Well, I know I said I'd get back into running like two weeks ago, but I didn't... whoops.
I am making changes in my life that I think are for the better. For the first time though, I'm making changes because I want to, for my own happiness, not because I feel like I have to in order to be better. I used to have a very perfectionistic view on things, and in the last year I've learned to step away from that and accept myself as I am flaws and everything. I chose to live life how I wanted, I admit I rebelled against everything I was told to obey and said no, I can do what I want. I tried drinking, sex, coffee, delta 9, stopped going to church, stopped paying tithing, started wearing tank tops and lower cut cute shirts and shorter shorts. I picked out cute underwear and stopped wearing the religious ones and it felt good to take ownership of my life and truly have the freedom to choose without the pressure of pleasing parents, church leaders, friends, family. I made it known I left the church and that I was doing things I wanted to do which were very much not in line with the church's standards, and I did feel like a disappointment to those close to me but I was finally experiencing the pure bliss of agency. I needed time to experience what I wanted to experience, without the pressure to be a perfect human who never tries any of that and obeys everything they're told to do.
I don't mean to make this religious, I believe everyone should be respected for their own beliefs and I don't bash on people who wholeheartedly believe in the LDS faith because I used to be one of them, it's the church/organization I have a problem with. I believe it was very harmful to me in a lot of ways, while also being good for me in a lot of ways. But I won't get into that.
In the last few weeks, I've been wanting to make a change not because I think what I'm doing is wrong or inherently bad, but because on a deeper level, what I've been doing isn't taking care of myself. When I started all of this a year ago, I was so deeply depressed that I didn't care if what I was doing was affecting my wellbeing, and in fact, I sought out and put myself in dangerous situations because it was self-destructive behavior, and I was teetering on the verge of suicide. In fact, it's what led to me being raped, which sent me spiraling.
There were many things at play: bipolar disorder, leaving a very controlling religion, and then being raped. All combined sent me into utter chaos. It doesn't excuse my behavior, but it explains it. But it's not like I went out and hurt other people, the only person I hurt was myself. Even typing this out I fear being judged for my choices, but I'm trying to be more comfortable with doing what I want and not caring what other people think. I think if I can have the compassion for myself and remind myself of the circumstances that led me to my decisions, I can care less what others think. Because I know what I've done has never hurt another human being intentionally. It may have caused my family distress, but that was never my intention, and I can't take responsibility for other people's feelings.
Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that I've experienced a lot in the last year, and I'm ready to make a change and decide how I want to live my life. I've seen both ends of the spectrum- what it's like to be a super religious LDS woman and what it's like to be the "sinner" as the church views it, or the more "worldly" way of life. I got to experience what I wanted to experience. And now, I feel like I can take my knowledge of both and shape the way I want to live according to my own standards and values, not somebody else's. I get to choose what I personally value and how I want to live my life. It's unfortunate that I felt like I had to rebel and see the opposite end of the spectrum in order to come to that conclusion, but I make no apologies for how I chose to survive. A lot of these "rebellious" activities were desperate attempts at finding something to experience that maybe would change my mind about wanting to die, to bring any sort of happiness in my life or something to look forward to. I was in survival mode.
Now, however, I'm not. I'm finally adjusting to actually living my life. I'm trying to make changes so that I can learn to thrive and experience true happiness, not just moments of pleasure.
A few of the changes I've decided to make: no more casual sex (this is a hard one for me because I went off the deep end after being raped, got very hyper sexual and used to having a lot of sex. Now, however, I feel like I'm missing out on the deep meaning and intimacy that sex can bring, and want to reserve it for relationships and deepening the connection I have with a partner). A focus on dating for a relationship (kind of the same, kind of different- meaning that I know what I want and I won't stick around for guys that don't know what they want, or that want to string me along, or use me for sex). I want to start finding hobbies again to fill my time, remind myself what I like and what I'm good at- running, writing, drawing, etc. I want to experience the pure joy of creating something that others can admire, such as a well written book or blog post or short story or something, and maybe a nicely drawn portrait of someone I love. And with running, I want to experience the true accomplishment of setting out to do something hard and doing that, then performing better than expected. That to me is true bliss.
I'm recreating my own standards and values, I'm still in the process of figuring that out. I know I value love, passion, empathy, and loyalty. And I know I want to raise my standards from where they have been not because anyone is telling me to but because I care about myself enough to know that I deserve better. It's really an act of self-love.
Sorry this was long-winded, I just wanted to give kind of a life update and express a few of my thoughts, which I should honestly do more of. I should start journaling again, lol. So many things I want to start doing, running is one of them. I'll get back into the habit slowly but surely :)
As a side note, this week has been difficult for me because I'm coming up on the anniversary of the rape. It happened on February 27, 2022. I'm doing my best not to spiral, but I do have moments where I need to take a minute and feel my emotions, cry a little, and remember. But I know now that not everyone is like that, and that if I surround myself with good people I can learn to trust them.