Back in January (an impossibly long time ago) I decided that I was done with everything being bullshit. I'd had enough. If I couldn't control anything but myself and my own actions, well, then, I was going to take 2011 by the balls and make it my bitch.
The Band Back Together Bringing Happy Back World Tour began. It's more than a "New Year's Resolution," because we all know those aren't particularly useful; no, the BB2G World Tour is all about working together, supporting each other as we make small, positive changes in our everyday lives. We're not vowing to lose 500 pounds in a month because, hi, that's a total set-up for failure. Nah, we're going make a conscious effort each month to try and do something a little differently; be better.
We're going to Beat The Happy out of 2011, dammit!
Each month, we pick an idea, a way we're going to focus on bringing OUR Happy Back. In small bite-sized chunks.
This month, to celebrate April and the release of more With The Band shirts (along with the Purple Should Be A Flavor Damnit shirts), we're going to choose a winner from ANYONE who submits a post to the site that focuses upon Bringing The Happy Back, April Edition. You can win one of my fine shirts, the proceeds of which will be going partially toward making Band Back Together a Non-Profit.
Posts must be submitted with the BB2G: Bringing Happy Back title or I'll never be able to find them (I'm not smart). (This is separate contest from the Glitter Flinging one.)
So, what's the theme this month?
Getting rid of something you don't need.
What you choose to get rid of can be anything: maybe a bin of old toys and clothes you no longer need. Or something emotional, like guilt. Or a friendship that's more draining than useful. There are so many things we carry around with us that we do not need. Let's get rid of some of that baggage and BRING THE HAPPY BACK.
I've been focusing on purging the balls out of my house. It's been awhile since I really took a good look around and saw how much stuff I had - stuff I didn't need, and I decided it was time to dump it all; donate the lot of it to charity. I was never going to have a garage sale or eBay my stuff, so why pretend?
Organize my house = organize my life.
It's been good for me; cathartic even. Focusing on purging has helped me work through some of my feelings, too.
Specifically, those about my family.
I know I've touched a bit on what growing up was like for me. I'm the adult child of two alcoholics and my childhood was extremely lonely. I wanted to be loved, to make them proud. I wanted anything besides the horrible chasm of emptiness inside of me.
I learned to take care of myself. I was the only one who could make myself feel happy, content; like I was enough.
Through a lot of hard work, I decided to accept my parents as they were. Not forgive - but accept. I cannot carry a heart full of rage.
I'd held out hope, though, because we adult children of addicts are nothing if not loyal, that I'd be able to have a relationship with my only sibling. With an age gap between us so large, we hadn't had the same parents; the same experiences. But I wanted so badly to have a sibling.
Rather than see things as they were, I pretended that we had the relationship I'd wanted, just like I'd done in my childhood.
I chose to ignore many things. Things, that, looking back now, were never there to begin with.
Last week, on my personal blog, Mommy Wants Vodka, I pulled a post for the second time - ever.
Admitting and talking openly about growing up in an alcoholic home has been both extremely difficult and incredibly rewarding. I've been able to connect with those who really get it. People who make me feel like I'm not such a fucked-up person. But first, I have to admit my feelings.
The post I pulled was about the sudden death of someone in my family; someone who showed me kindness as a child and how I'd never forgotten it. To properly explain why that kindness mattered, I had to give a bare-bones back story. And I did, sticking to the facts, not pointing fingers or casting blame. The time for anger has long-since passed.
My much-older sibling called me out on The Facebook. He told me that I should put a warning label on my blog because it's mostly fiction; with this post, I'd gone too far. It was like being punched in the gut. I was ashamed, humiliated, and broken-hearted. I'd just been called a liar. I'm many things, but liar is not one of them. My experiences neatly invalidated by someone who hadn't even been there; someone who'd never taken my side. Someone I'd always defended, someone I always stuck up for, someone who I gave a real shit about.
Someone I'd still wanted a relationship with.
It took that comment to show me how things were; illuminating how he felt about me. The relationship I'd wanted was a pipe-dream.
It was over.
There's no going back, and frankly, I don't want to.
It's broken my heart. Even now, as I write this, the tears are close, but I know that it's time to move on. Time to get rid of a relationship that existed only in my head.
My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.
I feel freer than I've ever felt.