Tell your story

tell your story

I think we all have things we have difficulty talking about but which are hurting us or holding us back. Even if its something that sounds small or something that happened long ago and even if there is nothing anyone can do to help but listen, telling your story is still an incredible way to release the power that thing has over you. A way to exorcise your demons.

With each telling you are giving yourself a chance to face the issues and process the emotions that come with it.

You are building up a dictionary of words and phrases and they are becoming normal. What I mean by that is it’s so hard to tell someone you have anorexia if you’ve never managed to say the word out loud. But if you’ve used it regularly, it becomes normal and familiar and as easy as saying hello (well maybe not quite).

Talking of familiarity, when we have difficult things in our life, we have a tendency to hide them and pretend that they haven’t happened or aren’t happening. Talking about them means we have to look at them. And talking about them often means looking at them more often and then they become familiar. It takes some of the fear out of them. You know you’ve talked about them before and you’ve been ok. By which I mean you’ve survived. I’m not saying talking about things won’t be difficult, but as hard as it is, most of the time it can’t harm you.

I’m not going to use this post to tell my story, but I would like to touch on ways I’ve told my stories in the hope that it will help someone else:

  • Write it down, just for you. That might be a starting point for someone who doesn’t feel able to talk about something yet. Putting things into words and down on a page is incredibly powerful. You transform a horrible nebulous mass of hurt and pain into something tangible and defined and easier to handle and look at.
  • Say it out loud. Even if it’s just to yourself or your teddy bear or cat. As mentioned above, using words and language which you might find difficult can start to become less scary.
  • Blog. There are some things I have used a blog to talk about, for example when telling one single specific person about the anorexia was too much, I found I was able to tell people through my blog.
  • Social media. I’ve talked on twitter. And linked to my blog from twitter. That’s how most people found out I had anorexia. I wrote a post on a blog most people didn’t know about and eventually summoned up the courage to share the link. I don’t think I’d have ever been brave enough to put something more direct on twitter and certainly couldn’t tell a person (twitter is telling lots of people and people can ignore and pretend they haven’t seen if they can’t handle the thing you’ve shared plus I don’t feel like I’m burdening someone). This should probably come with a warning, you know best the people who follow you, you know how supportive or abusive the response could be.  Try to avoid putting yourself into a situation where you will get hurt.
  • In conversation. I’ve told specific people when a relevant topic has come up and shared that way.
  • Intentionally and planned. I’ve been to peer support groups. I’ve talked to professionals.

So tell your story until it loses its power. And in telling your story, you will help others with their own stories.

“Through other people’s stories we start to make sense of ourselves. And there is always more space for more stories. Because no stories are ever the same and no story is boring.” – Meg, That Hummingbird Life

Want to share your story? Link to your blog etc below, or, if that feels too much but you still want to share, email me – hejyork{@}gmail.com.

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