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.
Taking some time out for myself and spending the time thinking, walking and just enjoying this amazing summer has shown me a lot of things about myself and my life, things that deep down inside I kinda knew anyway. It just took some time away to realise that the means to a happy(ish) life were things I had inside me all the time.
I’ve spent so much of my time and energy over the last few years looking for what I thought was missing from my life – and it took me until recently to find it. I always suspected that I was truly incapable of feeling real love – you know the kind, the butterfly kind of love, the “Holy Shit, I really need him” kind of love – but last year I found it. And knowing that I am capable of it is really all I needed. I know for sure that I’m not completely dead inside, and that I AM capable of feeling…!
The fact that the love isn’t returned doesn’t matter. I know that sounds odd, but it really doesn’t matter. I thought it did, and was beating myself up inside about the fact that I couldn’t even find anyone to love me, but it turns out that the only people I need love from are my children. And I KNOW that they love me… unconditionally, just as I do them. And THAT’S what matters…! Not whether or not I’ve done something wrong, or whether I said something the wrong way, or if I’m not thin enough, or if I’m not pretty enough, or not clever enough, or not rich enough… none of that shit matters…!
I’m alive, I have a future, I have a family. I work hard, and I keep a roof over our heads by doing that! I take no charity from anyone, and I can hold my head high when anyone looks at me with that “Ah, she’s a single mum…!” expression on their face. Because despite knowing what they are thinking, I KNOW the truth. What my kids and I have is because I’ve earned it and paid for it… and that’s good enough for me.
Does all of this mean that I’m giving up on men and love…? Not at all…! I found “The One” and I don’t plan on giving him up without a fight. But it won’t be the be all and end all if we don’t end up together that it would have been a week ago. It just means that I’ve come to accept that what’s for me won’t go by me, and if it’s not mine, then I can’t keep it against it’s will.