I love Shameless USA, bizarrely I’ve never really seen the British Original but I love the chaos, the love, the hustle, the bonkers nature of the Gallagher household. I had a turbulent, wild and strange childhood albeit on the other side of the world and in very different circumstances but I totally relate to their world, except I always felt alone and isolated. Their family dynamic is a strange wish fulfilment for me.
Anyway, in one scene a professor character tells one of the central characters that we have 2 things to learn in life and that’s to learn and to cope. This statement totally blew me away as it’s so, so true.
I think a lot of people’s problems stem from these 2 bad boys. If you’re not taught to love yourself, value yourself, express yourself, balance a cheque book, live a full and healthy life it’s like you start your adult life in deficit and not fully armed for the crap life is going to throw at you. Such as a manipulative lover, bullying boss, illness, war, terror, famine etc.
We all need a little inoculation of pain so we can spot it in later life but what if all you have learnt is disappointment and mistrust? It makes life hard and now comes the kicker – how to cope. Without being taught a good coping mechanism, it’s hard to deal with the bad lessons of your childhood and challenges that life as an adult can present you with. This is why so many people turn to alcohol, emotional self harm with abusive relationships, sex, drugs, anger, negative relationships with food, such as eating disorders or trying to fill yourself with love and comfort by over eating like me.
Here’s the good news. The moment you are brave enough to face this and reject the bad teaching or negative life lessons of your past, you can embrace and recognise healthy coping mechanisms. For me that has been ballet, yoga, nature, walking and letting go. You really can change your own life.
You have a choice. Now I am mother I am trying to be mindful of what I teach my girls, in order for them to cope. It’s hard. I’m mindful not to soothe their hurts, boredom and disappointments with food. I want to give them a whole wardrobe of language to express their emotional needs.
I don’t want them to feel ashamed of shame. I was given great life lessons from both the good and bad experiences of my childhood. I have learnt to kiss my scars, I’m fearless, I’m brave, I’m loving, I work hard and I make shit happen. I’m also moody, mistrustful of the universe and others and can shut down and turn inwards under pressure, as I had to be my own cheerleader growing up. To learn, to cope. Master these things in life and I think you can find a sense of peace, contentment and balance…..I’m trying….