2020 was a year for us all, but for me mentally, it took me completely by f.cking surprise. It was the year of so many changes, and I honestly couldn’t keep up with them. And to top it off, I was entering year 4 of therapy and boy was it STEEP and INTENSE. Every session my therapist (who I believe was sent from God himself) would begin to just dive more and more into my shit. Like why was she so nosey, and why did she care so much of my thoughts around people. It seems like every question she asked me about myself, I would deflect to cover and smooth it over to appease the other party. It was as though, I wouldn’t even consider my existence in a situation, and it became a pattern. She one day in our sessions ask “ So when do you choose you?”

I couldn’t even speak. And if you know me, you know that I am rarely speechless, but in that very moment, no words came to my mind. I couldn’t even pronounce a damn letter. How in the hell did I end up here? Did somebody drop me off? Or did I willingly walk this route of people fucking pleasing? Placing myself in situations to appease other people’s insecurities, lack of drive, or their weak ass ego? I mean I was livid. More so upset that when I was trying to answer her question, I couldn’t even name a damn time where others ever considered my feelings.

Who was I? Who had I become? It was like I couldn’t think of a relationship, friendship, or just a random situation where I choose myself and my better-being instant. Like without a shadow of a doubt. All I kept thinking of was a past situation where I compromised for the sake of not hurting someone’s feelings. Where I dated a man who I did not like for the fear of I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and he feels rejected. All the times I said Yes when No popped up first. All the times I placed myself in situations I didn’t want to be in for the sake of not being the dependable friend. I mean so many instances ran across my mind and I just began to fucking cry. I was so angry at myself because I knew better, but yet I kept choosing the lower, cause it damn sure wasn’t the latter. How long had I been this way? And why didn’t anyone stop me? But why would they? Why would anyone complain about something that’s working in their favor?

I’ll never forget that session and the many after that one because it was the shift in which I needed more than I knew. I began to dive into that it was nobody’s responsibility but my own to build my boundaries. I didn’t need their permission to change how I was going to move forward. I didn’t require validation or explain to them why I would begin to limit, minimize, or all-around stop conversations and interactions with them. I could just DO. You see, I found out that many times our boundaries are not enforced because we explain them. And we only explain in the hopes that the other part can understand why we have them. And that’s what we are NOT doing in 2021 and any year going forward. I begin to spend a lot of time with myself. People would even joke and say like “another staycation huh, Sho?” And I didn’t care. I needed to spend time with ME. What I liked, what I didn’t like, and all the people that had me fucked up.

I had to unlearn so many traits that were embedded in me and the toxic relationships I was connected to. I began to choose myself. every FUCKING DAY. I began to see myself through the lens of someone who without a shadow of a doubt needs to consider my feelings, my intentions, and my self-care first. And not that fake manicures, pedicures, and all those other self-care that hide the true work, But the true healing, the TRUE uncomfortableness in trying to operate differently. It’s a daily struggle. Healing is beautiful, but it’s HARD. Do not think otherwise.

Understand that many people won’t like the different you, And honestly, you should not give a fuck. I believe that the only people who will have a problem with the different you, are people who are not ready to begin their own healing. You don’t hear people actively in therapy, walking in healing, and all things changing complaining about other people doing the same, because they GET IT. And it made me open my eyes to see that many are not ready to do the work. They are okay with what’s been broken, and they will work around it. But as for me, my mental health, my spiritual journey, my sense of belonging of taking care of ME, it is not my job to convince them otherwise, because that’s how I lost myself the first time.

But boy does it feel so fucking good to be back.
So YES, keep saying No.
Keep NOT explaining.
Keep putting in the work.
Keep embracing who you’re becoming, because it will feel weird AF at first.
Embrace the different you.
Because you’ve never seen her before, but I can guarantee you won’t ever want her to leave again.

Expressions Of Sho

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