Patchwork: Making Sense of the Mess (Entry #1)
Sometimes I feel like an imposter. Or that I have imposter syndrome.
Like who the fuck am I to be playing the roles that I do in my life?
There are days that I sit in sessions with clients, listening to some of the traumas and hardships they are going through, and while something comes out of my mouth, I simultaneously have this thought in my head like, “I am way out of my league here.”
Or when I sit in lab meetings or get invited to certain meetings where all these ivy league, incredibly intelligent neuroscientists & psychiatrists are talking back and forth, I’m like, “how the fuck am I in this meeting right now?” “Do these people really think that I belong in this room?” “Someone in this room definitely thinks I blew someone to get here, because otherwise they know I’m too dumb to be part of this.”
Like … Am I just really good at faking being good at my job? Or at understanding?
Or do I actually get what I’m doing?
I didn’t even know imposter syndrome was a thing until my brother brought it up to me in conversation about one of his friends, but holy shit, it is real.
I don’t know if part of this is because of the expectation that’s placed on me (and probably other life coaches and therapists) by society? They hear you work at a fancy establishment and just automatically place a judgment (good or bad) that either you’re super smart or you’re a stuck-up douche. Or that you’re a therapist or overcame certain things in your life so you must be able to change everyone’s life … and that you’re suddenly immune to life.
The shitty part is that I took that thought on myself. Well, I overcame crippling panic disorder, I can speak in front of a large room of people without barfing on a table, I don’t call the doctor everyday for lab work and scans and procedures that I decide I need because im pretty sure I have every type of disease, I don’t want to kill myself anymore, I made it through trauma and flashbacks that are now very limited and don’t trigger anxiety attacks, im not abusing alcohol or using drugs anymore … like what a fucking list! I must be UNSTOPPABLE.
And im sort of annoyed that I did that to myself because I put myself in this position that didn’t allow me to be human anymore. And it took me a while to realize that. “Duh Brittany, you’re still a fuckin human!”
I get texts all the time, and have been for years, like, “well, how do you deal with shitty situations? Nothing ever seems to bother you.” “You’re always happy. How do you do that?”
“You don’t get phased by anything!”
And I’d look at the texts like, “wow people really think I’m a robot.”
I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately through this whole pandemic. First because we have PLENTY OF TIME TO THINK lol.
But otherwise, I notice it because this pandemic brings up so much human. Every range of freaking emotion to ever exist, plus some we have yet to discover.
And while I deeply feel the heaviness of what is going on in the world, and also get impacted even more than normal by emotional experiences that come that have nothing to do with COVID-19 (like grandma’s fucking stroke and being in the hospital which has left me absolutely WRECKED and knotted in the gut every day since it happened), I still “somehow” am…fine?
Honestly, aside from feeling the feels, I’m doing absolutely fine. I wake up every morning, I work out, I shower, I put on JEANS, I often put on a full face of makeup (sometimes not cuz I’m lazy), I crank out my work day in the lab/clinic, and I beast through life coaching and rebranding once work day 1 has ended. I talk to friends, I still laugh, I still have fun. Me and Peter haven’t gotten into any fights (then again we haven’t fought in the entire almost-4 years we’ve been together so that point is mute). We social distance hang with fam. If anything, I’ve been cooking even more than before--which has been lovely to have time to make more intensive recipes.
I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss my coworkers. I miss my clients. I miss hugs. But I’m so thankful I’m in a position to afford the technology to keep us connected and the car to drive me to my family an hour away to sit in their driveway and watch my nephews play from afar.
But the fact that I’ve been doing fine made me question whether or not I was a robot.
There are people who are losing their fucking SHIT during this – and understandably so!!! Being stuck inside, disconnected from the world, often with nothing to do because they’ve lost their jobs? Or stuck inside with KIDS OMG. I’d fucking die. Parents are superheros man. I see some of my friends like literally going insane and I just … I have no words. I don’t get it because I haven’t been there, but I get it because I can FULLY imagine the extra stress. So I’m also thankful we didn’t crank out a small human yet hahah
But I found myself observing others and wondering why it is I’m not going as insane. And I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m used to this homebody life that I enjoy? But then, no … because I love going out, too. Or at least having the option.
And then I wonder if it actually is because of the skills that I’ve gained through the years. Learning to go with the flow. Learning to let go of what we can’t control and focusing on what we can control. Or finding little moments that make me super duper happy or content during the day to really hold on to. Or allowing myself to cry and lose my shit when the moment strikes, rather than bottling it up and holding onto it wayyyy longer than I needed to.
The last 3 days I’ve cried every few hours. At certain points sobbing in peter’s arms like a toddler. Other points both of us crying on the fucking couch talking about death and family and love and pain.
Yesterday I was thinking about my grandma and started to have weird chest pains and I had to stop and say out loud, “ok you’re about to have a panic attack, let’s detach for a minute,” and I had to go calm myself down before a full-blown bitch ass panic attack came to ruin my day.
Thankfully it did not.
For the last month, every morning when I connect to Spirit and my Goddess and say my daily prayer/do my little ritual, I cry. It just happens automatically. I get flooded with emotion and energy and this powerful sense that everything is going to be okay.
I don’t even know what I’m rambling on about. I just know I have felt intense emotion throughout this, more so than I’ve ever felt in my life. And that one of the biggest changes for me is that I just let them be there.
When people ask how I’m doing, I’m honest. Cuz fuck it. Why am I going to say “good” when I was literally just sobbing??
I always think of BJ (brother) when I’m having a bad day and someone asks how I’m doing. One time we went to Starbucks and the barista said, “Hi, How are you?” and his response was, “I’m honestly not doing so good. I hate my job and I really don’t know what to do about it.” And I laughed and laughed and laughed because omg how fun would life be if all of us were just fucking RAW AND HONEST.
Me and Peter talked about this the other day. I had this fun little vision that everyone was just honest about their human experience. And that we looked at each other like siblings and not divided by blood, or race, or religion, or gender, or what the fuck ever. That if we were walking down the street and asked someone how are you and they cried and said I’m not doing so good, that we would stop and talk it out with them and help improve their day because we’ve all had bad times in our life. And that it wouldn’t be weird. That it wouldn’t be weird to hand them a tissue and tell them it would be ok and to share in their pain.
I wish we could all channel drunk college girls in the bathroom of a club who become best fucking friends for 5 minute when someone stumbles in crying because their boyfriend is there with another girl, and these stranger just rally together and empower her and remind her how fucking awesome she is and that he ain’t shit and they fix her makeup and genuinely care that the rest of her night and her life goes better. Even though we will literally never see each other again.
All because we’re fucking humans.
It pisses me off to think about this. That none of us asked to be here. None of us were like hey, one ticket to earth please, can’t wait! (well at least we don’t remember asking to come here).
But we’re all literally here trying to do the same exact thing. Every single one of us.
And yet we have to treat it all like competition because we’re douchebags.
Like what competition are you trying to win exactly? Because I have terrible news – we all get the same damn award at the end.
If anything came from COVID, that would be a beautiful one. To realize we are all just humans and to work together to make it an easier time for each other.
Which bring some right back to the fact that I’m only human too. And I have to keep reminding myself of that. I don’t have all the answers. I have the things that worked for me, the tools that worked for me, and just because they worked once doesn’t mean I’m cured of all things human. My life is still going to continue, which means sad and happy experiences will both continue happening. Which means I’ll need to use those techniques again and again. And I’m so thankful I have them.
It’s weird to consider how I’d be handling this whole pandemic if I didn’t have those tools. My ass would be hiding in a hole somewhere I’m sure. Because health things are terrifying. This is like 18 year old Brittany’s worst nightmare hahah. Which is why I’m also so shocked that I’m handling this as well as I am. My family thinks because I take precautions (not frantically, thank you) that I’m still an anxious mess. I’m like, “all I did was use hand sanitizer.”
And then I have this fun thought that an alien took over my body because that’s the only way I have been able to handle my shit.
Life coaching myself is fun.
I’m so thankful I’m still able to see my coach through all of this on Zoom because she helps remind me that I’m still a human, even if I’m a human who has learned things that make me appear more robotic :)
Anyway, Peter set up a rainy day cat café for us in the living room. Since we can’t go to the cute little tea shops in the city, we figured out a way to move the juju around in the house, play some café music, and sip our coffee/tea while writing and reading. He’s the best.
I’ve got some clients this afternoon, but other than that I need to crank out this book chapter for the book collaboration I’m a part of. There’s a limit on pages which is hard for me because I like to get into hardcore detail so there will be many an edit to be made.
Then I have my next YouTube video to edit on dealing with anxiety (HOW FITTING) before we drive around potential towns we might buy a house in and catch some vibes WEEE!!!! EWWWW I’M AN ADULT AND IT’S SCARY. I’M NOT READY FOR THIS LOL
Anyway, until next time