Some thoughts on sharing information normally thought of as "private"

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Sometimes people say to me, “I wish I could share like that. But I would be too scared.” Or “I would post this, but it’s too embarrassing for Instagram”. But who’s saying I’m not embarrassed or nervous or scared? The amount of time I waste rereading and editing, just to change one word or the punctuation - in itself is embarrassing. Edit edit edit. So that hopefully it will be well received. Open the door for connection/communication. And not be misinterpreted. (Read: FEAR)

What I realized though, was that, at a certain point, I have to take ownership for my life. The UNEDITED version. There is always a little bit of fear and there likely always will be. But, by taking ownership and ultimately by sharing, I step away from shame. I don’t have to hide who I am or mistakes that I’ve made. From that, I’m able to say. “Wow. I’m not perfect. I don’t have to be and I actually don’t give a fuck about what other people think of me.” If someone wants to judge me for my struggles with addiction and my choice to get sober or to judge me for sharing my heartache over a miscarriage and becoming a resource to other women on their path to motherhood, well honestly, that says more about them, than it does about me. It’s really liberating to not be held to someone’s else’s standards and to not be ashamed of the cards I was dealt or how I chose to play my hand.

 

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Honestly though, I don’t think my story is all that different or interesting from anyone else’s. But it’s what I’ve got. My experience of how pain, angst, struggle, love, joy, rejection, acceptance, contentment, success, failure, etc. plays out for me in my life. The very simple truth is that we all have the same basic fears (loss, pain, rejection, failure) and the same basic hopes (love, safety, good health, acceptance, community). And we all interact with the world based on (avoiding, achieving, resolving, maintaining) these hopes and fears (for ourselves and loved ones). 

And with that all I can offer is my experience, which we come to learn is not so different. That, in fact, we are not so different from each other. We are all just doing our best to navigate the fundamental fears and hopes of the human experience. But through these little squares I can tell my story and say, “this was the view from where I stood.” “This is how I reacted.” “This is how I handled it.” “These were the consequences.” “This was the outcome.” Is it the only way? Definitely not. Was it the right way? Who knows. Was it enough? Maybe. But it’s everything that I’ve got.

Some people are going to resonate with it. They will feel a connection. Or be grateful to know they are not the only one who is dealing with something hard or embarrassing or not perfect. And some people will reach out to you because of it. Others will laugh or gossip about you. Some will thank you. And some people are going to think you are being insincere or that you’re just looking for validation. Or they’ll try to put you down. But one thing I know for sure is that in order to help or connect to or be an inspiration to ONE SINGLE person you have to be willing to be a joke to someone else. And that to me is worth it. 

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So this blog (and my Instagram account) is everything that I’ve got. It is a blank slate where I can write and share and hash out the things going on in my life. By giving myself a voice I can create a platform that serves others. It is my genuine hope that I continue to heal myself I can offer a hand or a shoulder to help others on their own path. To be clear, by no means do I intend to suggest "help" on a clinical level. I am not a doctor of psychology. It is beyond my scope of practice to offer counsel of any kind. What I mean is that by merely serving as an example of someone who is not perfect, perhaps my story can offer permission to someone else to accept themselves as they are as well. Perfectly imperfect.  By writing I can explore addiction, sobriety, depression, feminism, my struggle with ED and body dismorphia, fertility, selfcare, self study, self befriendment, the importance of curiosity, the trappings of certainty, the willingness to struggle, the gifts and challenges of partnership, understanding and meeting needs, or whatever is actually going on in my life... all in all, (my very personal) well rounded story (as an example) of the joys and struggles we experience as humans. 

Caroline McConnaughey