When I had my implosion in 2014 these became 3 of the most loaded words in my life. I despised myself, in my eyes I was failing left, right and centre; so, the idea of embracing the true “me” was ludicrous.
I’d dedicated decades to making up for what I felt were the failures of my younger self. I blamed her for starting a cycle of failure, humiliation and a LOT of shame; so, there was no way I wanted to go back to channeling that little girl in an attempt to discover who she really was and who I’ve been suppressing all this time.
I’d be willing to put money on the fact that pretty much everyone has heard the anthem “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman. I’m also guessing most of you have felt a little bit of a swagger as you’ve listened to it. We all know that little inner narrative that pops up when it comes on… “Yeah, this is ME. Take me as I am world, I’m proud of being true to myself and I’m not afraid to sing at the top of my lungs” (or mouth along with feeling, if you’re listening in a public space!)
It's all very well that we get chills while listening to it, but what if the inspiration gradually ebbs when the song finishes? What if we don’t know who “ME” really is?
It’s easy for us all to list off the labels we give ourselves. We can all state that we are a (delete as applicable):
- Career person
- Candle Stick Maker
If you had to describe yourself without these labels, what would you say?
This sort of quandary has been at the forefront of my mind for a while now; after 5 years I’m certainly learning more about ‘me’, but my discoveries are nowhere near finished. The more I learn, the more I realise how much there is to learn.
Some realisations come to light as time passes, and one thing that I am now fully aware of is that I interpret what each day brings based on what I have experienced in the past. This is similar to my “the more I learn, the more I have to learn” situation. Each day that greets me is both shaped by my interpretations from my past and shapes my future. Crucially, how I interpret today will be partly responsible for how I will interpret tomorrow.
I may be alone here, but I see that as a huge deal, in essence I’m trying to discover myself while aware that I’m always developing. I’m also trying to be aware that how I perceive things is often totally skewed by a former version of myself - a version of myself I am taking steps to discover, let go of and improve all at the save time.
Argh! How on earth do we approach that?!
I'll make it clear now - I only know my own story, what has worked for me, and what has been appropriate for me given my circumstances at various stages. In essence I guess this blog post is all about ME - a tad ironic given the subject matter!
However, a lot of my experience over the past 5 years has been influenced by health professionals, trained individuals, and a lotof trial and error. Therefore, my plan is to share some of the ways that I evolved, in the hope that some bits may be useful for others.
Some may not resonate with you, some may be a bit woo-woo for some of you, and of course I can only share how I’ve processed things in my mind. However, as is always the case with my mental health writing, I figure that if one thing helps one person then it’s worth it.
I’ll be posting throughout the month (after all, in this month of lurve, who better to love than yourself?) so do check back in for a number of posts all intended to help in different ways. Some will contain tips, tasks to try and suggestions that I invite you to at least consider. Some will be reflections, challenges that arose (and still arise) for me, and some will have honest examples of what I’ve discovered (about myself and others...) - it’s not always been pretty!
As always, sharing is caring. If you know someone who has lost their identity, who deserves to love themselves in the way you love them, or even just may be interested then do please invite them along on the journey.
Until next time...
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me
BuBakes is committed to reducing the stigma attached to Mental Health, and personally donates 25p for every order received to MIND. This is kindly matched by three generous supporters, meaning a £1 donation is made per order.
Mr. BuBakes (My AMAZING husband!) is also running the London Marathon this year to raise even more pennies for MIND. Find out more here.