Shake it Off

It’s the simple things in life that gives us joy.

Over the past few months I have heard a few pieces of wisdom that gave me hope and made me rethink my reactions to the negativity in my life:

“Be like a duck… let it roll off your back.”

“Like a twig in the stream, go with the flow.”

I learned these sayings from friends in recovery who have been through challenges similar to mine.  These people understand me better than anyone I have ever met in my life; these are the people who are waking up every morning with a zest for life, ready to face the day and any challenges thrown at them.  Life isn’t easy, but within our spiritual life and the fellowship we can connect and learn how to tackle our hardships.  Instead of running away from problems or resisting them, these people have taught me to connect with others about my issues and to learn how to handle them.

It’s not about the big picture, it’s about living one day at a time. It’s about building a solid foundation for tomorrow, not skipping a step to get to the “finish line.”  Life is a journey, not a race.  I wish I would have learned that as a child.


My friends share many of my past struggles with self esteem, trauma and bullying; yet despite hardships and a general anxiety toward people and life, they have provided me with tools to face any situation… the tools to handle challenges with a clear mind and open heart.  I believe that even the difficult situations are brought my way to give me strength and to show me the person who I truly am meant to become.

This morning I received a notification on Facebook from a friend (and fellow Giants fan) with a reference to Taylor Swift.  It suddenly made me think of the song “Shake it Off.” I went outside to the porch with my coffee, put my headphones on and listened.  Every time I’m facing something challenging- breakups, naysayers, even uncomfortable feelings of love, Taylor just gets it.  😎 Players gonna play, haters gonna hate- but I’m just going to shake it off.

It’s so hard to let things go.  Sometimes it feels impossible to tune out the cruel words and not to take everything personally.  As many of you may know, this has been one of the most difficult months of my life.  My emotions have been very up and down due to outside forces- but that’s exactly the opposite of what lessons in recovery teach.  I am growing stronger with every challenge.

Over the past six and a half years I have been nervous to write about my own recovery (my journey began in San Francisco back in 2011), but I am so happy that my recent losses gave me the strength to do so.  Losing my uncle and ex boyfriend broke my heart, but has given me the courage to share my experience, strength and hope.  

I am going to continue to write and try to shake it off, let cruel words roll off my back and go with the flow- just for today.

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