Today, I sit here from a transparent lens. A vulnerable lens. A humble lens.
A reminder on Facebook popped up on my ‘Memories’ page of a post I’d shared 9 years ago today. It was a wine glass filled with about 4 different alcohols, and I called it my “happy night”. Which, for me in 2012, it was.
Or so I thought.
I’d been dumped…hard. My heart was broken and I didn’t know how to cope in a healthy way so I turned to drinking. It had only been 4 months since being ghosted by someone I thought I loved and loved me, and I was going down a spiral. Every night, I had a large cup that resembled something like this photo. Usually rum and coke, with more rum than coke.
It helped me numb out the pain I was too upset to deal with.
Have you ever felt so upset, that allowing yourself to feel more upset was just out of the question so you avoided it all together? That was me circa 2012.
Eventually, I’d met some folks that loved to party hard so most of my heavy drinking happened during the times that we were together. It fed into my unhealthy coping mechanisms, and I loved it.
Looking at that photo today, I just remember how lost I’d felt. Having to figure out how to pivot my life after making plans that fell through. Having to learn how to navigate what life meant for me anymore and trying to accept that I may never know why that person I loved did me so bogus.
Today, I look at how 2012 Tanaya covered her sadness. She’d hide in her room and cry sometimes, but mostly she put on a smile to hide the fact that she was hurting. Even though her whole family knew about what happened.
2012 Tanaya had anger issues from not dealing with constant hurt. She had trust issues from dealing with cheating partners and broken promises from family and friends, and she hurt others because she was hurting.
If 2021 Tanaya could speak to 2012 Tanaya (see how those numbers are the exact same?) I’d give her the hug she needed so that she knew she was safe. I’d make sure I checked up on her so that she knew someone was truly in her corner. I’d pray for her so she could see past the decisions she was making and see the future hope.
I’m not always good at segues, so I’m going to leave it here and ask you-
If you could talk to the 2012 (or whatever year) of yourself, what comforting words or actions would you offer yourself?
Now, as you think of that, also think about the people that surround you daily that may be masquerading behind forced smiles with stories you may have never known. What could you do today to genuinely show that you care?
Today, I plan on speaking life to someone in particular that I believe may need it. I encourage you to do the same.
Bonus: How are you choosing to show up today for yourself and others? Sometimes you need to speak to yourself, in present day, some loving and encouraging words.