crying in bathrooms, standing up and marching into therapy
Do not be alarmed by the alarming title or the fact that I skipped many many weeks of posting (especially so close to the 1 year anniversary of this blog). I was busy. I was being being distracted, consumed and happy. This blog has always been a crutch to lean on since it started. I consistently posted every Monday morning and it always gave me a sense of joy, accomplishment or release. Even when going through my my limbo of depression earlier this year, this space was my safe haven, my therapist, my friend and, to be redundant, my crutch. I love that other people have enjoyed it too, it means alot that my being me is helpful in some way. Enough with all the chit chat, I'm just going to dive into it and talk about the reason I have gathered everyone here today. I'm seeing a counsellor. She's nice, pays too much attention to details and always wants to talk about the things I don't want to talk about. Her office is cozy, she has one of those cool salt lamps that I really want and the cutest close up picture of her puppy that I just end up staring at when I feel comfortable. *If I continue deflecting in this post it's probably cause I feel a tad uncomfortable just sharing this. And feeling uncomfortable about it just breeds the sentiment of hypocrisy. "How can I encourage more people to talk about mental health if it took me forever to consider counselling, and 2 cancelled appointments and 1 no-show before walking into that damn office???" But knowing better I didn't go down that rabbit hole of everything I did wrong, all the time I wasted, how I don't practice what I preach and how I shouldn't of been in a depression limbo in the first place! Because I am here, I am present in the now, not 4 months ago. A good example of this was when my therapist asked me if there was anything I would do differently if I could go back 4 months? "No" I told her. "I don't think I was in the mental space to do anything differently outside of what I already tried, on the days I had energy to try." She followed with another question, "So do you think it was just something you had to go through?". Realizing that she took the words right out of my mouth, I said "Yeah I guess. That version of me didn't know any other option or way to be but stagnant and frozen. And anything I do, learn, apply today can't help that version of me. The phrase 'I wish I knew then what I know now' can't help me from all those months ago...
Usually after giving a heavy loaded answer like the one found above. I retrieved to staring at the framed dog on her desk or debating if I should skip the gym and buy a salt lamp afterwards instead. There's something about saying the first thing on your mind when you're therapist asks a question about your life, that makes you feel like you're chipping away at your soul. Like you're selling yourself out. Like you're tattle tailing on yourself. But we have a saying in church, "Tell your testimony and put the devil to shame". Shame is depression's happy place, it thrives there. Not telling anyone for 5 months what's really going on is shame, not leaving the house is due to shame, not sharing with a counsellor; that is literally there to listen, keep your secrets and help is shame (because you honestly have nothing to lose).
"Tell your testimony and shame the devil" is a very loaded phrase (reinforcing the idea that if you are mentally unwell that you are possessed) but if taken with a grain of salt, it holds some truth. Express your truth and all will be well with you. Be your truest self (however that looks like) in that moment and watch things work for you. Choose truth over shame. Be present with everything. Know that they are no time machines (at the moment) so don't regret anything that you can't change or worry about things that haven't happened.
And when you feel uncomfortable, exposed, vulnerable and kind of sick after your first therapy appointment, just know that it's working so you might as well book another appointment on your way out.
Sending you all the love I have,