I love you.
please forgive me.
In a yoga class last fall, these were the words that one of my favorite teachers repeated in savasana. I remember tears flowing down my cheeks as the class ended. I went up to the teacher after class and told her I was making the hardest decision i had yet been faced with in my 27 years of life. I explained my predicament, to which she said “only you know the way. take your time, and just keep showing up on your mat, and in your life”.
nobody likes that answer. I have taken my time but I have abandoned my practice a bit this year, much like how I have abandoned myself. I have given myself 2 years of time.
I remember the day my mom called me in March, after a 2 day bender in the basement.
Usually, after these benders I get a plethora of text messages- none of which make sense. followed by apologies and promises of reconciliation the next day
This time though, she meant it. After 20 years of alcohol, substances, shopping, and eating to escape and numb herself from her reality, she was done hiding. on this day in march- the choice was real. No suicide attempt, no rehab visits. not even a true “rock bottom.” just a woman with an inner desire to change her life.
I keep waiting for the fallout- the digression-back into the comfortable, familiar behaviors. but day after day in the last 6 months I have watched my mom take hold of her life for the first time in mine. I had held her hand and tried to motivate her, encourage her, lift her and love her through the darkest hours – expensive rehab programs, changing jobs, vacations – it didn’t matter what external factors changed in the last 20 years. She was not ready.
When I stumbled upon the interweb of deception my life was in 2018, my partner was not ready to face himself, his patterns and definitely not me. I took on the role I had known my whole life in reaction. guiding, loving, helping, holding. I am a giver in my truest form. it is a gift, but also often my downfall. my therapist, partner, and my own thoughts kept convincing me that it was different than my mom – though the two kept surfacing the same emotions within me.
The particular behavior pattern that caused the eruption in my relationship, I was less worried about. I explained the emotional abuse that endured, and poked hole after hole in flawed thinking- day after day, month after month. clearly, i was repeating my fix, help, lift, love, hold pattern myself.
The underlying pieces of the puzzle had me in a state of anxiety. The underlying themes that built to the destructive behavior patterns hadn’t gone anywhere. conflict avoidance, confrontation, lack of boundaries, taking responsibility, owning your shit-ism, stepping into, or finding curiosity about the behaviors. I wasn’t seeing strides in the direction of change without a fire lit under the ass.
I started feeling the depletion sometime in May, honestly around the time i saw my mom standing strong in the promises that she usually broke quickly. I had a complete breakdown in Bluffton, SC. I had an anxiety attack on the side of the road on a run and I felt like the 1000 lb bag i had been carrying in the last 18 months was only getting heavier. I felt it in my bones that I needed to make a change. but i didnt. I wasnt ready.
it took me months. small changes. baby steps. it felt like 1 forward, 2 back for a few months. I started ignoring my truth further, as i kept encouraging everyone around me to step into theirs.my partner hadn’t stepped into his – he needed to do it now. A close friend hated her job- why wasnt she stepping into hers? i refused to fix or look at my own damn truth. I took self help podcasts, dates with no intentions behind them and over exercising as my vices of choice, none of which were doing anything to fix my void. We usually think of numbing behaviors similar to my moms- drinking, drugs, etc – but even though I know to avoid that path, I am able to find my “healthy” ways to numb. (hint: there is no such thing as a healthy way to numb).
I started back at clinic – my mind was everywhere but clinic. my nights have been getting later, and the void getting stronger. the frustration adding up, desire for progress and change looming, the exercise miles dragging longer. I was putting all the things i needed to hear in my ears – almost like a whisper to get me to listen or inch closer. I wasn’t ready to take action yet.
I took a big step this week. I re- hashed some of the hardest parts, reconnected some of the dots, checked validity, was honest about progress. I went to EMDR therapy, joined a online group. it hit me at clinic like a ton of bricks – I will never be ready, but I have to do it anyway. I left yesterday in tears at 3pm.
This isn’t like my partner, or my mom, or a behavior pattern I do – but a deep unlearning of how i show up in my most intimate relationships with those i care about. I need to take the damn leap. I will always be the fixer, and choose to neglect myself unless I change who has access to me and my energy. I will drown unless I save myself, and let me be the first to say its been a slow sink because I am a hell of a good swimmer.
For 5 months, I have been treading water in place, letting little breaths of air and desire for how I see my future move me forward. but the reality is, the present is too heavy. The 1000lb bag needs to be dropped off. I will never be ready, but I am as ready as i ever will be. I am stepping back into the uncertainty and the unknown that plagued the first 20 years of my life, and i am fucking terrified.
If my partner reads this, I want him to know that he will pick up that bag I dropped off when he’s ready. My mom was ready first, 6 months later I am not ready but doing it anyway, and all I can hope is that he will one day be ready, too. not with a fire under his ass, or a timeline to fill but truly for himself for the first time in his life.
last night I drove home from clinic fighting back tears. I tried to get into the last yoga class of the evening. It was full. I showed up anyway. I got to the parking lot and waited. I made my way into the class on a cancellation a few short minutes before it began. thank god, i thought. something is aligning. My practice was sloppy, and stiff. I hadn’t eaten anything all day long.
At the end of class I was starting to feel antsy. squirmy. wanting to change my mind. I dont know how to trust myself anymore. the trauma in the last few years has taken that away, and I need to slowly build it back. My mind started racing. my heart rate picked up. what if my partner is picking up the 1000lbs and i am naive for not seeing it? what if i have been carrying the bag only in my mind? what if he has done the work and i am blind to it because i am so hurt by it all? what if its my critical expectations? what if i hurt myself by making the biggest mistake of my life?
The lights dim, my teachers voice said
“repeat these words in your mind after me. they are a mantra to self.
I love you.
please forgive me.”
no more questions. Starting to self trust for the first time since gastroparesis 4 years ago is going to be hard. I trusted myself in my partnership and the world fell apart a few years later. I am scared. I am terrified. it could go 1000 shades of wrong. but sav, you MUST put down that damn bag. I love you. thank you. im sorry. please forgive me.