I’m not sure how to start this blog, nor do I know where it’s headed, but I do know that this is a necessary release. WHO AM I?
Today (Nov 12th) I had a meltdown. Since menopause slapped me across the face, this isn’t all that strange. But the rogue wave that knocked me down today was my feeling completely isolated and alone.
Granted, I have moved to the most remote city in the world (Perth), but this loneliness comes from a deep place inside that I have been covering up over the years, decades in fact.
In the past I sat back in quiet contemplation, maybe even judgement, whilst allowing other people to take the wheel of my unplotted life course. Life was easier that way. I pretended to remain happy with whatever direction others steered me in. I made friends with big, loud, fun, happy people that made me laugh… and I have laughed a lot. I saw in these people a part of me that I wanted to be, but I was too scared to be boldly myself. So, who am I?
I just wanted to fit in and not be noticed.
Allowing someone to witness my inner psyche wasn’t an easy task. There was a lot of shyness that ensured my low profile remained as such. Life was simpler when other people led the way. Even as a child I copied what I liked in others.. all this because I didn’t know who I was or who I wanted to be.
In addition, I started drinking alcohol at an early age. Possibly too early. Drinking became my go to entertainment, my escape, my bond with others. Why did I need alcohol? Because I wasn’t true to myself. The real me pretended to appear when there was a moderator in my bloodstream, however, looking back now, the truth being that I was better at pretending to be someone else through the bottom of a glass of something mind-numbing.
Why did I do that? Possibly fear of not being accepted as I am. Maybe I didn’t know who I was. The answer to that doesn’t really matter. It happened, and I’m still learning from it.
I also think smoking was my form of pushing the real version of me down. Any time there’s overeating or smoking involved in someone’s life, there is usually something emotional being suppressed. I have been guilty of that it seems.
So, what was today all about really?
The reminder that my best friend told me of her stage 4 breast cancer 4 years ago? The disagreement with another close friend over the phone? The recent intimate relationship conniption?
Do all these issues relate to my mental health, or do I continue to blame menopause? After seeing a counsellor, I realise that the above are only minimal in their affect on me. (Dark Night of the Soul blog to explain in more detail – coming soon.)
I think they are all factors, but the underlying truth surrounds shedding the old version of me. Lately I’ve noticed that I have a foot in two camps. One in the old version of me that everyone back in Melbourne knows, and the other, truer version of me that was discovered whilst travelling solo. Who am I?
Through all these fun times there was still a small part of me sensing that I was built for something different. Even now, I still struggle trusting my instinct as to what that “different” is… but as I unfold myself, slowly, the winding course reveals that I am in perpetual motion. I guess that’s all that matters.
This is such a tough transition. I have to let go of the old me, and most likely, some old friends that I have appeased over the years. I have just learned that this is called “The Dark Night of the Soul.” Sounds scary, but it’s a life process that I will be grateful for… eventually.
No, I am not depressed. In other words, I feel as though I am an empty shell and there doesn’t seem much point to the every day tasks I am supposed to tend to. This downtime is the opportunity to fill the void with positive educational changes.
And from all this I am to emerge from this cocoon a butterfly. I am starting to feel the developmental increase in energy and am excited about the next part of my journey.
“WHO AM I? I am me. Wholly and unequivocally me, Alison McNicol. And becoming prouder of that fact, daily.”
Is this something you have been through or are going through? I’d love to connect and compare tales if you feel up for it. Or call out to me if you are in need of some spiritual guidance through this transition.