Silence is Compliance: Using White Privilege to End White Supremacy

 

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This is an open letter to white people (me being one of them):

Late into the evening of the Black Lives Matter protest in honor of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile here in Seattle, we made our way to the freeway entrance under the shadow of the King County Juvenile Correctional Facility. We began chanting, “We’re here for you, we love you.” Suddenly, multiple stories above us, the young kids, caged in by the barred yellow opaque windows, clamored and clapped against these barriers with fervor and life. There shadows outlining the depth of the genocide and oppression that rains down blood and slicks our streets without pause. We who are white in America walk by  with our privilege keeping us at a safe distance from the constant onslaught of hurt and fear that our black brothers and sisters are subjected to every day. From the black men, women, and children who have been stolen from their earthly bodies to the young black girls and boys locked away like animals and are denied a childhood or compassion… This is genocide and oppression. This is white supremacy.

Every black life in this nation is born a crime under the eyes of our government and we perpetuate this hatred through the systemic ingraining of images and behaviors that tells all who see them to fear black and brown people. Every time a young white person sees their white parent cross the street because of the presence of a black person, the white kid receives a message. Every time a young white person turns on the television or goes to the movies and sees black characters killed off before anyone else, the white kid receives a message. Every time a young white person sees their young black friends treated as “criminal” for doing the exact same thing they as white kids were doing, the white kid receives a message. And that message piles higher and higher with age until the message becomes a manifesto in their minds and suddenly the consternation and confusion they felt growing up is now a fear of black people and an indifference towards black lives that they pass on to their white children and so the cycle continues. The reason black lives are being murdered at a relentless rate is because we have embedded within our psyche that black people are dangerous, evil, and disposable and that for white lives to be valued, black lives must be valued less. From that naive state of being as kids following us all the way up to where we find ourselves now, we have allowed the irrigation of a lie, seeded deep within the soil of our national identity and existence, to inform and make manifest the hemorrhaging of an entire people.

When we do not feel the direct brunt of oppression ourselves, it can take being shocked into reality to become disillusioned. I hope by now, though I know for some it will never be enough, you have at least awoken to the fact that the shooting of our black family by police officers are not isolated incidents. Your involvement as a white person cannot end with awareness though. Please, I implore you, do not get sucked into the trap of trauma porn that enables you to watch the murders of our black family again and again and walk away thinking to yourself, “I saw it. I know it. I felt it. I can now leave it.” It is important that those who do not understand what is going on be awakened by these videos, but what you do once you’re awake is the most important element.

If you are white, you are in a position of extreme power and privilege and it is your patriotic duty to your black and brown brothers and sisters to use that power to ensure that bars of mass incarceration are taken down; that kids are allowed to have childhoods; that the only thing that slicks our streets is the clear mountain rain; and that families can rest easy at night because all are accounted for. If you are white, you must wake yourself up to the reality of your black and brown brothers and sisters because it is in your placid dreams that they walk the streets in terror. Them being silenced is dependent on white voices being silent. That’s how white supremacy operates and grows. It’s not the radical outwardly racist white supremacy groups that got us to where we are today, but the quiet moderate majority who looked on and allowed the hate to thrive.

This is not a call for white saviors. I don’t believe in that. All of my brothers and sisters who are black and brown are just as strong as my white brothers and sisters and that has nothing to do with our skin color and everything to do with the fact that the spirit is the most vital life force in existence and we all entered this world with it. What I am calling for is white people to use the scepter of power handed down to them through generations of vitriolic fear and foolishness, to force open doors, to demand we change laws, to insist upon holding court and indicting those who have murdered our fellow citizens, to link arms with people of color in protest of these murders, to embed empathy and humanity into all of our children, to not be complicit in this genocide, to ensure that this ends now, to invest in and protect black lives because they do matter and until we do all lives will not matter, and to use that scepter as a force of love and not hate.

Our black brothers and sisters have been carrying this burden upon their backs and in their blood streams their entire lives and their ancestors before them. Yet we have an American Dream and ideal in this country that the land upon which we stand is safe for all; that within the comfort of our white picket fence we have nothing to fear. However, this remains a dream for all who do not match the paint of the white picket fence. And for those of us who do, it is necessary that we form a living-breathing fence of love, solidarity, and protection around those being hunted and persecuted for merely existing in order to end the injustice, cruelty, and murder. Stand up for your fellow human beings and put your stake in the ground. It is our civic duty to show up for one another. Amidst all this hurt, I know many white people are wondering how they can be of service. What I have curated below is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is a place to start for those wanting to do something but not sure what to do. Please, if you feel I have overlooked something and it would benefit #BLACKLIVESMATTER and the fight for justice for our black family, leave it in the comments for all to read and use. I compiled this list from listening to black friends, reading articles written by black authors and social justice activists, and listening to my own intuition. We are at a tipping point. There is a bloodletting of our citizenry and that blood is on our hands if we see it and do nothing. I am scared for those I love to walk out into this world. We need to start anew. Silence is not an option. My rage is privilege. If you are white, your rage is a privilege. Use it for good. Use white privilege to end white supremacy.

“So early in my life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.” -Malcom X

1.PROTEST. Get synched in with the Black Lives Matter movement and find out when and where protests are being held near you. Attend. Invite. Stand arm in arm with your fellow human beings. http://blacklivesmatter.com/getinvolved/

2. CALL YOUR CONGRESS PERSON. https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

-Demand a revolution around policing. Big Dreams and Bold Steps Towards a Police-Free Future is an intriguing article that should be read: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/32813-big-dreams-and-bold-steps-toward-a-police-free-future

-There are also reforms that can take place now that train police officers to deescalate. In Las Vegas, Nevada, police shootings of civilians have gone down due to the reforms they have put into place. It’s far from perfect but it is something: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/federal-report-las-vegas-police-shootings-down-department-reforms

-Demand prison reform to end mass incarceration that imprisons 2,217,947 US Citizens… more than any other nation in the entire world. http://www.prisonstudies.org/highest-to-lowest/prison-population-total?field_region_taxonomy_tid=All

The majority of those in prison are people of color and for non-violent offenses. This is not an accident. Read The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander to learn more about this new form of slavery.

3. CHANGE THE STORY, END THE CYCLE. Educate other white people. Through your actions and words in every day life, you can help a young white person in your neighborhood, family, or school grow up to not irrationally fear another person based on the color of their skin. Inform white people about white supremacy and racism in America today. It may be uncomfortable and awkward, but it is necessary. Expose white people around you to representations of people of color in television, film, books etc. that break the mold sold by the media over and over again.

“Because white men can’t police their imagination, Black men are dying.” -Audre Lorde

Do not depend on people of color to recount again and again why they are tired and hurting. They are tired and hurting. Let them rest.

4. BUILD COMMUNITY. Volunteer at schools, a local Boys and Girls Club, or a juvenile correction facility by teaching a class or extending yourself in some way those kids need and want. Bring your neighborhood together for community events, parties, voting etc. Cross the street to the other side that you usually wouldn’t and extend your human hand to another human hand and recognize yourself in them. Show up for one another and defend one another.

5. RESPECT. How we deal in times of intense grief is deeply personal and just as you would want someone to respect your process, extend the same respect to all those around you. If you are a white person reading this, you cannot know and I cannot know the full weight of what our black family and friends are going through. Respect that gap of understanding. Saying, “It’s going to be okay,” comforts you and no one else and can be extremely insulting. You could instead offer up, if it’s authentic to you, a blanket statement on social media to anyone, especially friends and family who are black, to let them know that you are available to talk, hug, laugh, or just hold space for them to feel and express all they need to if they want. And remember to treat yourself kindly amidst all of this too. Surround yourself with those who you can be honest. Take a shower, eat a home cooked meal, watch a funny show. Take care of yourself and respect yourself. It’s the surest path to respecting others.

6. LISTEN. Listen to those who are reminded of their blackness in America everyday as a liability instead of as the gift that it truly is. Listen to their pain and understand this is not a fleeting occurrence but a pent up well that is bursting over the corroded bricks and won’t stop unless we do. Listen to those who live their lives inside the bodies that are being targeted. Listen to their laughter amidst the hurt. Listen to their stories. Listen when they say they don’t want to talk right now. Listen with an open mind. Listen, because as a white person, you and I don’t even know the half of it. Listen. Listen. Listen.

Sincerely,

Gracia

 

 

Shake the Earth

This was written for the University of Washington Dance Program Graduating Class of 2016. For all those who were courageous enough to study the arts, this is also for you.

At the beginning of every performance there’s a moment, thinner than hastily melting ice, that appears between the darkness and the first light that will expose you to your audience. Existing somewhere between a whisper and a shout, promising nothing but offering the possibility of everything –

In this moment the churning stomach and the racing mind give way to quiet. As the quiet settles in your ears and upon your collarbones, you can now sense it all.

The way the audience leans up against you; how your costume tickles the tops of our shins and the way your bare feet meet the cool floor that will soon turn hot by the insistence of your dancing body; the breath of your partner trickling into your ear telling you one last reminder hoping it makes it to you in time.

Here, in this quiet, you are fully present. Ready to begin. Lights up.

This presence is the greatest gift dance can offer us. Steeped in our own presence, we cannot conflate our egos with reality or hold the past against ourselves or others. Presence requires a full blown commitment to the now – an energetic exchanging of rings that binds you and me and me to we for that singular shiver of wind – the moment you rustled the air just by exiting fear and entering into courage.

There is no more radical act than this. To show up fully you is to shed the shadow that claims to protect but only imprisons the skin on your frame from feeling all the radiance of the sun.

To show up fully you is a declaration of independence. A call to freedom. An insistence on justice. The surest path to joy. And a belief in the power of grace. A simple act that rises like a symphony’s crescendo where each ensuing step you take naturally evolves into a pulsating rhythmic stomp upon the terrain of the world.

Recall that moment if ever doubt creeps into your head questioning the worth of you being a dancer. Recall that moment and witness how with your dancing body, you shook the earth. And in the aftershock of your quake, marbled pillars of constructed ideals crumbled to the ground creating space for others to rush in and rearrange the architecture of this world as only those authentic bodies can.

We need these authentic dancing bodies. We need the body that disrupts the notion that ballerinas are only white and skinny. We need the body that will not let expectations around her gender keep her from pushing the limits of her own strength. We need the body that proves wrong the idea that if you are disabled you can’t dance. We need the body that expands our understanding of what it means to be a man and masculine through his elegance and tenderness. We need the presence of all these bodies because they teach us to be brave. To escape the prisons of our own creation and liberate the prismatic array of all we are.

This is the gift dance has given us. Being present to our truth and all that is before us. But in order for a gift to truly be a gift, eventually you must pass it on. It is our duty as dancers to encourage others to dance. To have their bodies collide against the full force of life. This may leave callouses, scars, and bruises but these are not bad. No these are royal purple badges of honor bequeathed to those bold enough to be present to their lives.

To all those whom you impart dance to you are introducing them to the power of their presence. When your students go home and inquiring parents ask, “What did you do in class today?” They will stomp as hard as they can and say, “I shook the earth.”

The First Step

I wandered around Florence for about an hour looking for my hostel before stopping on a side street to give myself a rest and call my mom. That morning I had taken the train from Grosseto to Florence to give myself something that I had envisioned from the outset of my trip. And to remove myself from a situation that felt instinctually wrong to remain in.

My back against a yellow stucco wall, a mixture of paint and dust rubbing onto my luggage, I heard my mom on the other end. Both of us, relieved. The whole train ride I had grappled with whether or not it was the right decision for me to leave the farmhouse in Grosseto. I had left behind free lodging, shared food costs, close proximity to the Mediterranean, a really good friend in my fellow house sitter, and two cats wandering around. And I broke a promise to help care for this home. But I also left behind the home owner trying to tell me what the next steps in my spiritual healing journey should be. And I was becoming enraged and suffocated because of it.

I left home because I needed absolutely no one to tell me what to do. I left home because I had undergone a trauma so deep that it compelled me to uproot everything. The trauma was an extreme experience in many ways, the details aren’t important right now. However, it woke me up to the fact that for most of my life I had been more concerned with pleasing others and staying in their good graces, even if that meant I was hurt in the process. At the farm, I wasn’t being traumatized like I had been back home, but I was experiencing a similar sensation of being silenced. Of my desires and needs being ignored to fulfill the wishes of someone else. I decided to not allow it to continue. I left. I took a step away.

Recounting my thoughts from my train ride to my mom, a blush hue set over the city as the sun began to set. The flow of pedestrian traffic persisted through the Florentine streets with suitcases being lugged around and different languages flitted through the air. It was a familiar scene. Busy city streets, lots of people, but still alone. I felt calm. This was familiar and easy and that’s what I wanted in that moment.

Back on the phone with my mom, she said to me, “Gracia, I have something you need to hear. I think it’s perfect for where you are at in life right now.”

I kept my sunglasses on despite the darkening sky, as I knew I was about to get weepy. Plus in Italy, any time of the day warrants the wearing of sunglasses. She began…

Start Close In

By David Whyte

Start close in, don’t take the second step or the third, start with the first thing close in, the step you don’t want to take.

Start with the ground you know, the pale ground beneath your feet, your own way of starting the conversation.

Start with your own question, give up on other people’s questions, don’t let them smother something simple.

To find another’s voice, follow your own voice, wait until that voice becomes a private ear listening to another.

Start right now take a small step you can call your own don’t follow someone else’s heroics, be humble and focused, start close in, don’t mistake that other for your own.

Start close in, don’t take the second step or the third, start with the first thing close in, the step you don’t want to take.

Just that morning the homeowner at the farm had told me I was running away from everything I needed to face. He told me that I had already run away from home and if I ran away from the farm, I would just keep running and I would never face the “devil inside of me” as he put it. I knew he was coming from a place of sincere caring, but I also knew that I didn’t need someone running my life. I didn’t need someone telling me what to do or telling me where I was in life and what was the correct next step. I absolutely appreciate the guidance and wisdom of others, but in this case, if I had stayed, I would have been submitting to his control. His way of living and seeing the world, which after knowing him for several weeks, did not line up with the life I wanted to lead. In the midst of trying to control the tears brought on by a scary unfamiliar feeling of knowingly disappointing someone, in the midst of that new sensation, I told him that I might be running away, but it was me running. Not him. Not his decision. So I took the first step. Into the unknown and into the possibility of discovering something inside and outside of myself that I had always wanted to know.

That night in Florence, I wanted to give myself a gift of the Duomo di Santa Maria del Fiore illuminated by the moon, gelato along the Arno, and the promise of a morning where I was in complete control of the direction of my first step. It may seem small and possibly trite, but you don’t go from crawling to running as a child and in a moment in my life where I was and am seeking to heal internal wounds, that moment in time needed to be small. I didn’t need to leap across a river and hike up a mountain in order to heal as the home owner was metaphorically suggesting I do by remaining at the farm. In that moment I needed to simply walk alongside the river and gaze at the beauty of the mountain from afar and know, without a shadow of a doubt, that that was enough for me. I needed to be hushed by the brilliance of the best meal I have ever had at Zeb Gastronomia and making new friends; by the emptiness of a church at dusk and only the presence of marbled women as my companions looming magnificently large overhead; by the Basilica di San Miniato where unbeknownst to me resided those who had passed and remained in the flowers and statues ornamenting their graves. I needed to be hushed. Saturated, as my grandparents put it, in a beauty of my choosing. This was the first step that felt authentic to me. This was the beauty I wanted in my life.

Whenever we travel and share our plans to do so, many outside voices can interrupt what we want to get out of the trip. Dreams of others enter our headspace and can easily get in the way of our own journey because the dreams come with the words, “You have to do this….” If we are not careful, soon enough we can find ourselves living out someone else’s life because we fear disappointing them when we return home and are asked, “Did you go here… did you do this… did you do that?” We are expected to fulfill each other’s fantasies instead of living out our own. What surprised me was when I arrived in Italy at the farmhouse, this was when those questions really seemed to surface. Leaving Seattle, I made a fierce effort to not let anyone’s expectations of my trip infiltrate my plans. But it is another thing to deny the opinion of someone whom you feel beholden to… someone who has given you the gift of a home.

Maybe if I had been in a different place in my life… One in which I didn’t feel I owed someone something because they had given so much, then maybe I could have remained at the farm and worked things out with the proprietor and established healthy boundaries. Maybe. But when we enter any situation in our life, in order to show up fully I’ve come to believe we mustn’t think in the “maybe”. Because that isn’t real. “Maybe” is a wonderful thing to consider because it opens us up to the possibility of what could be. But how do we get to living out the “maybe”? What I learned in choosing to leave the farmhouse, in choosing to knowingly disappoint the proprietor, and in choosing to honor my internal needs above anything else, was that the “maybe” only becomes possible when we take the singular step right in front of us. “Maybe” exists hundreds of steps away or possibly it’s only two steps away. But it isn’t the first step. It isn’t right now. It takes time and space and honesty to get to the “maybe”. “Maybe” becomes our reality when we have walked down our own authentic path and unearthed the core of who we are. It comes from denying others agency over your own life. It is one of the hardest things to do in my opinion. Taking the first step forces you to let go of other’s expectations of you and it frees you up to fulfill your own expectations of your life. And that is terrifying because suddenly, you realize you are completely responsible for your self. But after that initial storm and inner torment, at least in my case, I experienced a calming. A quiet. A hush. A collapsing of the exterior I was holding up to please the home owner, to please anyone before my time in Italy. And then a falling into the center of myself. In the center it is quiet. In the center, there is no “maybe”. It just is. And that is enough.

I talked to my mom for about half an hour on this cobblestoned street in Florence. Holding onto my luggage, still not sure where my hostel was located (it ended up literally being right around the corner but took another forty five minutes to find), I became hyper aware of my mobility. Of my unlimited potential to move and to be wherever and with whomever I wanted. I wasn’t stuck as I had previously feared. I could take the first step at any moment and needed no one’s permission. Ever again. We always have a choice. A choice to please or a choice to protect ourselves and our inner truth. We always have a choice to take that first step, to not remain stuck, and find ourselves soon enough living out an existence we had only dreamed of.

Soon I want to share with you in more detail the pleasant and romantic parts of my experience thus far. More about the quiet churches I’ve come across and the time I spent the afternoon sketching The David with a couple sitting next to me making squeezing gestures in the air and enthusiastically shouting, “Give me more give me more”, and the gelataria owner whom I visited every night in Florence. Before I share these moments however, I want to leave you with this…

If you are reading this, I would imagine that you are interested in travelling or are already in the process. No matter where you are, or what your reason for travelling, know this: it is enough. Your reason need not be as dramatic as mine, you need not consider anyone else’s reason for deciding to leave the comfort of home. They are not the one’s buying the ticket. They are not the one’s packing bags and finding lodging. They are not the one’s living out your life. It’s just you. You, your reason, your first step. And that’s enough. That’s enough for today. And anyone who tries to tell you differently, can go take a hike of their own.

The Path of Least Resistance

I think we all wish to walk the path of least resistance. To have things go exactly as we wish they would. But if we let go, if we breathe in the moment, a calm washes over you and suddenly everything that once felt terrifying, everything you once tried so very hard to resist, it feels perfect. Because you have a knowing that what you are experiencing is exactly what you need to be experiencing right now in order to live your greatest life and to help others live theirs. It’s about abandoning the stories you have written for yourself in order to feel like you have complete control over your life, leaving no room for error or heart ache. The truth of the matter is that we only have control over a select few things and all that time you spend planning out how things must go in order for you to be happy is actually fear controlling you.

A remarkable thing happens when you align yourself with the universe. You never actually fall. In reality you’re diving into your light and every seemingly bad thing you encounter along the way is perfection incarnate. But it is at the seam of these moments when we are trying to stitch together meaning in our lives that we are offered the opportunity to have the greatest amount of control we will ever have. That is the choice to choose forgiveness and compassion over fear and hate. This is all it takes to align ourselves with the universe. And not only are we once more on the path towards our enlightened selves, we realize we never left.

C12H22O11: An Exposé on Addiction

Every day I receive a different affirmation through the app Spirit Junkie. It is the brain child of author Gabrielle Bernstein (gabbyb.tv). Today’s affirmation read: “I speak only from my truth.” Without further ado, here is my truth.

Much of the time I wish who you are as a person could be curated much like a museum exhibit. Able to hand pick the pieces that are only attractive, leaving the others to be forgotten in lost attic spaces. Much of the time I am able to curate my life like a museum, but there is a piece that if it were to be left behind, forgotten, my life would transcend my comprehension of what is possible. I can handle and accept the acute pains of life, but this is chronic and I’m tired. The unfortunate thing is that in order to overcome this chronic pain, I have to extend myself further than I thought possible. And that takes an effort that calls upon an energy reserve I have yet to tap into in the fight against this pain. I need help and whenever you are in a state of need, the absolute best thing you can do, is give. I will begin with giving you my story.

It must have been my fourth birthday when I was gifted a half gallon of jelly beans, which I promptly began eating with my siblings and neighborhood friends on the top bunk of my bed. While we shared the many flavors, the whole time I was just waiting, anxiously, for them to all leave so I could take in as much sugar for myself. I got my wish, it was my birthday after all, and promptly emptied the contents of the jar into my stomach. The anticipation brought out a sort of mad energy that short circuited all of my thoughts to how it would feel to consume the sugar. Then once it was in my mouth, pure blissful relief. Once it was all gone I wondered how I could possibly get any more sugar. And running in right behind that thought was shame. It was the most intense shame I had ever felt and for the past 17 years, I have revisited that shame and the addictive high that always precedes it, over and over again. I’ve spent nights drinking straight maple syrup only to force myself to regurgitate it later out of guilt and yet again, shame. Revisiting my four year old self, I promised myself that by the time I was 14, I would not have needed to go on a diet. By the time I turned 14 I was already two years into an on again off again relationship with bulimia. (The use of such language in reference to an eating disorder is revealing of exactly what I was seeking… the warmth of human connection) I loathed my figure despite people telling me I should be a model, and I loathed my gluttony and I loathed my purging. But that loathing wasn’t enough to stop the sugar high I craved deep in my bones and the consequent purges or far more frequent moments that found me crying into my sticky hands.

Even though the after effect of over eating sugar was painful, I simultaneously associated sugar with healing and helping tolerate outside pain. Whether that be trying to ignore the sting of a deep cut or turning away from the stress and fatigue of high school… Despite all logical thinking, I always told myself I would feel better, if not amazing, by eating sugar. And for a second I would in fact find myself suspended in that state of bliss. It was fleeting, but enough to make me realize from that first incident with the jelly beans, that what I was dealing with was far more than a problem of will power. I am the first to say no thank you at a party when sweets are being passed around. Will power isn’t the problem. Like any addict, I bargain and I choose my moments and I choose privacy. I wait until after the party when I’m tucked safely away in my studio. Once I decide upon my plan, I begin fantasizing about opening the bag containing the treat and I feel a rush of excitement and I can feel myself taking the first bite or the first lick of frosting and I want nothing more than to leave that party immediately. It was and is an addiction to sugar.

This is the chronic pain I originally spoke of and over the years it has shown up in conjunction with bulimia, binge eating disorder, crash diets, and so on. It weighs heavily upon my shoulders every day. Sometimes an entire month goes by when I don’t so much as look at sugar and sure enough I end up spending $30 extra dollars worth of sweets at the grocery store one random evening when it’s been a particularly long day and I spiral out of control. Sometimes for weeks at a time. I convince myself that this milkshake or this stack of pancakes that are more like maple syrup flavored sponges will be my last. I bargain. I promise. And over and over again, I break that promise. I’ve gone to therapists, but none of them acknowledged my struggle as an actual addiction. They said that it wasn’t possible, but I know how this affects me. I am having a moment of relief because science is finally catching up to what I have intrinsically known since I was a little girl. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23719144 Sugar can be an addictive substance and in my case it most certainly is.

I’ve tried handling it on my own, but I am writing this post, so clearly that isn’t working either. I’ve tried telling myself over and over again that I need to stop in order to live the life I want to live as a dancer and performer. That I need to stop so I don’t contract diabetes. That I need to stop so I can live my life freely and openly. None of it can beat down the siren call of that first taste though. Even once it has gotten to the point within a binge of the sugar intake physically hurting and beginning to taste off putting, that I yearn for more and so I eat more and more until I physically cannot keep anything else down. At which point I am left with two choices: 1. Stop eating, drink a glass of water, and go to bed 2. Throw up some food creating room and continue eating. It hurts and it sickens me in every way and I want it to end more than anything. It’s a feeling of captivity that encroaches on every part of my life from the moment I awake to the moment I drift asleep. I feel out of control of my own life. I feel desperate and alone. I feel deeply, deeply ashamed. And then I scrounge up the last of my change, walk to the grocery store, and purchase a tub of frosting to eat in one sitting. That is the chronic cycle and I am so very very tired.

I don’t want the shame anymore or the secretive tendencies. I don’t want the adverse health affects and I don’t want the chain that limits me. A chain that confines me to a life that is beneath what I have to offer to this world. But it holds me captive and I am unclear on how to escape. I’m hoping that maybe this inspiration to be honest, this intense call I feel to write to you and expose the struggle I deal with will resonate with you. I’m hoping that a step in being greater than this addiction is exposing it and beyond that, offering support and understanding to you even when I feel like I have none to give… Because I so badly need it.

I’ve scoured the internet for my story. I’ve wanted to come across a piece of writing that resonated with me in experience and tone, but to no avail. I’m tired of looking outside of myself. Part of the healing process is seeking outside help, that is part of any healing process. But I can no longer ignore the glaring truth, it has to be my truth. I have to write down my story. I have to give it away and quit looking for others to validate my experience or pull me out of my misery. I no longer can search for others to be my hero or demonstrate bravery in this realm. In such a case as addiction, maybe because you feel so alone so much of the time, part of the healing process requires you to feel like you are the solo hero of your story. That’s how it feels to me at this juncture anyways. That isn’t to say I wish to ignore the support of others and I will take whatever I can get that resonates with my soul, but I ultimately have to do the internal work. I am saying that I am now willing to do that work. I am ready for a transformation that brings me to my most radiant self. “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

I really wish there was a way to talk about this without sounding melodramatic, but alas that has always been my tendency. I’ll do my best to inject humor in the future. Maybe I just needed to purge myself of the melodrama. Too soon? 😉 The photo definitely helps.

Cheers,

G

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and these comments have not been reviewed by a medical professional. Any content on this website is solely reflective of my personal experience and is not to be taken as medical advice.