When we become a mother we are forever weighing and measuring our babies.
"Look how much they've grown" we comment lovingly. Sometimes with boastful pride, other times with wistfulness.
They get older and we set up growth charts and eagerly measure their height come certain times of the year showing them how much they have grown.
They get older still and the growth becomes slightly less physical. We start to measure progress academically as well as the physical.
By the time you reach adult hood no one gives a shit how tall you are (unless you're a supermodel or a basketball player), and the number on the scales is hardly important either (but how your body looks apparently is). The growth is all about what's on the inside.
"Personal Growth" we call it.
As mentioned previously, I'm a serial "put-er off-er" if I think I can get away with it. Stuff that is directly affecting me and hurting me? It gets pushed wayyyy to the back. Hung up like an old coat.
It's nothing to put one or two or even three of these there in the back. You carry on like normal, their weight unnoticed. Slowly though the combined weight of a few more starts to weigh you down until those undealt with problems start to show like a wardrobe bursting at the seams.
That was me 2 years ago.
Many people rolled their eyes when I mentioned I had many skeletons in my young life. Alas, I had. I had my own demons as we all do that I silently carried around until I decided enough was enough and I sat down and gave myself the year to drag each coat out, lovingly go over it with a lint brush, wash it, and then press it before throwing the fucker out.
Boy how it changed me. It changed my self worth, my goals, what I demanded from others, and myself.
Not every coat made it out, and sometimes a coat would come out, get its brush and go back in because I wasn't ready to face it just yet. Some of those came back out later after I had lightened my load and I was able to get rid of them then.
Some I couldn't fix, and I had to accept that I couldn't fix them now, but I could change how I felt about them.
Some I had no idea what to do so I pulled them out every second time, played with them, and chucked them back in.
My closet, it wasn't cleaned out, but it was lightened. I realised that not everything that was said was about me, and that if i felt like it was a personal attack to just ask what was meant. I realised that it didn't matter what others did with their lives, even if I did care about them and see their mistakes, I needed to only give my opinion when asked, and leave them to make those mistakes. I needed to learn to say no, even if I just didn't feel like it. I needed to learn to tend to the garden of friendship and remove weeds, and water the flowers, and possibly go that extra mile in nourishing and reviving some flowers.
It has made such a difference in me. I won't lie, the first few months I spent miserable. I was angry all the time. Angry that I let so many problems happen. Angry at my actions and who I had been. Frustrated that I couldn't fix it all with a snap of my fingers, or that I had to deal with these coats years and years later.
After 6 months though I started to notice a difference in me. I was more patient. I wasn't as quick to take everything to heart, and I was more sure in myself. Not that fake suit of amour you put up so that on the exterior people don't see you are really a mess on the interior. I actually had a bit of peace inside there too.
Sometimes I falter. It's OK though. I am bouncing back twice as fast and things that destroyed me before are having no affect on me now.
The reason I shared this story, is because I know how hard it is feeling alone. I promise each of you that everything you're feeling or have ever felt, there is someone out there who has felt or is feeling or is about to feel the same. You're absolutely allowed to have your moment, but please, do not let it define you. Do not store those coats away for as long as I did and bear that weight.
Sometimes we seek help in the wrong people. Just don't give up. Try someone else. Keep trying until you find someone who is strong enough to listen, to be what you need in that moment.
No one can clean out your closet for you, that is something you have to do yourself, but there are people who will help with your every day life for you to give you more time to heal.