We all have stories that we tell ourselves. Some of them are based on memories. Memories that we've made better or worse depending on how we want the story to be. Other stories are made of the 'would-a', 'should-a' and the 'could-a's with a bit of 'what if' sprinkled in. These stories can bring us comfort, joy and peace if we want them too. They can also trap us.
I have been telling myself the same story for the past three years. At times it was a whisper, other times it was a roar. I want it to go away. I have thought that it has gone a few times, but then it comes back again and again.
My story likes to play over and over in my head when I am very tired, when I can't sleep in the middle of the night and when I am angry. Lately I have been all three (tired, up in the middle of the night and a bit angry). My story comes back to haunt me over and over again.
My story is of a girl who thought she could do anything. Thought that she could take on the world, and have it be just the way she wanted. A girl who was young, healthy and strong. Then when the girl least expected it, that world fell apart, dissolved away. Nobody could stop it, and in a blink it was gone. The girl no longer felt like she could do things, and she knew very well that couldn't have things just the way she wanted. The life that the girl knew was gone, and a new difficult one was there. Probably the hardest part, the part that made the girl angry was she felt old, weak, and broken.
I still blame myself for everything that has happened with my pregnancies. I am still angry at my body. I am still angry at myself. I still feel lost. And my story keeps this going for me. In the middle of a sleepless night, I have plenty of feed the chapters of this story. The bank accounts that are empty from medical bills, and not working for months. My body which is weaker than it has ever been, and still bears scars of pregnancy. A career that feels shattered from having two major medical emergency in three years. And a confused mental outlook that really doesn't know who I am anymore or what I want.
I keep thinking that someday I will simply stop blaming myself. I have told myself over and over to stop. Yet, I still don't stop.
The thing about the stories we tell ourselves is that they aren't necessarily true. In fact there might be barely a shred of truth to them. Especially when we want to play the 'what-if' game, making a guess at what would have happened is simply choosing a different ending to the story. Like the choose your own adventure books of my grade school days, you can always go back and choose another direction.
Our lives are a combination of what happens to us, how we react to it and then finally how we choose to remember it. Getting stuck on one story or event in of our lives is an easy thing to do, how to get out of that story is a whole lot trickier. Could it be as simple as telling ourselves a different ending? And repeating it over and over until your mind believes it as true.
Could the girl in my story start to believe that even though it didn't go the way she had wanted it really was a beautiful ending. Despite things not going as planned maybe that was because the real plan is even better. Better than this girl could ever imagine. And finally the girl realizes that though she is far from perfect, and not as unstoppable as she thought in her youth maybe just maybe she isn't so bad after all.