We all have a story. According to Truvy of Steel Magnolias, “If you can achieve puberty, you can achieve a past.” Oh so true. We’ve all been through some rough stuff. That’s part of being human. Part of this cosmic experience we all know as life. Those of us who have spent time in the deepest, scariest caves of our existence understand how dark life can be sometimes. Which made the sunshine so much brighter for me when I finally stepped out of the cave of being emotionally numb and started to feel again … and when that happened I wanted to tell the world.
At first I was angry that my life and the lives of people I’d hurt had gone through my craziness. There was no reason for it. It was not the life I planned for myself or my family. I sure didn’t plan or want to hurt people.
Then I was sad. Sad for the life I planned to have. The one I should have had.
Then I was determined. Determined to tell my story so that maybe just one person would listen and see themselves in what I described about my experience and start to question their own behavior.
We all have a story.
Should you share yours?
Can you share yours?
WILL you share yours?
Believe me, it’s not easy. No matter what you say or do, especially if your experience is in any way controversial, you are going to get hateful feedback. You could have been attacked by a shark while out walking your chihuahua in a forest and there will be people who will say things like, “she should have known that random pine forest shark attacks happen every bazillion years … she should have been more prepared … what an idiot!”. Yes, that’s a ridiculous example, but I’ve seen online comments just that ridiculous slung at people who are working to make the world a better place by sharing their stories.
So if you think you’re ready to start sharing your experiences with the world, here are a few things to consider …
You are NOT ready if …
- you are looking for attention (good or bad) – if you are only searching for online shares, likes, or retweets or want your 15 minutes of fame and to be the center of attention then you are NOT ready to share your story with the world. Sharing your experience with the goal of helping another person has absolutely NOTHING to do with you. NOTHING! Of course you should share how you feel and felt, but the focus should not be on you.
- you are seeking revenge and simply want to talk trash about all the other people involved in your story – in fact, your story shouldn’t have names at all
- you are not clear on your message – what is your “why”? – who will benefit? – what’s the purpose of telling it? – your message must be perfectly clear if you are going to use whatever you’ve done or endured to change the world
You ARE ready if …
- your goal is to help others – Do you see other people making the same mistake you made, knowing you should say something to prevent whatever tragedy you either caused or had happen to you? Do you regret not speaking up when the opportunity passes for you to tell your story? Do you wish someone had warned you?
- you can handle criticism – Can you stay calm when someone who doesn’t even know you attacks you with their words? Can you be vulnerable and open about your experience without taking hurtful comments to heart?
- you are content with the situation – Has enough time (and mental work) passed where you feel comfortable talking with friends, family, and strangers about what happened? Have you made peace with it and learned from it?
Obviously coming to terms with how antidepressants and sleeping pills changed my personality in ways I could have never imagined, the hurt I caused to others, and the horrific withdrawal were all very tough things to live through, but sharing My Story hasn’t been easy either.
If I hadn’t lived it, I probably wouldn’t believe it myself, but I know there are thousands upon thousands of people out there who are experiencing behavior changes like I did and slowly ruining their lives. I wish someone had warned me, so now I warn others. THAT’S why I tell my story.
Are you ready to tell yours?
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