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:

5 thoughts on “Express Yourself Already

  1. Hi Amy, it is good to read one of your blogs… like always. 🙂 You are beautiful, I can tell not only from your photo but from the words you use and the way that you express yourself. But you’re not broken…… don’t think that. You may walk through life a little differently than some and you may carry different emotions and pain because of it, but you are not broken.
    Beautiful…. along with caring, talented, thoughtful and amazing are just some of the words to add behind your name. But not broken.

  2. You are an amazing woman! Sometimes even the best people need to hear it. I have been so fortunate to have had you enter in my life and so me just how strong someone can be when times get really tough. You are an inspiration to so many people, don’t ever forget that. Thank you for your blog Amy, keep writing, keep pushing, and keep telling yourself that you do make a difference, because you do!!

  3. Three cheers for an authentic expression. One that is not frightened of sharing vulnerability. All too rare in this world, given how common the experience really is.

    I think with regard to feeling like you are helping people with online work, it tends to be a one-way conversation a good bit of the time. However, this does not mean the work is unimportant. I have a letter over my desk from someone who read a blog I had written some years before and found it so useful that he thought it had helped to save his life. There was no comment posted online, only the letter that came years later. This sort of thing is invisible to you now, but it is none the less real.

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