It’s funny, because I’ve always shunned therapy before now, thinking it to be some American-fangled solution to everything that goes wrong in the world. Every American I know either has a therapist or knows someone who does, and it just seemed like a cop-out to me.
But that’s all changed after my session on Saturday. Paid for by one of the newest members of my “support” group, I went in with an open mind and boy, am I glad I did.
No, it’s not a miracle cure, and no, I’m not “fixed”. But I AM focused. I do know what I can and can’t do anything about, I do know the things that I CAN’T fix, and I do know that I’m going to be ok.
And him? I think we may just be ok too. Not as anything other than friends, but that’s ok with me too. I’d rather have a friend I can turn to when things get rough, than the memory of someone who never loved me enough.
Yeah – things are going to be just fine…!
(all images c/o Google)
It’s lonely. The loneliness gets to me the most. No matter how supportive a group of family and friends I had, they don’t understand – can’t understand – so you hide it. You hide it from everyone, including yourself. But it’s always there. Some days are good, some are bad, and some are just downright awful. I call them my “dips”. Therapy helped, medication too, but what they really help with is knowing the signs, knowing when a “dip” is coming and help you be able to manage it – as much as you CAN manage it.
With me it all started with anxiety. Had I recognised it as an illness rather than a personal weakness it may well not have manifested into what it did. Working too hard, too many hours, trying to balance life at home raising two kids on my own on a tight budget, just trying to hold on to everything without having to ask for help.
And then the inexplicable tears, emotions and feelings of worthlessness kick in. The feeling that no one cares. The feeling that you’re useless. The feeling that no one wants or needs you. That you’re a burden and everyone would be better off without you there. And that’s the dark hole that’s so easy to fall into, but it’s not one that is easy to escape from. Well, there is ONE escape. And it’s something I think about each and every day.
And I still don’t ask for help. My parents still don’t know how bad it gets. Fortunately the kids only think I’m tired from working too hard. My friends think I’m the life and soul, always the happy, go-lucky woman who seems to keep her sense of humour when everything’s dark inside. But it’s all a mask. Something to hide behind. Because that’s what I do. I hide. From everyone. From everything. From myself.
Bottles and bars. We all have them. Bottles to keep our emotions hidden in. Bars to keep the baddies out.
We often feel the need to bottle up our emotions for self-preservation. Or to save the feelings of others. But whatever the reason, surely it’s better to get them all out in the open? But that would be laying ourselves bare and open to hurt and disappointment. But that’s what living and loving are all about. The highs and the lows. Letting your emotions show doesn’t mean that you lose your strength, your individuality, or even your self-esteem. In fact, it can mean that you can build on all of these. It all depends on who you show your emotions to.
And as for the bars. Well take them down. Together.
Love is too precious to hide from. No matter how many times you get hurt, don’t hide from it, learn from it. If you close your heart to everyone, then you’ll never find “the one” who can make you realise that the reason things didn’t work out before is because you were waiting for the right person to come along.
Hearts and Bars
Open your heart, show your emotions – you never know, it might just be the beginning of the rest of your life…!