Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holding on to my voice.

When I was battling alcoholism and untreated mental illness my opinions and feelings were not taken seriously or were considered unacceptable. The thing with that is that even when I got sober and began healing, the things I had to say were still not validated. Those around me got use to me not speaking up for myself or when I did, I was shunned and asked “are you okay? Or did you take your medication today?"

Well, apparently some peoples view on me speaking up has not changed much over the years. I still struggle with speaking up and having a voice, difference now is that I still do it anyway.
Sometimes, I am even bold enough to tell them, that "what I say matters and if they don’t like it, it is their opinion, just as I have mine." That’s a shell shocker for them, and by them, I mean those closest to me. Yes, it’s always the one’s who are closest to you.

One of the things that has been difficult for me is to say NO. When asked to do something, go somewhere, contribute to something or maybe even say “no, I don’t agree.” it has always been challenging for me. Although, I still struggle with it, I am getting better at saying “no,” sadly it often comes with a confrontation, another thing I suck at. But, I am saying it more and the end result for me after a bit of anxiety is that I feel proud of myself. 

Bottom line is, I am worthy of having my own opinions and feeling about things. My choices matter, my voice matters, even if it doesn't to anyone else, it matters to me and using it is just as important as anyone else’s.

How comfortable are you when speaking up for yourself?

Do you struggle with finding your voice and expressing what is important to you?

Is it hard for you to say no?



  1. Oh I let them have it if need be, especially the ones who can't get it through their head

  2. YES your voice does matter and does deserve to be heard. I liked this post. I am much more comfortable with speaking up for myself than I used to be.

  3. Dear Madison,

    As someone who shares that precious gift of empathy with you, I know what a challenge it can be took be assertive when the past has a haunting impact on how we can be with others. I'm posting up below this, something you commented on before. I hope this will be of value to your dear self.

    You have the right to express your feelings and opinions.
    The right to say 'yes' or 'no'.
    The right to change your mind.
    The right to say, 'I don't understand'.
    The right to be yourself without having to act for other people's benefit.
    The right to decline responsibility for other people's problems.
    The right to make reasonable requests of others.
    The right to set your own priorities and make your own decisions.
    The right to be listened to and taken seriously.
    The right to change and grow.
    The right to make mistakes, admit to and learn from them.
    The right to be illogical in making decisions.
    The right to be miserable or cheerful.
    The right to be treated with respect.
    The right to say 'no' without feeling guilty.
    The right to express anger.
    The right to be assertive.
    The right to to take personal responsibility and to be independent.
    The right to disagree.
    The right to religious and political beliefs.
    The right to information.
    The right to privacy.
    The right to economic status.
    The right to be treated equally.

    In kindness, respect and goodwill,

    Your friend,


  4. Yes, I used to have a very hard time saying NO. When my kids were growing up, they used to say I had the word "sucker" tattooed on my forehead, because I ended up doing a ridiculous amount of work for everyone and everything imaginable, just because I couldn't... or wouldn't... say that magic word NO. It took me a very long time to realize that the things I wanted to do were every bit as important as all the things everyone else wanted me to do. Ironically, I could stand up for other people, but I refused to stand up for myself. Now, I'm an old broad, and I can say NO quite well.

    1. .I'm finding that the more wisdom I gain, the easier it is to speak up for myself. Thanks, Susan!

  5. Yes, yes, yes--your voice matters! I, too, have struggled with expressing myself. Often I have not felt "heard" by others or respected. But I do have a voice, and my views are important, even if everyone else disagrees with them. I firmly believe in the power of owning our voices.

  6. Hi, Madison,
    Thanks for dropping in over at the IWSG site.
    Like you, I have a problem telling people no, but I'm getting better at it. It's harder for some people to understand 'no', but that's life. All of us have a voice and it does matter.

  7. Glad for you ~ speaking your opinion is validating yourself ~ I have learned in order to care for others I need to care for me first ~ Everyone has something to deal with me ~ Bravo to you ~ carol, xxx

  8. I'm lucky, I think. Saying no comes quite naturally, if I know something won't be good for me.

    I know you're finding it hard, but I hope you do find a way to stand up for what you believe in. :-)

  9. Wow how incredible that you have fought alcoholism! I'm incredibly proud of you! Very often, people will unknowingly try to self-medicate their mental illnesses and my heart breaks for them because then there are 2 issues to fight. Yes, your voice is tremendously important, especially because of all you have gone through and triumphed over. You have valuable insight and wisdom.

    I'm learning to speak up for myself. My psychologist was very helpful with this. There are also two books that I think you may find helpful. The first one is Boundaries. The second one is The Skills Training Workbook for Borderline Personality Disorder by Marsha Linehan. There are some worksheets and instructions for how to stand up for yourself in a constructive manor. One of the things I've learned (from my husband) is to keep emotion out of it when dealing with conflict. It is very hard to do, but I'm getting better at it, and it really does work. Anyway, hope this helps.

    1. Sunny, thanks so much for sharing your experience.

  10. Manner, not manor. Ugh. Stupid autocorrect.

  11. Often people who can't say no end up being miserable doing the thing they couldn't say no to, so that's a good thing you can say it now. Don't be afraid to stick to it after you've said it,either.
    I can definitely stick up for myself. Just have to know when it's better to keep the peace if it's not something that really matters.

  12. wow, I could have written this---about being afraid to speak up. I have always been afraid. I think part of it is my natural shyness and part comes from growing up with a father who was prone to explode at the spur of the moment over something innocent that one of us said. I quickly learned not to say too much. I have started to get better as I get older, but I still shy away from confrontations; they freeze me right up. Thanks for being so honest!

    1. Thank you for your honesty as well, Elaine.

  13. Your voice matters very much! I'm much more comfortable speaking up for myself than before.

  14. saying no....setting boundaries was hugely difficult. I didn't believe I had the right to say no. It's taken a long time to realize I do. Hugs MM. I love your honest sharing here. Wishing you an amazing day out there. From my heart to yours.

  15. I'm so glad that you're using your voice and rights to say NO to people. Don't do anything that you're not comfortable with because others will be happy that you're helping them but you'll end up feeling resentment and possibly bitterness inside.

    Sometimes people 'use' you simply to do their dirty work because they know you won't say NO. So use that voice to be heard.

    Oh yes, I know exactly how to use my voice when I'm ready, and my NO means NO, and I rarely change my mind unless I choose to.

    Have a wonderful and great New Year Madison. Let 2014 be the year that your voice gets heard, loud and clear :)

  16. I find it extremely hard to speak up and also to say no. I always fear that people will hate me or are not interested in what I have to say. Sometimes I just feel hopeless and unworthy. This is one of my main problems.

    1. Imogen, be hopeful and know that you are worthy. Trust it will get better.


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