A Life and Travel Blog for the over 30's
Ohhhhh now. This is one of those posts where I am not quite sure where it is going, but I feel the need to sit and write. Its one of those posts where I am going to be brutally honest, but feel like I am writing about someone else. Like I have been an observer in the person I am talking about’s life, and am now writing a little of their story. I feel like that because the person I am writing about, is not me anymore. She was me, but my growth game was strong, I moved on from her, but she has taught me lessons. Let me explain.
Without going into detail, (Im not quite ready for that yet), there is addiction in my family. It runs rife in some areas of my family, and I have always been conscious that my genetics could see me fall into any of the addiction rabbit holes. Drugs, drink, unsuitable men, who knows what one, but the fear that any one of them could ensnare me was there.
Up until a few years ago, I had always silently congratulated myself on being strong enough to overcome the one time that I had balanced on the precipe of addiction. Again, we don’t need to discuss the details of it, but I gave myself kudos for breaking free and living a positive life. I was perhaps, even a little smug in what I saw as my ability to overcome any temptation or weakness that I felt my genes could lead me into. My will was stronger than anything that could threaten my “sobriety”. I was victorious. I had got to my forties without falling off the edge. Well done Kerry!
But. A few years ago I realised that I did indeed have an addiction. I had an addiction that was in some ways, equally as debilitating and destructive as any drug or alcohol addiction. It sucked the joy from life just as much as any bottle of vodka hidden in the shoe cupboard or little white powder pack shoved in a sock drawer. My addiction was more sneaky. I didn’t think that I had it so therefore, never looked at trying to overcome it. I just let it drag me along, exhaust me and repeatedly tell me that I had not done enough, I was not quite good enough. My addiction was to thinking that I always had to be more than I was. I would not be worthy until I had achieved whatever it was that I thought I had to achieve, even though I moved those blooming goal posts every single time I reached them. Let me give you a little background…
As many of you know that have been with me for a while, I had a business until almost three years ago. I had built that business from nothing, to the success it was when I walked away in 2017. You can read about that in this post if you would like to, 8 Things Walking Away from My Business Taught Me. I had built that business over a period of 13 years, but it was not the first business I had started. It was the latest in a long line of businesses that I had started, grown, and then moved on from. My job prior to having my sons was in banking. I started as an admin clerk, but clawed my way through the ranks to be the top performing manager in the country at just 25. As a teenager, I was not content to just play netball for the school, I had to keep pushing myself until I got a position on the County team, then selected for the England team trials (that I didn’t get through). See the pattern?
Every single goal post that I set for myself, was never good enough once I got there. My husband used to try to talk to me about it. It used to upset him that I could never just congratulate myself and be proud of what I had achieved. The satisfaction I felt when I hit my intended target was always fleeting, always replaced quickly with a feeling of “right, whats next”. I think I became addicted to the girl I was when I was focused and chasing. I felt that the version of me that was so driven, was the one that was familiar. She was an achiever, was to be looked up to because she made shit happen. She was the woman that was my hero. But she was also my undoing.
A few years ago, one Saturday afternoon, I just broke. Looking back, I know Id gone to the edge of a breakdown through my own doing. I pushed myself so bloody hard! I was trying to be all things to all people. The Mum that was around for her kids, the wife that had her shit together, the business woman that was kicking arse and winning awards, the daughter that could sort out everyones problems. But I was not happy. I was exhausted. I was living on my nerves. I was unsatisfied and I suddenly realised that it was me that was the cause of my unhappiness. All the work I had done on my soul throughout my twenties and thirties, I was undoing with this addiction to wanting to feel I was more. It was never about money, weirdly material things have never motivated me. It was about hitting targets, pushing forward, being more, achieving more, feeling good enough, exceeding the expectations of me that I felt the people around me had.
I know where this need to be more came from. I can pinpoint the incident in my life many years ago, when I lost a bit of myself for a while, but I think we will save that for another day. All I knew for sure on that Saturday, was that I had to make change. I had to sort my head out, understand why I put so much pressure on myself, and how I could change my mindset. I wanted to feel like I was enough, just as I was. I wanted to take my foot off the peddle and just enjoy the fruits of my hard work. I wanted to feel as proud of myself as I knew my family, my friends, were of me. I wanted to stop being such a bitch of a hard task master on myself and just take a breath.
So. I hit the pause button. I went right back to basics in my head. I went back to my “spiritual tutor” and heard what she had to tell me, worked with her, stopped ignoring what I already knew. I gave myself the permission to pause and work on me. I worked through why I felt I wasn’t good enough, why I had to push hard all the time, and undone that negative thinking by making peace with the reasons. It took me over a year to work out all the kinks in my head, but work them out I did. I dove head first into the pain that soul work can bring, with passion. I wanted to change. I have no regrets about that period of my life, as I said at the start, that version of me taught me so much and personal growth is only ever a good thing. It has also made me so passionate about just enjoying and living life. Seeing what you already have instead of thinking “if I had xyz I would be happier’ . It really is being awake enough within yourself to know, without a shadow of doubt, that life is beautiful, and You Are Enough!
If I can leave you with anything at all from writing this post, it would be to know, deep down in your soul, that you too are already enough, just the way you are. If you don’t feel that about yourself, then work on why. I promise you, if you can’t work that out, then having a million pounds in the bank, a gazillion followers on social media, or 56 pairs of Jimmy Choo’s in your wardrobe wont change how you feel. It will just paper the cracks, offer a distraction. Trust me, I know xxx