Extra points if you can tell me the song I stole the headline from :-).
Anyway, today’s post is all about my humble beginnings as an indie – self-published author, coach, business owner. Enjoy!
A Long, Long, Time Ago…
I have an all too familiar, made for TV backstory. Parent’s divorced when I was seven so I was raised in a single parent household. Father wasn’t around; I was bullied, teased, and sexually harassed / molested / threatened with rape on more than one occasion, between the ages of seven and 17. My sense of self-worth was virtually non-existent.
At 18, I discovered that alcohol was a wonderful numbing agent to all of the negativity. My learning to abuse it lead to an actual rape my freshmen year in college. By my 20th birthday, I was what I call, a social alcoholic. I would drink to the point of DRUNK in most social situations. It was the only way I knew to shut the “they’re going to abuse / tease / laugh at / beat you” fears that had lived inside my head since I was a kid. Worked beautifully right up until my mid 40’s.
The Force Awakens
My body started to rebel against the alcohol. Not in any dramatic way; I’d had hangovers, been sick to my stomach before. Those instances didn’t become any more frequent or severe. In fact by then, I’d become some what of an expert on what my limits where so I knew how to pace myself, how to dampen things with a decent amount of water before during and after so as to avoid the migraine or upset stomach. But at some point, the way I felt about myself after a night of drinking and fake socializing changed dramatically. You see, in my 20’s and early 30’s, my behavior while drunk consisted of some mild flirting, a LOT of dancing, and very little driving (thank goodness!). By my 40th year though, that had changed. I was hustling for approval so hard when drunk that I wound up in compromising situations just so I’d be “liked”.
When I’d sober up, the memory of what I’d done and why, left me feeling even worse about myself than when I’d started. It began to resonate as a form of self-harm. Right around that time, I experienced a couple of losses – a close friend of my mom’s died. I’d grown up calling her my aunt; she’d stood out as amazing part of my childhood memories and for whatever reasons, her death brought my own mortality to the forefront of my mind. The same day I got the call that she had passed, a dude I thought I was in love with phoned to tell me he’d discovered the love of his life (this was two months after he’d told me we should see other people). When I tell you I broke open, that would be an understatement.
When I got myself back together somewhat, I realized I didn’t want to live the way I’d been living. I wanted to be free of the fears, free of the social anxiety, free of the shame and insecurities I’d had since I was eight. I wanted to once again be at home in my body, at peace with my existence, and to live fully, authentically, as me.
Enter the Dragon
I’d been somewhat of a self-help junkie since my late 20’s. All the rah-rah, empowerment conferences, “I’m okay, you’re okay” books, and various other things I’d spent (dare I say, wasted?) money on hadn’t made a bit of difference in how I was actually living my life. It wasn’t until the Desire Map (Danielle LaPorte) entered my life that things shifted. Danielle’s overall approach to “self-help” was the most down to Earth, reality based woo-woo I’d ever come across. It resonated with me then and lives at the core of all I do now.
So long story shortened just a bit – after going through the Desire Map the first time, my deep, authentic desires were revealed along with what was at the center of my self-destructive behaviors. Realizing or rather reconnecting to my authenticity prompted me to put the alcohol down, back off the situations that had me hustling so hard for approval, choosing instead to live my truth and stand by what was best for me.
My successes along the way?
- learned to write, format, and publish books
- earned my Master of Arts in Professional Writing
- became an entrepreneur by officially registering my company in 2017
- wrote and self-published five of my own books, one for my mom, one for my brother
- secured a regularly scheduled course at the Marietta Community School where I taught 20 students over the course of a couple years how to write and self-publish their own books
- began a partnership with a major library branch in my hometown where I do an annual appearance / workshop; I’ve had over 50 attendees in the six years I’ve been doing it
- reduced my debt and raised my credit score
- signed my first $1,000.00 client in 2019
Things Can Only Get Better
Again, points if you can tell me which song I got that title from :-).
So, if you’ve read my post from earlier this week, then you know I’m working on some pretty big goals which require me to stretch way outside my comfort zone. To help with that, I’ve developed a mantra, “Live by Faith, not by Fear.” I’m going to live as if the positive outcomes I desire are foregone conclusions. I know bad things happen and in most areas, I’ve prepared for them, but I’m going to stop letting the fear that something bad MIGHT happen keep me from going full on for my desires.
That’s All For Now.
Again, I’ve gone on for longer than I expected to. I’m going to stop here for today. Be on the look out for more in my third weekly post due Friday. In the meantime, be thinking about some of the fears you’ve allowed to stop you from living your authentic life. I’ll be wanting to show you some ways to get around ’em. Can’t help it, it’s what I do ;-).
As always, sending love and light!