The Upside-Down Survival Kit

3 Ways to Begin Rewriting
Your St*ries from Lies to Love

Amanda Johnson [2014]

It’s amazing how quickly it happens. One second I was going about my day, doing my work and living life the best way I knew how, and then BAM!!! Suddenly, everything looked upside-down.

No! Wait! What happened? I was just asking for some help, and she was totally snotty with me!

I struggled to get myself right-side-up with some deep breathing and a quick prayer.

Focus, I told myself, you have to finish the project by the end of the day.

Somehow I got myself right-side-up enough to finish my workday. But while I was cooking dinner, my husband sweetly suggested an alternative way to prepare the food, and I turned hot, “Why do you always have to criticize what I’m doing? If you don’t like the way I do it, then do it yourself!” I even slammed the spatula onto to the counter.

His mouth gaped in shock as I struggled to pull myself right-side-up again, and I immediately felt guilty, “Babe, I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me today. Thank you for trying to help me with dinner.” I pleaded with him to understand that it wasn’t really about him.

But is it just me? Is it about him? He’s usually just trying to help… I guess. Not like HER today. I can’t believe she said what she said to me!

He was either too nice or too shocked to do anything other than shake his head and walk away. We ate dinner, hung out with our kiddo, and then went to bed. He was obviously uncomfortable but kissed me goodnight anyways.

I cried myself to sleep, hoping that the next day would be better than this one.

It wasn’t.

And, to my dismay, each consecutive day was filled with more frustration and more challenges. I began to feel like all I was doing was trying to get myself right-side-up, or doing things that helped me at least feel like I was right side up for a while: burying myself in work, spending time on Facebook, and getting lost in novels.

But it was inevitable. I knew it wouldn’t be long before I wasn’t able to get myself right-side-up again and I was terrified of what would happen when that day came.

Have you ever found yourself completely upside-down
— angry, scared, inconsolable, depressed —
with no clue where it started or how to get right-side-up?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling extremely emotional [or totally numb] and not knowing why… or how to fix it.

For nearly a decade, I was raging on the inside, depressed on the outside, and generally unsure that life would ever get better than “getting by.” I thought I was faking it pretty well because I was a high-achiever when it came to school and work, I was naturally helpful and compassionate toward others, and I pushed all of that emotion down so it couldn’t hurt

me or anyone else. [Yeah right!] But when I look back at the pictures… Geesh! Who did I think I was kidding?

When my son was born, I thought I could protect him from all of the crazy B.S. [belief systems… exactly!] that had limited my thinking, my feeling, and my life. [Wrong!] The first time I lost my mind and hurt him, I knew it would take more than careful words and actions to protect him from the stuff that had limited me.

I suddenly realized I couldn’t write a new story for us – I had to rewrite my old ones!

After years of reading amazing books, crying my eyes out in transformational workshops [that’s how we know we’re working in those!], facilitating “transformation through writing” for others, and experimenting with every new healing modality placed along my path [there’s always a next level!], I’ve found that there are 3 ways to begin rewriting our stories [that are part of my own personal Upside-Down Survival Kit]… and good thing – because the spatula story you just read happened last week.

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