With the events of the last week, I have been really questioning myself. Questioning what I want, whether I am a good person, whether I am good enough for anything. Although this is titled when to question / be thankful, this isn’t a this is what you do post. It has really shook me to the core to have something I am passionate about yanked away like this and for harsh words and continuous points of bullying contact to happen to me.
I find myself in mental and emotional limbo at the moment. I feel a little lost. Whilst I loved the band, it had a negative and toxic effect on me. When things happened the way they did, I got upset and angry. But now? I see that I am better off out of that environment. This is a vast improvement on how I would have handled things a few years ago, even one year ago.
But it has made me take stock of everything else in my life, look at positives, negatives, deserving things, not deserving things, being worthy of things… a bit of a snowball.
When I moved to the Harlots, I knew I wanted to step it up a gear. I became part of a league with better training, better people, better attitudes. I worked hard for a while and then had the wankle. I questioned myself quite a bit during this time off skates. Whether I was a good enough skater, smart enough player, whether I fit in with my league, whether I worked well with my team and so on. I watched a lot of roller derby. I read a lot on sports and mentality. I read into confidence and believing. The more I learnt to walk, jump, run, the more I saw doors opening for the future. I returned to derby and even though I work hard and give every minute everything I have, I continue to question myself on a daily basis.
With questioning myself, I often question my judgement as well as myself in general. With roller derby, I struggle with two aspects – self belief / confidence & being social.
I have touched on confidence in posts previously, put plain and simple – I have very low self confidence. I have been skating for 20 years, I have skated recreationally, as a competitive figure skater, as an ice hockey player and in more recent years in roller derby. With all this experience, skating has always felt natural for me, I can feel edges and balance in most circumstances. But it doesn’t mean I’m not still learning or that I doubt myself. Far from it! I still have so much to learn, every session I am learning in drills, learning from other skaters by both watching them skate and being confident enough to ask for their help and advice. I have very little confidence in my abilities as a skater and a player, even after 20 years of skating experience. But like many skaters, there was a time when I was learning to simply be able to stand in skates. After every training session and every scrimmage practice, I question everything I did, sometimes more often than not I do beat myself up about things… but I have been making a move to try and positively question or pick out moments I am thankful for – even if it was just the smallest thing.
I have always been a quiet person. I do not do well in social situations. I fight anxiety on a daily basis, at work, in public, at derby and each time I wonder how much it reflects on me. I find it difficult to communicate with people sometimes, more so when I don’t know them very well and I am unsure on whether they may judge me or not understand my sense of humour or even the way it takes me a few minutes to get into the swing of conversation. I want so badly to talk and laugh more with my teammates, I skate with some lovely, intelligent and funny ladies who I enjoy listening to – I just lack the confidence and ability to be a conversationalist or even chime in. I questioned myself on this. Why? These people are there to support you and are there for the same reasons as you, so why? My problem is that I over think and over analyse, make big things in my own mind over the smallest word that may be taken out of context. But overall I am thankful that I get to spend this time with this wonderful group of people.
Last Friday, I was still in a bit of a daze with the band stuff. I had dropped into a serious questioning and self-deprecating state. I swore not to let it affect the positive parts of life, but alas the best laid plans. My emotions on Friday were off the charts. I was angry and upset with myself and my wankle, hockey stops from the inside to the outside of the track are not working. Hockey stops are a current goal for me, I can do them from out to in, but not in to out. I don’t at this point seem to be able to get my wankle to slice into the position it needs to be in and immediately use it to support – even though my weight is going through my inside leg with my right foot being my pivot point. It frustrated me. With everything mounting up, it became the trigger for all my emotions to get the best of me. I questioned every move I made, got in the way and just had a total nightmare of a practice. Every moment I was reminding myself that I was not good enough to be there. In cool down, one of the girls checked in on me, I had been fighting away tears and focusing on skating throughout the session and it just hit me like a strong four wall. I have a lot of respect for this lady and trust her, she has been there since I joined the Harlots and upon my mind realising that I was in a comfortable and safe environment (in the middle of the hall… thanks brain) I just broke down. All these thoughts and feelings about not being good enough for the team, feeling like I wasn’t there on merit but more on people being missing or not making attendance. Every time I skate with this team whether training, scrim or bout, I am so thankful to be there. But I can’t help but feel like I am not worthy. I have worked hard to try and reach a decent level of skating and ability, as idiotic as it sounds I want those around me to be proud of me, all the things that each and every one of them have taught me and the ways they have consistently supported me and pushed me to improve, I want them to see that I have listened and worked on things. I’m not the strongest at driving but I can lateral, I’m not the hardest hitting of blockers but I can get in the way. For every negative I have always been able to find a positive, and each negative has become a challenge to overcome. At that precise moment in time, sat in tears, I just wanted to scream and run away. This lady was wonderful and gave me hope, I couldn’t hide away from others and they joined in with this little rally of positivity. Then I just felt like a bit of an ass. I felt awful putting my feelings on anyone else, I didn’t want to be upset in front of everyone.
I am still figuring out when to question and when to be thankful, more often than not they are somewhat linked. I think moments are always up for questioning, more so in the positive or constructive sense, for instance I did X, Y and Z wrong – how could I do this differently or avoid it! I am focusing more on being thankful, I am thankful I have my spot on teams, I am thankful to call my league both teammates and friends, I am thankful I have a supportive family, I am thankful I have a wonderful home with OakleyDog. I am always learning, and I doubt there will ever be a day that stops.
So questioning and taking stock? It is all up to you. No-one can really tell you when or what you should be questioning yourself about. But everyone will tell you to be thankful for what you have. My best advice? When you do start questioning, try to be constructive, try to take a moment to be thankful or take stock of everything. If you can find one thing, no matter how small, then that thing can bring more hope and light than any question could take away.
Til next time little blue monsters x