"do you realize that you often avoid talking about how you are feeling right now?"
today i was sitting in therapy. yes folks, i go to therapy. how do you think i manage all these crazy emotions and thoughts that come in and out of my brain most of the time? truth is, i've only recently started going back to therapy after years of thinking "huh, i should probably go do that again". i went almost regularly from ages 14 to 18. i lost the groove in college, but i tried going to therapy when in grad school to become a social worker. unfortunately there was something about going to therapy when studying to become a therapist that totally rocked the boat. when i decided that being a social worker wasn't the path i wanted to follow, i didn't end up back on a couch. maybe i should have. it would be five years before i came back to talking to someone and, as i've been back in the groove now for a little over a month, i can say that it is still hard. i still second guess my therapist. i still push back. i am learning how to be the patient again.
"you seem to diminish how you are feeling in the moment."
this has been a hard week. though i am feeling better from the evil sickness from hell, i am still coughing, my allergies are in full force, and my loving boyfriend is now suffering from the sickness. i haven't gotten a good night's sleep in over two weeks. and things that should have been done days ago are still on my to do list...except that they are now practically past due. also, i have no energy to do them. also, i went to the dentist and it was terrible and i have too many cavities and now have to get fillings and i've never gotten one and i'm scared. somehow this all seems important.
anyway, it has been a hard week. self-confidence has been lacking to say the least. i've had some pretty emotional reactions to things that, honestly, should provoke little to no emotion. i had an outburst the other day where i practically yelled "no, really i suck!" at the top of lungs. even my boyfriend was like, "whoa that seems like it came from someplace deep". it hasn't been pretty...all i've wanted to do is sit on the couch and daydream about how i can redecorate my apartment or get a new wardrobe or dream up six-pack abs or be on a beach. i haven't wanted to do much else.
so when i went to therapy today i was hoping for some guidance. some quick fix. ha, charly. you know it doesn't work like that.
"what are you feeling now?"
i tend to think of myself as a open person. i say i'll tell you anything about me that you want to know if you ask right.
today i realized that i am a big fat liar.
"it seems to me that you don't feel safe enough to open up to many people."
my friends say i am a good listener. a few have noticed how i listen more than i talk. that is a good thing, they say. i say. it is. it is until you realize it is also a defense mechanism. i listen so i don't have to talk. so i don't have to share. what i share is the stuff i feel that i know is "okay" to share. i share the stories and thoughts they probably already know. i don't share the icky stuff. i don't share the self-doubt, the anxiety, the depth of the depression, even though i'll nod and say "no, i totally doubt myself. or i totally worry all the time." i don't share the details. i don't let them know the depth of it all.
new friends know me as quiet. some may say shy. i've never thought of myself that way, but i can see how i can come across that way. guarded may be the better word.
i thought though that i would share when asked.
today in therapy i realized that i resist the hell out of talking about how i feel now. like now. not yesterday. now.
"it seems to be a protective measure."
when i am down in the dumps, i am highly critical of myself. i am critical of my choices, of my happenstance, of my day-to-day, but i'm also critical of my emotions. i wonder if they are valid, rational. i wonder if i should feel them or try to run them out of me.
i don't let myself just feel them.
i don't sit in it.
i don't share it.
i pack it away, underneath, in my belly.
i don't share how i am feeling now because i have tucked the now away, underneath. i can't share how i am feeling now because i don't even know.
"would you say that you feel as though you can just let go?"
when i am feeling my worst, i often have visions of getting hurt or sick. not because i want to be hurt or sick, but because then people would understand why i was feeling terrible, why i was crying, why i was irritable and sad. i have visions of running away, to be alone. alone i could forget all responsibilities, all the meetings, all the deadlines, all the "i should do this to be successful", all the "dammit, i should have done this". alone i wouldn't have to get over what i was feeling. alone i wouldn't have to pretend. alone i could feel sad or happy or in-between and it not matter.
i realized today that i don't open up. i don't share. i don't really let myself feel or let others know how i am feeling.
today i realized i am always trying to prevent the breakdown.
"but what would happen if you stopped trying to prevent it?"
we have our protective measures for a reason. they keep us going. but sometimes they prevent us from letting the emotions move through. the emotions can become stuck because they aren't being released. they are just being beaten deeper and deeper inside.
sometimes we need a breakdown to find our footing again. sometimes we need the full effect of a saturn return to put us on the right path. sometimes we need to sit in the most uncomfortable of poses to feel the relief that comes when change.
this is why i go to yoga. this is why i am attracted to meditation. on some level i know i need to learn to sit in it. but even there i haven't been able to truly let go.
i've been preventing a breakdown for so long it seems. this week i could feel my defenses wearing down. the struggle came from trying to keep the defenses up.
what would happen if i just let them go?
what would happen if i just let the breakdown come?
title of post from this song.