Last week, I kinda just threw up 23-years of all the pseudo emotions I have held onto, which led to a very tough few months.  It was one of the most cathartic, scary, freeing, true and authentic things I have done, in a very long time.  It was the kind of pain that brought me to the floor doubled over in pain. However, there is much more to this story for me, much more work needs to be done on this healing journey which I hope never ends.  I would accept a few less hard lessons, but that depends on me learning them the first-time round.

I want to talk about garbage cans today.  I believe we are all born with a garbage can in our body, soul or brain. You can decide where yours sits.  Mine was attached to my ”thinking” self or my brain/ego.  This garbage can is the place that we put all the bad things that happen to, and around, us during our lifetime.  The difference is – each of us has a different sized garbage can: some have one that is the size of the one in most bathrooms (or even smaller), others have the great big ones that sit out side and need a huge truck to move around…or maybe even bigger.  The size depends on when yours fills up, some never do.  I will refer to garbage cans in future blogs.

As humans, we like to crumple stuff up in a ball and throw it in the trash.  We don’t just lay it nice and flat so it takes up no room at all.  After a while, days, weeks, months or years or many years, this fills up depending on your life and your experiences (some experiences have a much larger garbage load to get rid of).  For some reason, when they fill up they turn into a heaping mound.  Have you ever seen the produce section where all the apples are piled high?  It’s never just one that falls when it’s stacked high.  When one falls, a whole crap load fall to the floor. The same is true with the garbage can in my head.  It felt like someone was on the inside pushing everything up and out.  There seemed to be no end in sight.

This happened once before in my life with not as much ferocity about eight years ago.  At the time, I chose to be the person scrambling around trying to pick up all the pieces in my arms and stuff them back in.  Months would go by, a piece would fall out I would grab it, talk about it (maybe) and shove it back in, all the while putting more garbage on top.  Maybe I would even stand on the top and jump up and down and force more room to show up. This process seemed to work for about eight years, I say “seemed” because during this time I was still doing damage to myself and those around me.  I had some incident at work that seemed to cause me to have the biggest career-limiting move, even though to this day, I do not know what it truly was (I will save this for another blog).

This time around I chose to be the second type of person that I have come to realize exists.  The person I am choosing to be is thoughtful; I will look at each piece see where it fits and why I am holding onto it.  I will un-crumple the piece of paper, smooth it out with patient hands and gently place it back at the bottom of the trash can – sometimes with the help of my teachers and guides.  No longer will I only half look.  To me, this is the WORK that will be required to separate me from personality and ego.  This WORK will be required to let my true ESSENCE shine through.  I will be understanding; of myself and the trash and where it came from,   I will also be compassionate.  This something I have not done a good job with myself, or others – especially my mom, I looked at our past with understanding, I would use words like; “she did the best she knew how”, or what ever.  I didn’t do it with compassion.  The same for Bob, my stepfather, even though I seemed to have less understanding for him then anyone.  I will also do the WORK that is required and suggested by my teachers and guides (my new words for therapists or people I choose to learn from). I will go below the surface no matter how much pain I feel may be there, as I have come to realize the pain is only within me.

There is another type of person, who I once was, what I feel so long ago: the one that shuts it all off, does not see the garbage, does not acknowledge the garbage and looks at the world as if everyone else has garbage and not them. (These are my opinions and not grounded in science BTW)  They make comments like; Leave your problems at the door; shit happens and then you die; suck it up and get over it; Men don’t cry; why are you so weak, etc.  Maybe you know one or two?

When people said these words directed at me, they were the most damaging words someone could say.  You could also include: “Get over it”.  These words keep people struggling, not feeling safe, stuck in stigma, and closed.

Lastly, I had a few questions come in about my last blog, Please ask questions on there if you feel safe, otherwise I’ll do my best to answer them on here after each blog.

Keep Chasing those Cars,

With Love, Respect and admiration

Steve

Question 1.  Why are you doing this people will judge you and it might impact your future jobs, people do not want to hire sick people?

All I can say is this: I have been silent to long about my struggles and it almost ended up in the ultimate sacrifice.  So if people judging me is an impact for my safety and peace of mind, all I can say is judge away.   As for the job, chances are that if they’re that closed to mental wellness, illness and addiction issues, I guarantee we wouldn’t be a fit.  Better to find out now, than after we start working together.

Question 2.  Why are you choosing to do this alone?
I am never really ALONE – I have so many people who love and care for me.  As for the societal belief of relationships, we do not have to have someone to be whole.  For so long, I used relationships as filler for what I was missing in me; these included all relationships right up to work and job.  If I run out and enter into a relationship or job, I will cloud my issues and maybe leave some wound un covered.  I will enter into it thinking this person or job is what I need and they complete me (which is BS, no-one completes me but me), only to have that wound re-surface 6 months, a year, or 5 years into the relationship where all I will do is look the relationship as the issue or that I am no-longer safe with the person or job and it is time to run.  Imagine what Liz Taylor’s holes were? Imagine if she took the time to heal?  She had many marriages and many relationships I’m sure the public or even her family were not aware of.  What would happen if she took the time to focus on her and love her?  Just my thoughts, and ladies I am sorry I picked a female icon as an example and to be fair: Is Hugh Hefner filling anything?

14 Comments on “Garbage Cans

  1. I am so grateful to be able to have read this. For so many people with mental illness or addiction there is no validation until the self is realized, and no one else can do that for them. Also being present is not only being in the moment, but being aware of what these moments means. You were the first person to share the “garbage” analogy with me and I still remember that day very clearly when you asked me what my garbage can looked like. I still am trying to figure that out.

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  2. Hi Honey;
    I am in awe of you that you are able to do this. As I said before this journey is not for the faint of heart. They say when you make a decision to have a child that you make a decision that your heart will walk around outside your body for the rest of your life. My heart is with you in Calgary. Love Mom xo

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  3. If we’re a fortunate in our lives we will be rewarded with the gift of self awareness. It seems to be especially important as we approach a certain point in our lives mainly mid life. Again if we’re fortunate we will be introspective and the whole process will change the way we live our lives. I wish you all the best as you go through this journey. It’s not easy but it is so worth it.

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  4. The words you have chose to describe the storage of all these feels, wounds, and challenges.. The garbage can, never have thought about the existence of mine before. It makes total sense. I can tell you enough how much I appreciate you giving me (us) the opportunity to read and relate. It’s nice to know no one is alone. The world needs more healing.

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        • Hi Steve,
          I so enjoy reading your Blog……………you are amazing!
          And you are on a most amazing journey that takes amazing courage.
          It reminded me of a magnet I have on my Fridge that I got for myself about 23 years ago.
          It is a picture of 3 Husky Puppies in a Basket and the quote is, “Please be patient with me, God isn’t finished with me yet!”
          Keep up the “Good Work”….. much love and many hugs, Wendy

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  5. To one of my favourite cousins. You rock. Keep doing what your doing. I will continue to read. I stand beside you in sprit. Breaking the silence is probably one of the most powerful things a person can do. You are so strong and I am so proud of you.

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  6. All I cans say brother is WOW I am in awe of your forthcoming and look forward to seeing you in July keep it coming………love ya brother

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  7. You are very courageous my friend. I too have journeyed this path……in hindsight I see the pain we experience on this healing journey as the fire we walk through in order to be refined. And each time we walk through the fire we become stronger. Your are in my heart as well.
    Love you, Wendy B
    PS I believe our essential nature is love, and I have always seen this in you. You are a Special person to embark on this journey.

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