I’m slowly learning to put my foot down

I’m not the kind of person to make a scene. Really, I am the furthest thing from confrontational. I would describe myself as a people-pleaser and do-gooder, and I hate it when shit gets crazy and out of hand. Recently though, I have felt a weird – yet wonderful – change that has rooted itself so deep in my soul, that I hope it stays forever.

As you all know by now (I am sure), Jeanne and I have been through a whirlwind of kak this year thus far (and I know a lot of people have too – stay strong people, it’ll get better), but over the last month-or-so I would say, my foot has been doing this bizarre and unusual thing: putting itself – quite firmly I must add – down. Like down, down, not just down.

I don’t quite know exactly why this has started to happen all of a sudden, to be honest, but I can’t say that I am resisting what-so-ever to this new happening, and I am just trying to remember that ‘everything happens for a reason’, you know, even this.

Being walked all over is something that comes naturally to me, believe it or not, as I really am the kind of person who is willing to put other’s happiness over mine – and, to an extent, that is still true. But I really feel that this foot of mine is tired of being stood on, and it’s now really trying to stand up for itself.

I am not going to deny that being walked over didn’t hurt at one point or another. But there have been a number of positive factors that have come from it too, including the fact that I learned to identify and weed out those who really have been detrimental to my life and my mental health.

Jeanne has always been very strong when it comes to people treating both me and her like shit, and she has always stood up for me in the instances where I didn’t or felt like I couldn’t myself. She doesn’t take crap from no one, and it’s one of the many qualities about her I love so much. Her honesty is important to her – and to me, and she believes in saying how she feels and telling it how it is, whether it hurts or not, as she feels that once it is out there it can be discussed and resolved.

However, this is a quality I have not always understood or been able to put out there myself, and I tend to give and give and give and give until I have nothing left to give anymore and it’s too late, instead of standing up for myself and putting a stop to whatever it is that is happening. This is certainly not my best quality and I am hoping that my itchy foot is me finally trying turning over a new leaf.

After everything Jeanne and I have been through this year – between hospital visits, work stress, planning our wedding and people just generally being nasty – I think that I am just tired of making everyone else happy and seeing us so unhappy and feeling stressed out all the time. Which is understandable, in my opinion.

With all of this happening and going on, I feel like maybe something has changed within me that needed time in order to do so. Personally I think that there is only so much one can be pushed around or messed with until a line is drawn and a stand taken almost involuntarily.

We have cut a lot of people out of our lives for many different reasons, and others have cut us out – whatever your reason, know that I respect it and only hope it makes your life better and has a positive impact on you. From now on I don’t want to hurt anyone anymore, or let anyone hurt us, and I want to take this foot of mine that is so firmly planted on the floor and take a step forward that will transform our lives for the better.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you have to be a bitch, and I am certainly not going to be. And I am not saying that you should not give people a second chance or the benefit of the doubt if you feel unsure. I am just saying that when you feel like enough is enough, trust your gut and your instincts. They are there for a reason, after all.

I know that this transformation is going to take some time to complete, however I am glad that it’s started. I feel relieved, I feel strong and I feel like this can only be a positive change that will impact our lives in ways that will move us forward.

To help aid my transformation, these are the things I keep reminding myself on a daily basis:

  1. It’s okay to say “no”. Equally, it’s okay to think about things until you are 100% sure about something. You do not need to say “yes” right now on the spot.
  2. You are worth more than what you do for everyone else. I struggle with this one the most. Like I said, I give and give until it runs out, then I feel bad about not being able to give any more. But I have to keep telling myself that I am more than what I do for and give everyone else. We all are!
  3. Speak up and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. There is nothing wrong with speaking your opinion, asking for help or compromising.
  4. Be selfish – to an extent. You should do something for yourself. You do not need to do everything for everyone else.
  5. Feeling shitty about something? There is a reason. This is when it’s time to identify the source of how you are feeling. Once identified, you can then resolve it in the acceptable manner.
  6. Come to a compromise. A healthy balance is a good thing. Your choices are yours alone, but sometimes it’s healthy to compromise, too.
  7. Set boundaries. Every relationship has boundaries – including those with your family and friends, set them from the get-go to ensure that there is a clear understanding in order to identify what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour, and what you will and won’t tolerate.
  8. Stick to your guns and trust your gut. Trusting my gut is something of an ongoing battle every day, as my first instinct is to go against it because, what could possibly happen, right? Wrong. Trust how you are feeling, you’re feeling that way for a reason.
  9. You do not need to feel sorry for those who cannot or will not help themselves. I am surrounded by a few people who cannot make a decision, do not put those most important first, and, well, refuse to grow up. I need to remember that their issues are not ours, and it’s better for our relationship and my mental health to stay out of it and there is no need to feel sorry for those who will not help themselves.
  10. You cannot help those who will not help themselves. It’s an impossible task and those who have tried will know just that. Sometimes you just have to help yourself by, again, removing yourself from the situation.

What have I learned so far?

I have learned so much so far, mostly about who I am, what I mean to the people who have stuck around and about how strong I really am. But I know my journey is just beginning, and I cannot wait to enjoy every single damn moment of this life-altering, personal journey that will take me from strength-to-strength.

For those who have stuck around, thank you. Your loyalty and love mean the world to me (and Jeanne). And to my new friends, thanks for bearing with me in this incredibly awesome time in my life. And to my family, you’re incredible.

Are you going through a transformation of your own? Do you have any advice for me in this critical time in my life? Great! Tell me everything in the comment box below.

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