One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I’ve put myself in therapy. I’m not sure if a I’ve written about this yet, or only crafted words mentally. But here we are nonetheless. I absolutely adddddoreeee my therapist. She’s real and relatable. And just such a good fit for me. And for this, I am thankful. Here’s why I think it’s important to share I’m in therapy:

  • As a helping professional in the counseling field, sometimes folks think we have all the answers. We don’t, and we need space to process as well.
  • I talk a lot about my struggles on this blog, or what I’m wading through at any given moment. It became time not to do that “alone” and I want to be transparent about that.
  • There is a stigma around therapy and I want to do what I can to help normalize that.

So why, why did I decide therapy was a necessary thing to add to my life? Well, first, there has been a lot of grief and loss in my life in the last ten years. Two uncles, my grandma, my mom, and two aunts all passed. and in there has been many family dynamics that have been heavy to sort through on top of the grief. Couple that with an uncomfortable work environment that I stayed at for way too long. And add in a dash of a roller coaster dating experience over the last two years and it all just felt like too much. I was overwhelmed and really needed help processing and moving forward. Thankfully the job aspect worked itself out on its own. But the grief and the dating are daunting and emotionally charged to say the least.

Much grief never goes away. It sticks with you and you learn how to deal with it. I like to say, and tell others who need to hear it “you get through it, you never get over it”. And it’s so true. You live with it your whole life. And sometimes it feels less present, or you forget for a moment. But it’s still there. It’s a part of your story and you’ll carry it forever.

The same is true with relationships: romantic or platonic. They enter our lives and some are short and some are long. But all are important for the time they are with us. One of my biggest flaws is that I hate goodbyes. I’ll let people stick around (or I’ll stick around rather) for much longer than I should just because I don’t want to let go. I’m working on it. And I admit how difficult it is, and how I’m learning boundaries because this flaw has affected my own well-being and mental health on more than one occasion. I’m trying to be clear about my boundaries. Because if others don’t know, they can’t accommodate or act accordingly. But here’s the thing, boundaries don’t work unless you stick to them.

Mind. Blown.

And when people can live inside of the boundaries you set, and you can communicate, and compromise—it’s wonderful. And when they can’t, we’ll damn. You better assess whether you need to move on (likely) or compromise the boundaries you put in place. For me the recurring theme (though I don’t like it, and sometimes don’t listen) is to move the eff on.

These things I’ve learned, and I am continuing to learn. And learning is all a part of the growth journey. and I believe in growth, I believe in us becoming more and more ourselves. I believe in mistakes and failures and heartbreak and grief. Because it makes our stories ours. I believe that how we deal with our brokenness shows our true character. And I believe none of us go it alone, whether we realize it or not.

I don’t regret any of what I’ve been through, though sometimes I wish I had acted or reacted differently. But I am who I am because of each moment and experience. And for that I am truly thankful on this day.

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