I hope everyone is doing well on this fine Tuesday.
Today I wanted to share and reflect on what I’ve learned since starting The Cost of Being Free project back in 2017 to now, 2019. It has been a journey of self-discovery and a lot, a lot of learning.
When I began this project in 2017 I was originally going to focus solely on other people and their stories. I didn’t think that it was necessary to focus on my own family story and I honestly was afraid of sharing something so personal with so many people. I came to realize very early on that in order for others to be willing to open up and be vulnerable, I needed to be open and vulnerable myself. This is when I decided to start focusing on Justin’s struggles with addiction and the parallel between my dad and Justin.
When I opened up about my family and our struggles within addiction I was surprised by the outpour of support from others and shocked at how many people were dealing with very similar issues. I came to realize that it is so critical to share, to be open, and to not hide from others.
We all constantly deal with difficult situations throughout our lives, yet we are all so afraid of speaking up and talking about it. I’m not sure if it is because we are afraid of being judged or if there is this idea that we all have to be perfect and not have problems. Either way through this process I’ve learned to not be afraid to share my imperfections and that once one person opens up it makes it easier for others to open up as well.
I remember as a young girl, I thought we all had to have secrets and that our personal lives had to be very private. I was an anxious kid and I think the root to this anxiety was holding back on how I felt because I didn’t think I was aloud to speak up and have a voice about it.
My advice to everyone in this new year is to not be afraid of what others think and for everyone to be their authentic selves. Do not hold back, do not keep secrets, do not be scared to share because you will learn many people are going through very similar things.
Let’s all be there for one another, let’s care for one another and spread love and kindness. <3