Breaking Up With Myself by Joanna Kent

Ever have a realization smack you in the face? In my case, I sat up straight, my eyes began to lose their focus, my heart began to pump a little faster, my stomach started to twist, and I felt distant but completely clear and present at the same time.

“You got tired of me canceling, and I got tired of making excuses.” That was the line written by Tracey Higgins that did it. This moment of clarity as to why I put myself last seemed to click magically. As to why I can’t keep any promises I make to myself, such as:

I will work out

I will eat better

I will call my friend on the phone

I will post on the blog

I will work on a business plan

I will take a shower

I will get dressed in “real” clothes

I will play with my kids

I will stop moving in circles

I will enjoy life today

But I don’t. And I can’t. And I couldn’t figure out why until I read Tracey’s words. I don’t want to be with me. I don’t like who I am. I give the best parts of me to others, so I appear a certain way to the world, and I now lack the clarity to know who I am.

[…] even when I do those things, they aren’t for the beauty of life.

I make excused all the time. For myself, not for you. Not for my children, only for myself. I can make sure my children have it all. I can make sure that I take care of all the tasks my family needs. I will even lie to myself and say that riding my bike to get my prescription is doing me some good, or that long walk was me taking time for me, but it’s a lie. Because even when I do those things, they aren’t for the beauty of life. They are still with another purpose other than being with myself.

Because on that ride, I’m going over the list of what is to do. And on that walk, I’m making or taking calls, I’m answering emails, or I’m ignoring my simple needs by focusing on a game instead of the world around me. So I’m not living. I’m still just surviving.

But Tracey asks her friend to hold on, be patient, and not give up on their friendship. And that was when I lost it. I realized I was giving up on myself. Giving up that there was any hope of me returning.

[…] how can I be the happy person I want to be.

So how do you find yourself when you are lost? Do you go back to the last place you remember yourself being? Or do you realize that isn’t who you are anymore, so you try to dig deeper to find out who you are in this moment?

Both are probably a little correct. But, I mean, what gives me pleasure anymore? Because without that, how can I be the happy person I want to be. How can I be the best version of me?

I’ve been with my husband for over 13 years. He doesn’t know what to get me for my birthday, or even where to take me to eat. It isn’t because he isn’t paying attention. It’s because even if you asked me, “what is your favorite food?” I wouldn’t have an answer.

Realizations give me an opportunity.

Even being around me all these years, he still has no idea what I like because I have no idea what I want.

So, I will not “break up with myself” entirely for now, but I will do something better. I will try to figure out who I am. That might not look conventional. It will probably be a complete mess. But maybe it’s accepting the parts of me that I am ashamed of, embarrassed by, or don’t even realize are there because I’m too scared to ask myself the questions or take the chances. Mostly I think it’s the chances.

It’s not truly me that I don’t like. It’s the old me…wait or the future old me. Second though, either way, that is me.

Realizations give me an opportunity. In this case, to see what is bothering me and to try and work on it. Not work on being a better mother, wife, advocate, and all the other things that come with being who I am, in this moment, that I don’t want to be. Instead, it’s about finding the best version of myself, and all the rest will trickle down.

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Joanna Kent
Joanna is mom to a "typical" 7-year-old and a special needs 4-year-old son with a rare genetic disorder. She is a full-time mom, caregiver, and content creator for OHS. She wants to share experiences hoping that others can benefit from what she has learned along the way.

2 thoughts on “Breaking Up With Myself”

  1. Thanks for putting this into words, Joanna. I cannot tell you how profoundly this resonates with me! Once again, in peeling back a layer in yourself, you have exposed a wound in the lives of so many of us. So much to digest and hopefully assimilate here. May we all take a few of the chances needed to get back to or to find out who we are!

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