everything in my way, everything that I still need to work through and other road blocks that pop up out of no where so much easier to look at and deal with.

Happy Tuesday!


Janie said...

This is such a beautiful and inspiring post. I am so glad that things are changing for you and getting better. It is much better to laugh than to cry and so admirable to turn things around for yourself. You rock!

Much love

viemoira said...

Life can be so hard- and sometimes just when you think you cannot take anymore, more shit happens...I'm not a greatly religious person, but I think there is something to be said for the idea that "God doesn't give you anything you cannot handle".

At the least- everything becomes a learning experience and offers you growth. :)

mojoman1969 said...

You look completely different, mostly through your eyes. Most of the pics I've seen of you, you have had a "back off" look in your eyes. This pic is different. Very relaxed. It's great to see. I'm happy for you.


Anonymous said...

You are one hot hockey lovin' chick!

I have suffered from anxiety, sadness, depression...etc...for a LONG FUCKING TIME.

I had always remembered being laid back and happy, many people saw me as that guy, but I did not feel like that guy. It's amazing, but at about the same time you had your change....I had mine.

I am not totally happy, I am not 100% the person I want to be and I doubt I ever will be, but I am happier because, like you, I just let all that shit go...


nitebyrd said...

You're so very wise for being young. You always impress me with your insight and intelligence.

Keep doing what you're doing and you'll most assuredly be the incredible person you want to be.

Osbasso said...

I've always suspected that this is the girl underneath. Good for you for liking YOU!

PandaDementia said...

Yay! It's amazing how much the world changes just when you change your perception of yourself. Once you're happy with who you are, there's no challenge that you can't tackle, no hurt that you can't rise above.
Good on ya, Ash! Hope things continue to get better!
Sending lots of love your way!

Korina said...

You do look happier. Like the one guy said it's in your eyes and plus the smile looks genuine and real.

I am happy you had the strength to do and keep doing what you need to do to get yourself to where you want to be. So many just wallow and stay stuck in a bad place. Good on you girl. You inspire me!!

Roaring Lion of Two Fisted Cool said...

It's sounds so trite to say, yet it's true that the first step to being happy is to...decide to be happy. I've had a couple bad bouts with depression in my life (one of which required a brain tumor scare to make me realize I didn't really hate my life that bad) ive found that 'jazz hands' works, for me anyway (which is a big reason i'm rarely serious around these parts).

Lifes too short and too full of awesomeness to be pissed off about it. Glad to see you're catching the hip new wave of happiness.

Anonymous said...

Finally I get to leave a comment. I work at a treatment center for BEH kids and was called away no less than five times while reading this absolutely wonderful post of yours!

Well, I can certainly relate. A lot of it is a decision to be happy, but a lot of it is realizing that you are a beautiful person through and through -- messiness, fuck ups, hard breaks and all. Good for you that you are heading in that direction. I hope you continue on your journey toward finding happiness and living in love.

I truly do believe that happiness is our purpose. It's what we all desire. The Dalai Lama wrote an entire (very excellent, enlightening and inspiring) book on the subject called "The Art of Happiness." I bet you would really enjoy it.

Much love and piece to you! XOXOXO

Hubman said...

"I'm the happiest I've ever been in life"

All the rest is window dressing, this quote is all that matters to me!

Andrew Deighton said...

Ashly I'm happy for you I wish I could inhabit happiness too, but I'm at that stay in the house for days on end stage. I'm so sick of having to look happy when I'm around friends and family, there is so much I truly despise about my life my job is hell on earth, and I've been on the sick five months to avoid it, looking in a job market thats non existent for change. I've also been single for four years and It's killing me, I feel like a worthless freak, if only I could cry or unload some of the baggage mate, if only. I hate living alone too it sucks I used to love coming home to my girlfriend, every place is empty void of love, affection and happiness, I only pray it turns round soon...

I'm so sorry for writing a me me me reply to your great blog post..

sarahbear said...

You are beautiful and so is this post. It's so difficult for a lot of people to understand how freeing it is and how much happier you are when you finally love yourself. It's very odd how much easier your other relationships are when you love yourself and are happy with you.

Thanks for this post. =)

Grump said...

Thanks for the post. I have a son who is going through some problems at the moment and is finding it hard to get out of bed. So you have given me hope for him.

~*Jobthingy*~ said...

I am so proud of you doll face. It is a lot of work, I know, but it is all woth it. *huge hugs*