Yes, I’ve been quiet, too quiet. There’s this marketing philosophy that encourages the idea of positioning oneself as the expert in order to instill confidence in potential clients, it’s an unspoken “rule” that we shouldn’t be seen as a mess when we are, in fact, a complete and utter train wreck. Even as I write this I have this huge fear that some women I admire in business are reading it and thinking “Oh no, don’t do it! Don’t tell them! It’s career suicide!”

 

I have, in the past, been advised to wait until the storm is over, write about it in the past tense so I can pass on what I’ve learned from it. Well, this storm has been raging for a couple months now and has finally tossed me up on shore, a bloody heap on the rocks, cursing a blue streak and blaming everything on the weather. So now I’m trying to find the pieces to build a new boat and I’m pissed.

 

So what’s actually happened? I hurt my shoulder.

 

It sounds innocuous enough but it’s done a number on me. When I’m in pain, I get cranky and sorry for myself. Once that phase is done, I get determined to fix it. When that isn’t working I get stubborn and try to fix it some more. This is where it gets even worse because by the time I’ve figured out that I can’t fix it, I’ve turned on myself and I get personal. I get mean. My inner critic is going to town on all sorts of shit. What’s wrong with you? Why are you so useless? You have all the potential to do great things but you’re sitting on your couch pouting about your shoulder! Suck it up and get on with it!

 

I’ve been trying to bully and bootstrap my way out of this. Arguing, pleading, negotiating with my own mind and often flipping it the bird while trying to answer the question, “what’s wrong with me?”. This question is one I get asked repeatedly by others and my answer is always, “Nothing. There is nothing wrong with you. You are perfect.” and I mean it. I just don’t believe it when it comes to telling myself that.

 

The conclusion I’ve come to is that I’ve been completely unaccepting of the fact that I have a new normal. My new normal looks nothing like my old normal (which was far from perfect but it was getting there). My new normal has me very limited in what I can do physically and mentally because of the pain. This is a whole new level of self-acceptance that I need to work on, it’s as much in my heart as it is in my shoulder. The lack of acceptance has led me down some dark paths. I’ve been telling myself stories about my self worth. How I don’t deserve the things I want, it’s such crap. Time to change the narrative.

 

This is a portrait of me resting, regrouping and rebuilding my story so it can include how I managed to make it through this period. It’s not quite done but it’s getting there so even though it’s uncomfortable writing about it now, I know I’m not the only one going through it. If you’re feeling alone and hearing that voice that’s being an asshole, sister, I feel ya.