Express Yourself Already

It’s been too long since I’ve written or done much of anything that really expresses myself authentically. And you know what? It’s about damn time I get back to it. I have been holding back and I have been just a bit busy, okay, I’ve been a lot busy. Being single mama to two children, the sole breadwinner and embarking on a new career, well, just those two things alone have kept me busy enough. Add dating and other life commitments to the mix and well, I got lost.

Funny how it takes something like failure or loss to push you to find what makes you “work” again. I have been flailing all about like a fish out of water recently. And it occurred to me this morning that a couple of things are going on. 1) I don’t feel like I am helping people anymore, like really helping people. In my health activist efforts, in my previous blogging efforts and work in the online mental health and chronic pain communities I regularly and genuinely felt like I was being of service to others. People reached out to me and thanked me. People related to me. I related to them. I was engaged in the act of making others feel better. 2) I am not expressing myself. In work I express mostly what other people want or need to hear from me (if I am expressing anything), so no where in life am I authentically expressing Amy. I used to do that all the time, mostly here. Also often in art and crafts, in poetry on Twitter, and in community (predominantly online). So take point 1 and point 2 and put them together, you get a shell of who I am, but none of the really, really good stuff.

I have been so sad and feeling empty… because I have just been the shell… but now I need to get back to the good stuff!

I don’t think I have it all figured out yet, (ha ha, will I ever?) but I know that I am trying. I went to a yoga studio and practiced yoga tonight for the first time. I have done yoga at home before (mostly on the wii) but I have wanted for years to go to a real yoga studio and practice. It was challenging and empowering and relaxing and rejuvenating all at the same time. And most importantly, I finally did it!

I am making plans for myself and being social, even when I don’t much feel like it. I am feeding myself positive thoughts to think on and I am working really hard at practicing actually thinking them! I am doing the little things that add up to a big thing called whole health, at least I am beginning to really put these things into practice, and it is helping. It is helping me through the moments of sad, the moments of extreme loneliness, the moments where I forget how crazy awesome I am and I feel not good enough.

Just being “here” and writing and telling the world that “Damn it, I am here and I am making it!” Well, that’s a big deal. It’s a big deal for me. And maybe it will be a big deal for someone… some other single mom or person who has struggled with chronic depression or chronic illness of some kind, or someone who has just been lost. I tell you what, I am tired of acting like I don’t struggle, that life isn’t hard (believe it or not I have been acting like that recently in some circles). But, I am more tired of feeling like I am letting life run me over. I am made to stand proud, and so are you. I may be broken, but I think I am beautiful that way. I just have to remember. Like the stained glass that is shattered in my blog’s header photo, broken is beautiful, it lets the light shine through. I will find a way to let the light shine through me and then wherever I go, whoever sees me, they will see light, too.

And just for the fun of it, I just need to add a little Madonna to the mix, it’s only appropriate: