Two things before I begin:
1. I use the word billionaire but technically I mean bazillionaire because it's even awesomer. Yes, awesomer.
2. I say "in a day" but technically it was a culmination of decades of work, that all came to a beautiful conclusion "in a day", which was today.
Now that that's sorted, let me talk about my newfound bazillionaire status and what it took to get here.
As my longtime readers already know, I have dealt with depression for most of my life, as well as an unfortunate amount self-hate, both of which I have written and talked openly about for years now. And what I have learned through that process is that each depressive episode tackles a misperception (or a few of them) that I have about myself and/or my life.
These false beliefs are what sends me down the rabbit hole in the first place, and it is in the darkness that I face them directly.
As many can attest to, it is fucking painful to genuinely believe the lies you're telling yourself. They are never kind. They feel real. And as long as you buy into them, they're winning.
But when I looked at my personal darkness cycle as a whole today, I see incredible growth. I see something to be proud of. And not just because I'm still here - because I don't consider it a failure or weak or selfish to leave the world and the pain you can no longer bear.
What I see and am proud of are all the layers of lies I've effectively peeled away with each episode.
Before I was a mother and wanted to die, it was because I felt worthless and invisible.
Years later it was because I felt fat and ugly. I couldn't stand myself.
As Paige grew, it was because I felt like a failure as a parent. And I felt like I was genuinely a bad person.
Most recently it was because I felt like a failure in life. A failure at succeeding in the world in the way that I wanted.
And there were dozens of other reasons and dark spells in between.
But what I see right now, is that all of that darkness was based on lies I believed to be true. Things that felt so real to me that I felt I deserved to die, or that death would be better than being that awful thing I believed myself to be.
How sad it would have been for me to have left this world based on a lie.
This is why I'm glad I am still here. Not because I think being alive is preferable to death (both are equal sides of the same coin), but because my departure would have been out of alignment with the truth of my being. Which is why I think my soul stuck around - to help me bridge the gap between my perception of things and the underlying truth of things.
Back to the themes of my darkness.
I see progression. The things that used to drive me into the night cease to do so. Over time, and with the willingness to face and embrace and be swallowed by the fire each round, I began to question the thoughts and beliefs that took me there. And eventually I wondered if maybe I was wrong and my loves were right. And soon enough I started to think the opposite of what I once believed because I realized it was bullshit from the start.
Once I could see that aspect clearly, it was time to transmute it. And I did. Each and every time.
Although it's taken many, many years and hundreds of writings and thousands of sacred conversations and endless cycles of up and down , I no longer feel worthless, fat, invisible, ugly, like a bad mother or a bad person, and most recently...I no longer feel like a failure.
What I love is that once I see the ultimate truth of something, that's that. There's no turning back and there are no repeats.
When I finally kicked my body image issue earlier this year (or late last year - I forget), that theme was off the table for good. It hasn't returned since. Nor has my bad mother crap (healed that one last year), and my injury did a damn good job healing my self-worth struggle.
And recently, the theme of failure took me to the underworld. As with all previous themes, I felt I would rather die than live with myself as the thing I believed myself to be. There was no worse fate in my eyes, than to have failed at life. So if I already had and it was too late to win and make up for lost time, then take me now. I didn't want another year, let alone another decade or more of failing at life.
But who said I was failing? That I was a failure? Only me. And by what standards? Obviously ones that did not apply to me. And that's the scary part.
The words of my loves couldn't change my mind. I had to do that on my own. I had to find my way once more through the darkness of misperception if I was to stick around for another round.
I told life and I told my beloveds that I better "make it" by 40 (which happens to be January 29th, 2016 so no pressure lol), or at the very least, in my 40th year or I'm outta here. And I meant it. And they knew I meant it. And they all hoped "it" would happen just to see me not in pain. Although they didn't understand my vision, they could feel my anguish. It hurt them to see me hurting.
My dear friend, Gayle, even cried along with me as I shared my truth about my intense desire to leave this world because it was so painful to be such a "failure". And I know now she wasn't just crying at the thought of me taking such a bright light away from the world, but also at my inability to see how wrong I was in my assessment of myself and my life.
I have since corrected things.
The past few weeks have created quite an upswing for me. They've given me the momentum I needed to pop out from the darkness and reassess my belief that I have failed at life.
And the bazillion dollar realization today is that I have not failed at life. Obvious to many but it was not to me. And like y'all already know, I care more about what I think of myself than what others think of me, so gaining my own approval is a HUGE fucking win.
The method I used for measuring my worth and my success was faulty. It was broken like a mofo. And I had to come to that awareness before I could effectively throw that shit out.
With the other themes I was eventually able to view myself through the eyes of those who love me, and with this last theme, I am now able to do the same.
Now I'm like, "Failure how, Mandy? Are you fucking kidding me?" because it seems insane to me that I believed such a thing. Just like it seems insane that I ever believed I was worthless, not good enough, fat, ugly, a bad parent, a bad person, and whatever other bullshit I once claimed as truth.
Today I feel like a bazillionaire because I have succeeded in every fucking way that actually matters to me. I have deep, close, healthy, loving relationships. I have always done what I loved in life. I have never compromised myself to achieve a thing. I am able to make money from things I have created. I have gained a loyal and loving cyber family just from being myself. I have a beautiful home and life that reflects me 100%, to name just a few.
So today is the kind of day that I would get a tattoo to mark it, if I was into tattoos, which I'm not, because my ever-evolving nature is just better suited to henna. So instead, I'm marking this day through words. And also through a beaming smile that you can't see but I sure hope you can feel through the screen.
All my love,
Mandy the Bazillionaire (by 40!) xo
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(Photo taken on this sacred day of revelation)
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