Today I am reminded how kind words can be transforming for a person and can assist in eliminating fears.
To have someone speak to you kindly, with compassion and love from their heart can be exactly what you need on any given day. And then when someone identifies your demanding work and points out that the work that you have been doing has been exceptional, well it can make you feel like a million dollars.
I long have known that I am a person that needs to have a certain amount of affirmation in order for my wheels to turn. This has been more of a necessity these past few years since being diagnosed with Bipolar and depression. I find it hard to believe that “you can do anything you put your mind to, dear Bella” when I feel like I have this glass ceiling that I keep hitting into that is the mental illness that seems to be the basis of my existence.
I get discouraged when there are mornings when I struggle to get out of bed, and I fight myself to take a shower. I am angry when I have to mentally talk myself into working through my to-do lists and literally putting one foot in front of another. I recall the days when motivation oozed out of me and I miss, terribly miss those days. I grieve the way that things were three plus years ago and I yearn for how things were. I think of all that I could’ve been, and I feel the loss of all that I won’t ever since being diagnosed.
However, there are days like today, when it is brought to my attention that I am still rocking it. That I AM doing an excellent job. Perhaps its quite possible that I may be excelling past the point that I have in the past, just in a different capacity. That there is no way to compare the two because it would be comparing oranges and marshmallows, there is simply no comparison. That I do in fact have my shit together, and I am actually, for once, balancing things quite well, and my darling sunshine, I am able to do all that I put my mind to, and perhaps now, I just am not as starry eyed as I once was in my youth.
I think at times it is easy to think that we are incapable of achieving the same as others because we have a few more things to keep in consideration. I know that I have a few more scarfs that I juggle than some others, but I am a fool if I sit here and think that I can’t achieve what I put my mind towards. I may have days where I have a foggy brain, and there will be depressed days, anxiety filled afternoons, and sleepless nights, but I can still achieve my dreams.
And, way back years ago, there was this thing that happened. A little girl was standing in the ocean and she was afraid of the waves. She was standing in a place where the waves were barely hitting her thighs, so she was in no way in danger, but her limited exposure to the ocean, led her to turn to her first instinct which was fear. There was this other person standing near her, but just far enough away to give her space so she could experience the ocean on her own, but close enough should something happen she could swoop in and save her. She also was close enough to hear her talk. The little girl was talking, and she was saying something to the effect of, “I am afraid, but Michelle is over there, and she is not afraid. If Michelle is not afraid, I do not need to be afraid.”
This was eight years ago. It was at this point that I realized I had made an impact as a step mom. But it was also a big point in my life when I realized a huge thing about fear. It is what we make it. And if we can stand there and identify that we are afraid and there is not a need to be afraid, we make a huge step in overcoming fear.
I share this story as often I recite it in my head, “If Michelle is not afraid, then I don’t need to be afraid.” In reality, I am Michelle, and I am in control. I need not be afraid of being able to achieve my goals because of a mental illness or whatever else my goals may be. There have always been obstacles, before the diagnosis and after that have attempted to thwart me from achieving what I have wanted to achieve in my life. Success if getting knocked down eight times and getting up nine…