I was asked a few months to give an interview with a woman who I think is very wonderful. She runs a great blog and many of my fellow friends have interviewed with her as well. At first I accepted the invitation and like all invitations I receive, I was flattered and considered myself blessed that someone wanted to talk to me about my “journey”. After saying yes I felt an immediate dark cloud cover me. All these emotions came rushing through me. It made me look at my past and it made me reevaluate how I handle sharing *my* story.
I am very much an open book. I do not hide much, if anything, with others. Especially when it comes to here on the blog and social media. Which is kind of funny considering that I was so hesitant for years and years about joining Facebook. But I don’t hold back. I share the joys and I share the sorrows. I've never held back on letting everyone know about the 130 lbs of weight that I gained after shooting the Weight Watchers commercials and I never refrained from sharing that my relationship with alcohol turned from friend to foe. I put my story out there because I hope that it inspires others and helps them on their own path. I put my story out there because in a way it is helpful and therapeutic for *me*.
I spent a little over a year sharing my story of my weight loss with almost everybody. I never declined an interview. I never refused to answer a single question asked at me. I've said this before and I will say it again…I do not regret a single thing I did. I was completely honored and extremely blessed to be given all of the opportunities that came my way…Weight Watchers, Oprah, Books, Magazines, Newspapers…I really was given it all.
But I also let all of that ring me dry. My words were always my truth. I always did those interviews out of nothing but wanting to inspire others. It wasn't about any kind “fame” or recognition, though I would be lying if I said that it didn't feel nice. My story (& let’s face it…my life at that point) became about helping others so much that I forgot to help myself. I never really sought out any of the opportunities that came my way, so in a way it was a very big jolt for me.
As I have said before, I do not blame any of this towards my regaining the weight. I put the fork and the bottle to my mouth. But it definitely played a part in how I saw myself and how I treated myself afterwards.
I've made a promise to myself that I will not repeat this cycle. That I will not just offer up my story to anyone that asks. That if I decide to share my story again that it is on my own terms, in my own way. I see some people, some of who I consider friends, *begging* for their story to be shared on certain platforms…and I just silently shake my head and wish that they could see that having their story shared does not make it any better, any more important or any more successful than someone else’s who was not shared. Your worth, your hard work and your dedication is not validated or judged by who, what or how it gets shared.
While I feel bad about the last minute cancellation with the interviewer I am also proud of myself for listening to my instincts and for protecting myself. It's not that I am unwilling to tell my story or talk about the issues I am going through right now. I am in a wonderful place right now and I don’t want to stray away from myself. I don't want to let someone else open up my own book right now. I have the right to protect certain parts of *ME* and my story…and that is exactly what I did in this case.
(*Side, non-related note: I have had to enable security on the comments due to the increased volume of spam. I hope this is not an issue for some of you.)