I’d like to think that I’m being brave by taking a step today that will mean saying goodbye to…well…sadness. I’d been in those doors before but it was always for work. I’d go talk to the ladies in the behavioral health clinic about doing some story and get a photo or two for the story. It was always about work and never about me.
Recent weeks and recent “blues” as I’m choosing to call it, have forced me to look at the bigger picture of things going on in my world. I’m having to realize that there’s no longer any time to waste on pushing certain hurts aside and letting go…because the truth is…I haven’t actually let go. I’ve just pushed it aside. That’s simply not the same thing.
At first it was all the same insecurity I’ve dealt with before – not liking my looks or how short I am or whatever superficial issue it may be. It starts that way but makes it way into being bigger than that. The last year and a half I’ve started to unravel the tangled web I’ve woven in my mind and heart but it’s hard to do that on my own anymore. There’s too much else going on now and time is running out…so it feels like. I have to take a more measured step. I simply have to become more proactive in my own life dammit. These things won’t fix themselves. I have to do it. And in this instance, it means asking for help.
I heard a word today I didn’t think I’d hear. Co-dependency. Wow. I’ve heard it before about others but never about me. It’ll be interesting to see how this one mystery unfolds. It was stunning to hear that as I sat in that chair speaking to someone I’d known in a work realm, not a mental health one. When she asked me if I knew about co-dependency, I said yes and a sort of dread loomed knowing that she was going to assign the word to me. I’ve never really thought of myself that way but as she explained why, it made more sense. It felt nice, in a way, that someone else could read through my bullshit; call me out on it if you will. No more mask.
I’d come to the conclusion that some type of counseling was needed a couple of weeks ago. I’d been talking to some of my closest friends about things, certain particular events in my life, that I think haven’t ever really been dealt with and in all honesty, are making things difficult. I found myself in the waiting room, filling out a ton of paperwork and realizing “holy crap! I’m actually doing this.” It was a peculiar feeling, which became more peculiar and infuriating after realizing how much this is going to cost me. I decided to keep going anyway though because you can’t really put a price on mental and emotional well-being. It’ll be tough but worth it. There was a sense of relief that came with this step also. That’s a good sign right?
Anyway, I digress. I had this funny feeling of being in that classic movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. The premise of the movie is the older couple is forced to live up to their ideals when their daughter, who is white, comes home with a black boyfriend, Sidney Poitier. It’s amazing how easy it is to believe in something but when you’re faced with dealing with it directly, it feels, well awkward. I felt similar. I’ve never judged anyone who gets counseling or sees a therapist or anything of that nature. I’ve been a big believer in mental health but here I am on the other side and it felt awkward. I couldn’t help but fill the tinge of shame, though I know there shouldnt’ be any. What do I have to be ashamed of? Asking for help is not a bad thing in anyway and yet there it was. It was so odd for me – though in my defense it really doesn’t help that I typically go there for work related reasons and now it was personal. It was unusual, but ultimately, it’s worked out for the best.
It’s only a step but it has to be done. I can’t keep going like this. I feel that if I’m ever to really make headway in living the life I want, I need to really face those demons. A person can only be haunted so long; can only run for so long before getting winded. It’s so tiresome to put up a charade. I don’t feel I’ve pretended my whole life away or that I’ve been horribly dishonest with myself, but I do think I’ve cheated myself too. I don’t think I’ve given myself credit where I’ve needed it and I haven’t pushed myself when I’ve needed to either. I’ve been so busy thinking I’d dealt with things when the reality is, I’ve simply put them away in some corner of my mind, not realizing the harm they were quietly doing while I wasn’t looking. It’s time to meet those things head on so I can be really happy, not a mediocre happy. I deserve better than that.
The sadness has to go…that’s all there is too it. I want to be happy – the kind of happy the radiates from my head to my toes. I want to feel good in my skin and know that I’m truly making the right decisions for me. There are a lot of steps that will have to happen to reach this goal but I’m hitting two major ones already – today’s step is one of them. It’s going to be a process but they say that it’s the journey that’s more important than the destination. I hope that’s true because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. I’ve been lucky enough to be blessed with being well-adjusted enough, having enough support from various people throughout my life that I don’t think the damage done can’t be undone. I don’t think it’ll be as difficult for me as it might be for others, for which I’m very lucky – I could be wrong but I don’t think so. We’ll have to see how it all goes. Thanks to all the WordPress folks for following me and keeping in touch! I know this blog has veered way off course in more ways than one, but I’ll get there. I’m not done yet. If I haven’t visited your blog yet, I will. I’m so slow at this but I’ll get there. Thanks for stopping by. Please feel free to comment – I love to hear from people.
*Editor’s note: Caught a couple little things and felt compelled to update including that the correct title of the movie is “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”