Hammering it Home

I have had the privilege over the past few years to develop and amass a toolbox of tools that have helped me deal with my anxiety, my self critical tendencies, my addictions, my interpersonal conflicts.

With a slow growing sense of apathy and removing myself from life’s discomforts like a green moss spreading over a damp rock, I at some point in there locked my box of tools and have seemingly and absentmindedly lost my key.

So you see, I know what’s in my toolbox. I know the contents are safe inside but my access has been denied. So this is what that looks like and maybe you can relate?

It’s like I’m going to hang some artwork and I’ve got the location picked out and precise spot to where I will place the nail in which to hang the piece from and I can’t find the key…so I can’t access my hammer…the most efficient tool for this particular job. So what do I do instead? I stand there staring at the blank wall and come up with a makeshift tool in my mind.

In this particular scenario, it’s a shoe. I will use the heel of a shoe to hammer the nail into the wall. Well now I need to find the “right” shoe and I don’t mean opposed to the “left” shoe but the right type of shoe with a heel hard enough to stand in as a subpar substitute for a hammer…because my glerup on my foot won’t work and those slip-on Toms also will not suffice. I look through all the shoes and locate a pair with a solid heel and proceed to haphazardly nail that picture hanger to the wall. Mission accomplished. Or was it?

You see, yes, did the nail eventually find it’s place and hold the artwork for all to see? It did. But with a lot of extraneous effort and time. A 10 second job exponentially inflated to 5 minutes. If you do the math, that is utterly inefficient.

That was a literal microcosm example to what my life has been like increasingly. The single picture hanging turning into whack-a-mole proportions and all the while still struggling to find that key. But why would I find the key if I’m not even really looking. Because who has time to find a lost key when they have all these moles to whack and not armed with the proper tool in which to whack with?

This is definitely a perspective problem. This is also definitely a ME problem. And I hate when things are my fault. I dread being wrong and having to admit it and own it. And why? Why is that so scary for you, Sarah?

I know why. It correlates to my primary scenario and fear of rejection….blahyblahblah.

I’ve also developed this newer fear of “being too much”. I mean now that I recognize it, it always been there lurking in the the shadows showing it’s ugly neediness here and there but it feels more apparent these days. Probably in light of all the other hardships and struggles so many other people are facing globally, I’ve decided to stop writing about my needs and acknowledging my journey for fear of judgement…shame on you…how can you complain or air your anxieties and challenges when you have a family who loves you and a roof over your head?!Comparative trauma is what Brené Brown might call this.

All I know is, since the pandemic began I slipped further and further away from the writing process where I could be honest with at least my own self and maybe my few readers and feel heard and seen and relieve some pressure bit by bit, one word at a time.

Without that outlet, the pressure has begun to build again and so here I sit writing to myself, and perhaps some of you who have shelved your own voices because “it’s not the time” to share your hardships because others have it worse. And they do. And some have it better also. And that isn’t the point really is it?

No matter what is happening in the world it’s important to speak your truth whether it’s regarded as right or wrong or not timely or privileged. We all, as humans have our struggles to help us grow in this lifetime and if we don’t face them and be with them and acknowledge them, we aren’t doing our job. The humaness to grow and learn and say it anyway.

So after a very long sojourn of 6 months, I’d like to welcome writing back into my life and the reading of it back into yours. And I do it to grow and to connect and let someone out there know that you aren’t alone in your cycling thoughts and inefficiencies, your mistakes and conflicts. We aren’t.

I’m here to listen to myself if no one else has the space to grant me. And hey guys! I think I just found my key.

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