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Live Wire #4 // The Island

You can read this transmission or you can listen to it for added impact. There is a rhythm, an acoustic element to my words, so Click here for the full shebang. Plus, I'm cute.

When I feel in control, grounded, happy, good, then I can share with you. I can engage. I can show myself to others.

When I feel tired, down, chaotic, emotional, stressed, overwhelmed, then I don’t let you in.

Because I believe, somewhere deep within me, that I’m meant to work through that shit on my own. I’m meant to retreat, deal with, fix, figure out, return to ‘normal’, and only then re-engage with the world.

You go to your room when you’re being too loud or too mean. You don’t show your sad, angry, messy state with another. You don’t ask for help processing. You cry alone. You wipe away your own tears. And then you magically reemerge as the Goldilocks you that is not too much, not too little, just right.

Even if we had warm & loving homes, so many of us were taught to take care of ourselves. But what if the very reason I feel overwhelmed by life so often is because I think I have to do all of this by myself?

What if that’s a lie? Would life be less overwhelming if I didn’t shoulder every burden on my own? If I didn’t retreat to figure out, and instead invited in other perspectives, supports, comforts.

Self-soothing is great for survival, but it’s just a band aid. It’s not actually getting to the root of my pain, it’s not actually allowing me to accept the true comfort that comes from receiving unconditional love & understanding from another.

I tackle life like it’s a damn school project. It’s a GROUP project?? Oh come on, don’t make me work with these idiots. I can get the whole project done quicker, better if I just do the whole thing alone. Give it here. Let me do it.

But I’m stuck in a loop. Stuck in the past. I’m conditioned to do life on my own. I don’t WANT to do life on my own. I don’t want to deal with everything on my own. Figure it out on my own. I don’t want to be an island anymore.

How do you open up?

How do you rid yourself of these deepest oldest wounds?

You practice.

You ask for a hug, even if you believe you shouldn’t need one.

You ask for help, even if you don’t know what you need.

You show someone a tear, even if you can’t explain why it’s there.

You share the burden. You admit that you have a need. You let someone in.

If I reach deep down, into the well of desire that’s really hard for me to access or admit, I long for someone to really see me. To just get me. To see me at my absolute worst, and instead of sending me to my room, say come here baby. To think I’m the bee's knees. To feel lucky to have me by their side. To anticipate my needs because they really know me. To hold me, to help me, when I don’t have the energy to do this on my own.

But if I don’t let myself BE seen…if I deny that I HAVE needs…if the only time I ever collapse is in PRIVATE…if I only reveal myself to you when I’m GOOD, strong, capable, grounded, accomplished…if I never appear to NEED help…how the hell is anyone ever going to give me those things? There aren’t arms there to catch me because I never fall.

I can talk a big game, but true strength is taking action to practice what I preach. 2023 feels like the year for practice.

Yesterday, I awkwardly hugged my brother out of nowhere while he was working. He was sitting in an office chair. I came around & gave him a feeble side hug. It was super weird. He poked me in the nose hole when he tried to pat my shoulder, utterly confused by my sneak attack show of affection.

It was practice, ok? It was brief. We haven’t talked about it since. But I'm smiling about it. And laughing about it. It was funny. And sweet. And real. And there was no context given, there was no explanation as to why I was doing this thing, out of character. And there doesn’t need to be. It was a little moment of connection, of need, of bravery, of vulnerability on my part, out of the blue. An island drifting closer to the shore, tired of existing so far away from everyone.

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