Confession: I’m Stuck

Sunday, 5:00 PM.  I get home from a day spent on yoga, brunching and shopping with a friend.  Busy and fun and productive–pretty typical of a pre-holiday weekend day. The whole evening stretches out in front of me.  I only have a few essentials on the agenda: Homeland (obv), laundry, writing, maybe starting a new book.  I find the early showing of Homeland, and get the laundry going so by 8:00 I’m ready to sit at my computer and let the words of a new blog post come flowing out. 

And….nothing.  I cannot think of anything I want to write.  No pithy little anecdotes, no profound revelations, no small lessons learned.  Nothing is happening.
I turn on a movie.  Flip through a magazine.  Check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram before returning to a blank screen.  Still nothing.  When I get up and start cleaning the kitchen (shudder), I know I’m officially and actively avoiding writing.
It’s not just the writing that is suffering.  My body knows I am carrying around things that are too heavy but I refuse to release, like an overstuffed backpack whose seams gradually start to pull away from each other, threads ripping one by one until they finally threaten to dislodge.  I can feel it in my head, which has been in a constant state of dull headaches over the past week.  Me, who never gets headaches, complaining about this tightness that just won’t loosen.  My back, always the first to alert me to my state of affairs, is clenched.  A massage doesn’t help, yoga doesn’t help, God, even wine doesn’t help.  It stays stuck.
I think I know why.
I’ve been writing this blog for two months now.  I have opened up more in those two months than I had in the previous two decades.  It has been scary, amazing, cathartic, eye-opening and affirming.  I have heard from strangers, and friends, and family.  The people I needed to hear from most, and the ones I never in a million years thought would read, much less care.  Loving messages of compassion and support.  I have worked very hard to, as the name of the website suggests, “confess” to the many and varied imperfections in my life.  Ultimately freeing myself of the pressure to seem perfect (not that anyone ever thought I was; but still, I continued to peddle that story).
There’s more.
There are the deep, dark truths that have not been examined yet; truths I have barely revealed to myself, buried far, far below the surface, below even the memory.  That have been acknowledged and then glossed over as quickly at they were unearthed.  That still eat away at me daily.  That I hold onto, out of some misguided fear that they are who I am and how can I possibly live without them.
I NEED TO WRITE THEM.  And I don’t want to.
Or rather, part of me doesn’t want to.  I have been waking up at night, unsure of where I am or why I’m awake, but reaching for my computer to jot down a few lines.  I am stuck in traffic and feel compelled to pick up a scrap of paper, a gum wrapper, anything I can write on, so I don’t forget the thoughts or words that are struggling to release themselves.  My mind, always racing, is screaming for this release.  My hands, sometimes compliant, sometimes defiant, are so fickle in their loyalties.
Writing these truths means reliving them.  I can’t rely on what I think happened.  My memory, always spotty at best, plagued with holes.  I mostly remember things through the storytelling rather than my own recollections.  How my sister always had a wad of grape bubble gum in her mouth, almost before she could talk.  And how she talked, and talked, and talked.  How I stood on the stage and sang Annie songs at my nursery school–in the middle of the day, by myself, not in a school play (nor requested).  How I would climb into bed with my grandparents in the mornings when they visited, and play “I spy, with my little eye” from the pullout couch in the guest room.  How my mom sang “You Are My Sunshine” and “My Funny Valentine” with me, and read “Are You My Mother” and “Goodnight Moon”.  It all feels so familiar, and yet, do I really remember any of it?  Or am I just repeating back stories long told in our family about the good old days.    
But no one has told me the story of THESE truths.  They’re not shared at family gatherings.  They don’t come up at the high school reunions.  My friends don’t talk about them on our annual Miami trip.  So I must go back and re-live them, one by one, in order to expose them.  I start and I stop.  I shut down.  I hibernate.  I’m comfortable there.  
And then I go back to the keyboard and try again.
It may take me a while.  It may take me forever.  But I know I need to share these truths.  So that I’m not a fraud who feigns at opening up but never really gets down to the core.  So that I can work through what is holding me back.  So that I can break through the poorly constructed scabs, cut out the scar tissue, and sew up the wounds properly.  There may be scars, they may not be pretty, but what’s underneath will be clean, strong…and healed.



18 thoughts on “Confession: I’m Stuck

  1. Me? Talk and talk and talk? Never….lol. So for this entry I will just be short and sweet. I love you. You have made me so proud all growing up and continue to do so into adulthood. When those things you are trying to forget finally reveal themselves, please know that you will not be judged or looked at differently, if anything maybe it will bring us closer. I want to know the Katie you buried part of along the way. And I promise not to copy you (like I was forever doing as we were growing up). Looking forward to seeing you for Christmas and going to see Les Mis with you. You are so smart and talented. Xo

    • Thank you Kelly. I love having your support. You certainly don’t need to copy me…you have so many talents of your own to cultivate. I hope you have the space to continue doing that.

      And though I don’t trust my memory with much…I know that you did talk. A lot.

  2. I was stuck in that place for five years. The real story, dying to come out, full of potential to serve and help others find hope… Stuck inside me trying to get out.

    I did not want to face criticism, public humiliation, job loss, perceived future consequences, disappointment or even really want to explain myself. I took Rod Strykers four desires workshop and this had become my lifes mission statement: i will live small, be invisible and never face public criticism

    It showed through all of my actions up until that moment.

    I’ve since faced those fears and began publishing bits and pieces even as I write it. Things nobody wants to remember… Things I can hardly remember. So I do the best I can.

    But this was the key that set me free: if I am writing this for the greater glory… No matter what becomes of me… Just doesn’t matter because it cannot go wrong. However if I’m writing it for my own personal glory … It can never go right and I can pretty much plan on my worst fears coming true.

    Overcoming my past through spiritual practice…. Is the most priceless message that I have and my greatest asset. It gives people hope. And you too can be a source of light love and hope…what happens to us… Just isn’t that important.


    • Wow Tim, thank you. For spending so much time on your response, for making me feel like someone has been there and emerged on the other side, for even reading this blog in the first place! I struggle with those same fears that you mentioned, and have to work my way through them, one by one. Truly, thank you.

  3. Wow!! Excellent writing and I totally love that you know there’s more at the core ! You sound like u have a psych background(I am working on masters of psych) and ironically I just got back into therapy to address some of stuck issues!! Sounds like we have this in common and of course YOGA!! Which I live in smaller town north of Pittsburgh and they are so backwards that they do not have one studio here!!
    I look forward to reading your blog !!

    • Thank you so much Debra! No psycho background for me (although some people would probably tell me I need the professional help, ha!). The yoga has definitely opened me up to digging deeper and gently pushing through even when it seems like I’ve hit the wall.
      We must “get” each other because I’m a Pittsburgh girl at heart–well, at birth anyway 🙂

  4. Beautiful post! It will come. Sometimes writing about the writers block releases the stuckness. A couple posts from now you will be back to pouring it all out!!

  5. so… here’s what. Writing is a great outlet for so many things. It is my creative outlet. For others, a healing tool, a way of cultivating expression and communication. There are topics I touch and topics I don’t … because I’m not ready to. Some things I don’t share, because the details, they belong to only me. Other things I do share- because the message/the meaning is profound and I think it can also help others, or tell people, ‘you aren’t the only one’. So I will write in that way… keep it off me, and focus it on the lesson, the learning, the message, the resulting growth. If you think the deep stuff is holding you back- you do need to release that, it’s keeping anything else from getting in. Deep deep stuff is best with a therapist – one who can open those first few inches… once it’s open, you can take it over and explore it on your own… but sometimes, you don’t even know how to start or where to look… and that is where they can be handy. As for writing… even if you have no demons, writing consistently is hard. I challenge myself every single day to produce something… even if some days it’s just a video. That is my personal challenge- is to push myself to use my whole brain everyday! It’s like looking in your closet and feeling like you have nothing to wear- you just have to start mixing and matching things you would have never put together to get something new. 🙂

    • Thanks Jess. I think I needed that ‘permission’ to not share everything with everyone. That I can still get through the crap and be authentic without every single story coming out. So thank you for giving that to me. I continue to be inspired by your writing, and I applaud you for sticking with your daily postings. I’m going to do my best to start raiding my mental closet more often!

  6. Katie –

    We’re constantly reminded about “what’s wrong with us” that we often forget what is the truth. Of course, many of those reminders of these “false beliefs” stem from the unresolved hurts of our past. I’d like to address a few things in your beautiful post.

    You don’t need your mental memory to serve you on the “details” of those past hurts. Your body remembers what happened to you. Start out by thinking about how your mind was treated as a child, how your body wast treated, how your intellect was treated and so on. If you have details, great! But trust your body’s feelings to tell you how you were treated.

    Know that the as much as you may want to blame others that this will only keep you in the victims role. Instead tell yourself the truth…they were only doing the very best they could do under the circumstances and given the resources they had available to them at the time. Once you can embrace this you can start the forgiveness process which is really about freeing yourself from having to carry this pain with you. You’ll also be in a safe place to “give back” those carried feelings. I have several techniques you can use and would be happy to share them with you.

    Finally, remove the glasses of false belief (i.e.; I’m not good enough, I don’t matter, I’m not valuable, lovable, etc.) and put on your glasses of Inherent Nature (I’m beautiful, precious, intelligent, valuable, and passionate). This paradigm shift will literally change the world around you as you change how you see the world.

    Living an Authentic Life isn’t done simply by reading and listening to Spiritual Thinkers and great quotes. All of those are important but as you’re finding out a deeper healing has to occur FIRST.

    I am bridging the gap between healing and authentic living as it’s a message EVERYONE needs to hear. I am a stranger to you, of course, but I am hear for you and would be happy to share the tools I have learned over the years. I would ask for nothing in return. I’m completely serious by the way.

    Finally, I couldn’t finish this comment without appreciating the things I know are true about you and they are that you are creative, vulnerable (the gateway to your soul), caring, thoughtful, nurturing, inquisitive, intelligent, and lovable. I apologize for the short list but I only have this one blog post to go on here. 😉

    With Appreciation,


    • Thank you Josh, this is amazing. I needed to hear ALL of this…especially as I’m feeling my way through this maze of memories and emotions and often have no idea where I am with it all. I would love to hear more of what you have learned in your journey.
      And thank you, also, for the lovely compliments. It’s sometimes difficult for me to receive them, but tonight I will. I will turn off my computer and have this be the last thing I read before bed, so that the words really stay with me. And I will believe them.
      Thank you.

  7. I think it’s meant to take forever. I think that’s why we’re alive. I hope so anyway. 🙂 Happy for you that you’re moving along on your journey. I’m a middle school administrator at a school for kids with learning differences. Often the teachers get frustrated because they can’t make things all better for a child in a week or a month or a year. I remind them all the time (but never remind myself) that it’s not perfection or arrival at some mythical destination that we’re encouraging…it’s just forward movement. That’s all. Tempered with a little backsliding, of course, but as long as we’re mostly moving forward, millimeter by millimeter, we’re doing really amazing work. Congratulations on your amazing work.

  8. Pingback: Confession: I’m (Less) Stuck | Confessions of an Imperfect Life

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