Rewiring ‘Normal’

Here comes a real vulnerable post. How ready I am to share it with the world? I am not sure, but also I know I am not alone in my thoughts and actions, so it’s ok. Maybe it doesn’t seem like much to some, but for me, it is a daily struggle.

Most of my life, looking back, seems pretty average. Mediocre. Normal. Nothing lavish and out of the ordinary. But when I retell life events or the way my life has panned out, I often get mortified looks from the given audience. In no way do I feel that I have lived some terrible life. Have bad things happened to me? Yes, absolutely. But hasn’t everyone experienced some sort of mishaps and lows in their life? Apparently not like me.

I grew up with a mom and dad. I have a younger sister and brother. My parents, like many others, divorced when I was 14. Was it a great time in my life? No. But I survived it. I made myself busy like any other girl entering high school did. I joined the dance team, I hung out with friends, I went to school dances, I joined clubs, I had homework, and I worked my first ‘real’ job, outside of babysitting.. which I also did. My dad ended up remarrying and I gained a step-mom and step-sister. Over time, my dad and I had a major falling out, and I lived full time with my mom. Life wasn’t always great nor easy, but it seems ok. Normal.

After high school, I went off to college. I lived on campus my first year. My roommate and I didn’t do great together, but you live and learn. After my first year on campus, I moved into my first apartment, off campus, with Big D, and we learned to navigate life as ‘adults’. During my college years, my father and I reconciled… for a while again. I would have a few more falling outs with him, but that was the pattern. Normal.

After college, we planned a wedding. We navigated different housing dynamics. I got pregnant. Life was good. Then, it wasn’t. I suddenly found myself alone and navigating the world as a single mother before I ever got to hold my baby in my arms. I experienced myself without my own home. I did find my own apartment, and truly learned how to be alone. I do not want to make it sound like I was alone in the world. I had an amazing support system. But again, it was learning to transition from a life I cultivated, to being alone.. with pregnancy hormones helping along the way. But again, nothing that other people haven’t gone through. Traumatic? Absolutely. But I engulfed myself in life. I was a new mother, living on my own, learning to co-parent, taking more classes than an average full-time student, teaching at a new school and a new grade level, exclusively pumping, and suppressing my emotions. Normal.

I eventually found myself on a path looking for more human connection. Some of the connections I found were genuine and sincere. They were paths that I needed to be on. Precise and perfectly placed. But there were also a lot of self-destructive paths. I knew they were, but I didn’t care. But again, I was not, and am not the only person on this Earth that went through this. I was figuring out life again. What I liked and what I didn’t. What I wanted and things I will never tolerate again. What I am willing to compromise on, and how much I am willing to compromise. Normal.

Through these normal chapters in my life, the pages were not all that normal. The details that helped write the lines of those pages were the things to make a person turn their head slightly, with wide eyes and an open jaw. While I am not ready to go deep into all of those details, and may never be ready to do so publicly, but, they are there. They are real. They are what makes me, me. Nonetheless, they are chaos. My own chaos.

It was not until that I was in therapy that I truly realized how chaotic my life has been, and will probably always have some degree of chaos in it. But I can’t be the only one? No, I am not. But it is also not normal.

I have been surrounded in chaotic energy my whole life. Not by any one person.. but it has always existed. Sometimes from family, friends, lovers, and myself. When you have spent your formative years and most impactful years of your life surrounded by something, it becomes your comfort. In my case, that is chaos.

Now that I find myself in some of the most tranquil of times that I have experienced in a while, I struggle. I still have my trials and tribulations, but overall, my life has experienced a level of peace that it has not had in a long time, if at all. I am not nearly close to finding my way, but I am learning to be a lot more comfortable in the roles that I play.. mother, coparent, girlfriend, teacher, daughter, sister, friend, and anything else in between.

The reason that this is seemingly a problem, is because my comfort is not peace. My comfort is not stability. It is messy. It is chaotic. It is tension. Those times of heightening emotion is when I perform the best. I am able to communicate better because things are at stake. I am able to use my emotions to fuel my life. But to admit that I seem to thrive more in the chaos than the peace seems wrong to admit. It is not healthy, and no one wants to admit that their brain isn’t healthy.

It is obviously not something I wish for myself or anyone else. I wish that I grew up and experienced more peace and healthy life choices than what I did. I wish that I was able to find peace in ‘boring’. But I don’t. At least, not yet.

I am learning to adjust my thinking. I am rewiring my brain. They say your first thought is what you are conditioned to think. Your second thought is what defines who you are. I am working on those defining thoughts and decisions. But it is not easy.

There are many times that things are going well in my life, and I question when things are going to end. I have had the rug pulled out from under me more times that I can count. Those are times that I am out of control of a situation. Anyone who knows me, knows I like control and predictably. If I am able to self-destruct or create a little chaos, it is in my hands. It is in my control. It may be messy, but I know it is coming and I can blame myself for it.

Reworking this out of your brain is not for the weak of heart. I have to constantly talk myself out of hypothetical situations. I have to stop wondering ‘what if xyz happened instead’. I have to stop myself from ruining some of the best things in my life, because they feel too good. It is more than just breaking a habit. It is breaking all that I have ever known. Breaking the cycle. Having these thoughts occur can really cloud your judgement because you second guess your own decisions, and it is hard to not always trust yourself.

I do a lot of self-reflection and have to have a lot of honest conversations with myself and sometimes that involves other people as well. I have been working on communicating when things don’t feel right. Understanding that I am not always going to be in control of things is not an easy task, but I have been pushing myself out of my comfort zone when it comes to control. Some of this comes in baby steps, and some of it comes in leaps. Regardless of how much progress I have made, there will always be regression. I am ok with this, it is not my favorite thing, but it exists and I address it as it happens.

As always, thank you for reading, and partaking in the journey of finding my way. I appreciate all of the love and support. ♥️

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