I’ve talked a lot at STATE OF SLAY about feeling different, less than, feeling awkward and anxious in social situations growing up, and into my adulthood, before walking this path. It’s a time of year when there are many social gatherings, parties and family functions and I was reminded how I used to feel alone in a crowded room. I could have been in a sold-out stadium and I still felt alone.
I never felt like I belonged, and because of that I kept my thoughts and feelings to myself, and later, as my disease progressed, I isolated, believing those voices in my head that told me no one would understand me, or want to be around me, if you knew my truth, those voices kept me isolated, alone, even though I had people around me. The more I stayed away from all of you the worse my disease got, when I was alone it had me where it wanted me, at attention, with nothing to distract me, no good could come in when all I was hearing was the bad. And, that feeling of loneliness, when I was with people, added fuel to the fire that I just didn’t fit in.
What I didn’t realize is that I didn’t fit in because I believed I didn’t fit in. And I kept believing that story because I wasn’t sharing it with anyone. I believed that all of you always felt like you fit in, even that you were all at ease in every situation, because that’s what my head told me. What I realized when I stepped on this path, and started to share, is that many of you felt like I did, odd, weird, like a misfit at times, but you either walked through your uncomfortableness, or you just found the other people who felt like you did. Now I know, you’re out there.
Feeling alone in a crowded room isn’t something you feel alone, I’ve been you, and there are more like us. And I’m here to tell you I’m here, I’m in that room with you and you’re not alone. I’m also here to tell you that you can overcome that feeling, because it’s something you have the power to change. Your head may tell you that you can’t, or that you’re not good enough to, or that no one will understand, but I’m going to rain on those voices’ parade and tell you from the other side that you are good enough and you can do it, it just takes some courage and honesty. When we share our fears or feelings with others we typically find that most people feel, or have felt like we do. We learn that we are not alone. And, when we realize that there are others likes us, many others, it may give us the courage to share with them and once we do, that fear starts to lose it’s power over us, it starts to fall to the ground like an old piece of clothing that no longer fits us, and the truth is, it never did fit us, we just put it on as a form of protection because we didn’t yet have the tools or awareness that we aren’t so different from those around us after all.
Sometimes the thing that separates us from our fellows is the one thing that will connect us, we just have to find the strength to let it out, to not let it control us, and continue to lie to us. Speak your truth and not only let it allow you to relate to others, but you may just be giving another lonely person permission to do the same. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you feel lonely in a crowded room? Why do you feel that way? Have you always felt that way? Write down the first time you remember feeling that way. What made you feel alone back then? Is that reason still valid today or an old story you’ve stuck to? How can you shake that story and live in the present? Who do you feel comfortable with? Why? Are you able to find other people like that? If so, where? Why don’t you find those people? What is your biggest fear in social situations? Is that fear a fact, or an old story from your past? What if you ignored those voices that tell you you’re different, that people won’t understand and like you? How would social situations be different? Do it SLAYER, be honest about how you feel, find someone in the next social situation you find yourself in who looks like they also feel like you do, let them know how you’re feeling, you may just make a connection to someone just like yourself, and, you can walk through your fears together.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you