So, following on from my last blog post, things didn't start with the enthusiasm I had hoped for on Monday.
I was nervous about how my lovely husband would react to the "new, super-improved" me.
Of course, I needn't have worried. When I presented myself to him as the "new, super-improved" me, his response was one of positive affirmation. And I loved him all the more for it.
He has always been honest with me. It is why I ask for his advice on matters... and why I'm usually nervous about asking for it. Honesty is hard to take when it's not the answer you were hoping for.
However, honesty is a quality in myself I fear I'm less endowed with. I have struggled all my life with my own mantra that "It's better to be hated for being honest than to be loved for being a liar".
It's a fact I know to be true but one I struggle to put into action thanks to those who will only love me on their terms.
These people are bullies and the world is full of them. They are the people who think it right to force others to fit in with their way of thinking with threats of violence, loneliness and/or poverty. And those threats make my life far more difficult than it needs to be. Because I don't fit in. I never have and I never will and I'm made to feel worse for the fact.
So I sought to feel better by pretending I did fit in. But as time went by I became more and more aware that I'd imprisoned myself in a world that doesn't love me.
So now I've broken free of that world it feels like a massive achievement - even though the change has really only been very small.
Small enough, in fact, that the general public don't even seem to notice. They still treat me exactly the same as they did before. The only difference is that I'm no longer lying to them. And, even if they don't notice it, I feel a whole lot better about it.
But I know those bullies haven't gone away just because I defy them. The threats of violence, loneliness and poverty are still real and omnipresent.
But, now I've claimed my life as my own, to surrender it back to them would be an act of utmost stupidity - as it would be to ignore the existence of their threats completely.
So I acknowledge their threats and I continue to defy them.
This is my life. No surrender.