By: Tamara Evans
Transformations Alumna
Group Facilitator

Sitting at my desk this morning, I said, “Hey Siri, what is the definition of transformation?” In her robotic, Australian accent (it’s my favorite of the options) she responded, “transformation: a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.” Hm. Dramatic change.  Clearly, I still have issues with codependency because I would be lost without Siri to help run my life.

A dramatic change, though, yes.

Change in form? Well, I’m still human (I think.) But my emotional, mental and spiritual selves have undergone what I’d call a dramatic change. Okay, so yes.

In appearance? Oh, man. Yes (see the painful attached photo.) Not just physically changed, but altered in how others perceive me, I’m certain. The way I interact with people now is completely different than my past approach.

Speaking of my past approach: head half-shaved, hair dyed, black widow tattooed on my skull, I needed others to see me and I wanted to elicit a certain mix of fear and respect. Someone I looked up to when I was younger once told me “you don’t have to earn respect, you can get it by making people fear you.” I feared myself, and the world, and your opinion. So I spoke down to people, and I subtly intimidated strangers, peers, and friends, and I played the victim only to victimize those close to me.

Yeah, I was really not fun to be around. I lived in constant fear and I didn’t even know it.

Mentally ill and active in my addiction, I was all of the frightened and traumatized parts of myself, wrapped in layers of frantic defense mechanisms, limping around in the world and calling it “functioning.” Hm. Who and what functions? Computers function. Machines function. People are meant to live, to thrive. We sell ourselves short by deciding we will just “function.”

Desperation will make you do funny things. Desperation made me stop hiding. Somewhere in me, I knew I could no longer live how I had been living; I knew that soon even the appearance of functioning would crumble and I would die. Or worse.

My transformation began with fear, then anxiety, honesty, love, more fear, faith, shock, sadness and despair, frustration, anger, oh more fear again, and eventually a quiet triumph. My transformation brought me the novel experiences of tranquility, peace, self-esteem, acceptance, transparency, earnestness, accomplishment, and a true connection with myself and the people around me.

Transformation does not have a defined beginning and a defined end. Whatever you’re going through, you are already transforming. You change every single day. We have an option which parts of us we keep and which parts we don’t. What no longer serves you?

Here’s the great news: as a human being, you get the choice to work for your chosen transformation. What ‘thorough or dramatic change’ do you want? Often I did not even know. But I began with the work and the willingness. What my life has brought me now I could never have fathomed.

I’m no longer afraid.

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