Today, I am doing a virtual workshop from Sarah Ordo called “Her Best Fucking Brunch” and I am really enjoying it. She was the first speaker and she had us do an exercise. In the exercise, we were to take two index cards or two pieces of paper and write down the labels we’ve called ourselves or what other people called us. I didn’t know where she was going with this but I did it anyway. On hers, she wrote down “slut” and “addict” because she was addicted to alcohol and drugs and also because she was promiscuous and it stemmed from a person saying to her at 12 years old, “you’re gonna be pregnant in a few years” and so that always stayed with her and low and behold, she began drinking and having lots and lots of sex with random guys. She became and owned those labels that people called her.
So when she had us do it, I wrote down two words, per her request. It was hard for me to pick just two words but eventually settled on the words “unloveable” and “crazy”. A third word came to me as I was working through why I chose those words and those words were “damaged goods”. Let me back up a bit. So I chose the word “unloveable” because I feel like no one can love me. I’m afraid that people will use me (due to the choices in men and friends) and so I’m scared of people getting close to me because once they leave, thats it.
Like for example, one guy Nick, who I felt like I loved really was selfish and cared more about himself than anyone else in his life. He made me feel like no one loved me but him. I never went anywhere. He never treated me special. It was all about what can he get and what can I give him. He belittled me. It just sucked. Then with Danny, all he wanted was sex. He did keep it real with me and I wanted it to be more than what it was but…I didn’t value myself as a person. I used to say “I’ll just take what I can get”. That poor poor girl I was back then. That broken shell of a girl I was. I was hurt and felt like I was unloveable. Any guy I gave my number too just wanted sexual things and I obliged like a dumbass.
I also chose the word “crazy” because I felt like I was made to feel irrational. Now here is my disclaimer, I do have a mental illness (anxiety) and so sometimes that does get the best of me. But the other things like having a public meltdown because I couldn’t buy groceries from the dollar store, doing things for the wrong kind of attention (from a guy), or even the times when I felt like (and attempted to) killing myself because I couldn’t deal with the pressure of life’s troubles. I felt like a failure. Like I wasn’t in control of my own thoughts and feelings. I know now that I am in control and even though from time to time Delores (my anxiety) tries to chime in and tell me lies.
What changed for me? Well, I changed who and what I surrounded myself with. I delve deep into self-care and really self-improvement. I was listening to podcast that I felt aligned more with who I was and where I wanted my life to go. I went to therapy, which was a huge thing! Therapy was amazing. I learned skills to better myself and I had homework that I actually had to do. I wanted to be better and do better so I actually started putting into practice the things my therapist told me to do. Another huge thing that helped me was my relationship with God. He was there for me when no one was. When I felt alone, he got me through. I was reading my Bible more and praying to him more and really leaned on my faith. He has since brought better people in my life and better opportunities. I looked at that as an opportunity to go (hell I’m growing each and every day).
There’s a quote that says “Grow through what you go through”, Those words are so true. If you want to rid yourself of these labels, you have to grow. You have to level up. Is it scary? Yes. Will it be easy? Fuck no and I mean that with a passion. Growth is not linear and its definitely not pretty. There are times when I like shit, Is this rock bottom? But then something else happens that I have to grow through so I’m always learning and growing on becoming my own woman and owning who the fuck I am.
At the end of her segment on the program, Sarah had us rip the index cards. It was so powerful doing that. It was beautiful and almost emotional for me. It symbolized who we weren’t anymore. We are not the things, the words, the labels that people call us or what we answer to. Try it yourself. What words or labels do you identify with or what lies have you told yourself about yourself? Write it down and then rip it up. You are not your past. You are not your mistakes. Don’t let anyone tell you or make you feel like you are and I get it (lord knows I get it). It’s hard but babe when you get on the other side, it’s worth it.
What are some labels you are looking to tear apart?