Wednesday, December 24, 2014


I like rules.
I like following them.
(Hello, eating disorder.)
Or, at least I like following them when they do what I want them to do.
Which is keep me safe.

"Don't go out after dark if you're alone!"
That was one of my parents favorite rules growing up.
"Never say no if someone asks for help."
That was another rule they had.
"Always be helpful to others, no matter what the cost."
"Family first, even if it's not appropriate."
"Taking time for yourself is selfish, spend time with family instead."

My parents had so many rules.
And I've internalized them as my own.
Despite the fact that I've been living independent of my parents for more than ten years, their rules still haunt me.  They scared me into believing the world is a bad place, full of cruel people who you can't trust, or they might hurt you.

I'm tired of those rules.
I'm so very tired of them.
If I keep following "their" rules, I know I'll never be able to be truly at peace with myself.
If I keep following "their" rules, I will not be able to let myself be happy.
If I keep following "their" rules, I will live the rest of my life in fear.

How to get over the fear of "breaking" the rules my parents ingrained in me?
Suck it up and do it anyway.
Go shopping after dark.
Drive through the city that is scary.
Make the phone call that I'm afraid of making.
Suck it up and face the fear.
Over.  And over.  And over.

The worst part about these ingrained rules?  My parents set them, but it is me who chose to keep living them, long after they were necessary.  I held on to them.  And I continue struggling to let them go.  Because of all that?  I'm truly afraid to let myself be.  I'm afraid to allow myself to get excited, to feel happiness, to take time for myself without the guilt.

It's time to change the rules.
It's time to break them.  All of them.
It's time to suck it up and do it anyway.

I wonder what it is going to feel like 
to allow myself to live without them?
To feel excited about things....... to go on adventures both near and far....... to take time to get to know myself without the guilt....... to live a life I want to be a part of.......

I may be a rule follower.......
But these rules need to be broken.

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