Put Up or Shut Up

Fortunately Bebe & I get to send IMs all day to hash life out, as it happens, in real time.  In fact, that is where we got the idea for this very blog.  It is always a source of creative flow regardless of the topic and I almost always find the source of my writing within them.  Recently a conversation went like this:

Lulu says: You and other events have been inspiring me in a way.  I’m trying to set some rules for myself.  What I will put up with, for how long, etc.  I feel like now is the time for some reason.  I think with work too.  Kinda like what you are doing.  A personal mental inventory.

Bebe says: I have been trying little by little.

Then I’m sure we started quoting Steel Magnolias or talking about chafing thighs or flattering turtlenecks, but this part stuck in my caw.

I can’t give you the exact book off Oprah’s Favorite List that did it for me.  Books I’ve been reading, the huge magnifying glass placed over me upon becoming a mother, the fact that my world and what I can feasible care about has shrunk incredibly after creating a family, or just the anti-depressants…who knows what percentage each of these have had.  Whatever it is, I’m suddenly taking stock.

I’m sorting through the pantry, checking expiration dates and chucking out that can of black beans I thought I’d one day use to spice up an omelet but never did.  Friends that no longer, for lack of a better phrase, serve a purpose of enjoyment in my life are gone.  Family members that cause me more grief than joy, I filter out my involvement with.  Activities I thought I had to enjoy to keep the peace with everyone, even my husband, I now speak up and say “no, thanks.”

I no longer am capable of “The Bend.”

The Bend is my trademarked term for all of the ways we change ourselves to accommodate others around us.  The ways we let ourselves go quiet to appease the crowd.  Instead of speaking up about how angry these accommodations made me, I’d bottle them up and fill up the extra spaces in me with resentment.

I needed my friends and family to like me, and if it meant changing to fit their needs, so be it.

Once I had to step back and really keep myself okay and alive, so to speak, I figured out very quickly that a lot of the people in my life only need and like me when I can serve a purpose to them, as long as I don’t stop that purpose or my needs get too loud.  What I want in life is a burden if it interferes with their use of me or if I disagree with them in any way, despite their criticisms of me.

And strangely, that’s okay.  I get it.  We are each our own and really, despite the Golden Rule and what all those hippies yell at rallies, we only really care for ourselves and maybe those we hold most dear.

What has changed is now I no longer try to change them by changing me.

I’m not used to being comfortable in my own skin.  For as loud and opinionated as I am, I still want to be accepted.  Who doesn’t?  Motherhood, especially, throws these self esteem issues in our face.  I worried I’m not the right xyz to fit into whatever mold those in my life needed me to fit into.  This even included the made-up mold on raising a child and what I think my daughter needed in me.

Getting through PPD, having a child, growing up, being loved, whatever has suddenly put absolutely every action in my life under a huge microscope and vice at the same time.

Quite frankly.  I no longer have the mental or emotional capacity to give a shit what ‘they’ think of me.

I firmly believe what I really needed the pills for with PPD was to calm everything down so I could actually figure out what I really wanted.  To stop the merry-go-round.  And it has.  Ten-fold.

On the flip side, I can no longer feel things anything less than 100%.  My biggest fear with taking anti-depressants was becoming a zombie.  Not the case.  I have found myself and myself savors absolutely every emotion that comes into my being.  They don’t make my decision,s but I want to feel it all, everything, 100%.  Not just be a passer-by in this life.

I want to live my life again, I don’t want to end it anymore.  But this time?  This time I want to live it as me.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thecrabbucket
    Sep 26, 2009 @ 20:22:32

    Lulu. You are quite a lady, even at your worst. I could think of NO ONE better to climb out of the crab bucket with. You are my favorite asshole of them all. -Bebe


  2. Trackback: St. Agnes of Forgiveness « The Crab Bucket

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