I don’t know how many times I’ve been told to be humble in my life. Bragging wasn’t a good thing to do, and I wasn’t supposed to make others feel bad about what they couldn’t do.
I’m taking this opportunity to say, “Screw that!”
Be proud of yourself and tell yourself how awesome you are. Gas yourself up! Say this daily:
I am proud of myself today, yesterday, and every day behind and ahead.
Why I’m proud
I’m proud of myself for getting back up after giving up. I’m proud of myself for rising up after sinking lower than I ever had. I take pride in the fact that after years of choosing others, I’m choosing myself first every day. I’m proud that I have the capability to learn, change, and grow. I didn’t run away when things got tough. I stayed and fought, not only for myself but also for my life.
Throughout my life, I’ve felt powerless and afraid of just about everything. So many other entities were in control at various points in my life. The military, my parents, and exes had me under their thumb. I’m proud of myself for taking my power back and for realizing that I had any power at all.
I’m going to throw some journal prompts in this post, because we’re going to reclaim our power together.
When was the last time you felt all of your strength and made a big choice with it? What was the situation, and how did it pan out? How did you feel?
What challenge scared the crap out of you, but you refused to back down? Can you recall that feeling and hold onto it for future challenges?
When did you feel like you couldn’t go any further, but you pressed on and kicked ass?
Give these moments some serious thought, then write them down and come back to them when you feel powerless.
The last time I felt all of my strength was when I decided to shut the door that I had left open for my ex. I was furious, and somehow that made it easier. Aside from writing blogs about healing from my heartbreak, I haven’t given him a second thought. Saying, “No more,” when I hit my point of no return was a huge decision. At the time, I was scared, thinking that walking away for good would tear me in half with regret and sadness. Quite the opposite happened. My life has kept improving steadily each day once he was removed from my mind and life. I stopped caring about him, stopped torturing myself with old memories and letting him influence my life at all, and focused all of my attention on myself and things that would actually add value and positivity to my life. That made all the difference! Changing my focus brought all kinds of new people and opportunities my way. I’m back out there dating again and having fun. I’ve met some great guys, and I’m keeping my focus forward instead of looking back. Once I truly understood and internalized that it was not my loss, because I did everything I could, it was easy to walk away and not even think about looking back. Someone much better is in store for me, and all I have to do is be patient, keep healing, and continue growing. Am I proud of myself? Heck yeah! I didn’t even think this would be possible a few months ago.
A challenge that scared the crap out of me was relearning my truths. My truths were super detrimental to my mental and emotional health. You’ll recall from my last post that my truths were:
I am not worthy of life.
I am worthless.
I am only worthy of conditional love. I must perform to receive love.
I will never be good enough.
I don’t deserve kindness.
Facing these truths that have been an integral part of who I am and disproving them was no easy feat. I have to work at handling them every day. Believing in something for almost thirty years, then telling myself that it’s not real, is a serious mental workout. If my inner critic even begins to whisper, I break out the mental pots and pans, whip out mental banners that say, “I AM AMAZING! GO IRIS!”, and I make mental noise like a black family at a high school graduation. I have to drown that inner critic out with a mental parade and fireworks display because I love and believe in myself too much now to be dragged down again. I am so proud of myself for being able to do this now. I couldn’t even light a mental sparkler for most of my life, and here I am throwing bicentennial celebrations for myself!
*trigger warning: mentions of suicide*
I didn’t think that I could go any further during the end of June and beginning of July of this year. I had been hospitalized twice after suicide attempts and been given multiple treatments of ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). My depression had become unmanageable, and I had lost the will to live. I didn’t lose the will to live because of my breakup. It was the breakup compounded with so many other things. All of the people connected to my traumas had never had consequences for what they had done. It felt like I was the only person impacted by what they had done to me. I was suffering while these people got to go on about their lives, and I didn’t want to suffer anymore. There was this suppressed rage that led to a sense of deep, deep sadness. I was the only one punished for what others had done, and I couldn’t take it anymore. Thankfully, a psychiatrist and I had figured out that one medication, in particular, was amplifying these feelings to an unsafe level. We changed my medications around, and I have been great ever since. I had to work through my anger toward the programs and organizations that were supposed to help me (like the police when I was in college and dealing with a psychopath), and I had to accept that I would probably never see the other person get their comeuppance. I don’t feel like I need that anymore. The best revenge wasn’t vengeful. It was becoming a better person and knowing that since my life was terrible before, it’s going to head to the other side of the spectrum and be wonderful. I’ve moved on from a lot more than a guy and a broken heart. I’ve moved on from a lifetime of trauma and the identity that I created from it. If that’s not cause for a celebration, I don’t know what is.
I am proud of myself for finding happiness within, finally. I can’t say I did it all on my own. There were numerous people that lent a hand or shoulder and guided me to this peace. New friends, therapists, doctors, the whole nine got me to a better place. Forgiveness allowed me to let go and release any ties or power that anyone held over me.
My challenge for you
Take pride in your accomplishments! Cheer for yourself if all you could manage today was getting out of bed! That’s where I started, too. “Woo, I brushed my teeth, I did such a good job today!” Slowly, you progress and move forward. And don’t be hard on yourself if you slip up and the best you can do is hang out in bed all day. It’s okay! That’s part of the process. You can even be proud of yourself for forgiving yourself. “Yay, I didn’t criticize myself harshly today!”
A cool and quick announcement, I’m gonna be on a podcast next week! I will have the details soon. Please check it out, it’s my first one. I’m gonna give it a whirl. Also, I have an interview with a mental health doctor coming up at the end of the month. Black Friday is also coming up, and I’ve got some things in store (ha, get it?!). Join my newsletter to find out what’s going on and get a freebie while you’re at it!