The last post I had made was back in May… At that time, I had written about all the covid craziness. I wouldn’t say things got worse per se but I will say that things kept to the same pace that I had felt all those months back and unfortunately things didn’t magically get better (not even with the election concluding as it had once been rumoured). The days continued to feel long, so the desire to LIVE kept building and bills did not stop even though everything else in life seemed to be on hold… or at least operating in what appeared to be slow-motion because while normalcy was craved, anyone could look around and see that no matter how much everyone wanted to just pick life back up, as it stood, life was definitely anything but feeling normal. My son did end up having a graduation ceremony in July, as you can imagine, it was nothing like I had expected or hoped it would be after waiting 18 years for that special day. But we made the best of it and despite my crippling fears of the virus, was proud of myself and grateful that we were able to celebrate with a small family dinner at Outback (and how fitting, lol).
Anyway, it was also around this time that I had started therapy (telehealth, video chatting-if you are even remotely uncomfortable with the idea of therapy, this is definitely an option that makes the uncomfortable-more comfortable…if that makes sense)?! Anyway, so I started therapy and my “lockdown lover” moved back home to his place when the lockdown restrictions started lifting.
I initially started therapy because I was overthinking everything concerning the virus. I was paranoid to no end, didn’t imagine ever leaving the house again, and feeling like I couldn’t hug my own kids out of fear that they may have been exposed when not in my presence. My co-workers were having the best year ever financially since real estate was still booming in Las Vegas, coupled with the historically low-interest rates and here I was afraid to even leave the house led alone meet with clients, especially new clients or those driving in from out-of-state. Even the clients I did meet with, I met with them in such an eerie state of mind because I just absolutely felt I couldn’t trust anyone, couldn’t trust where anyone had been, and just lacked the basic faith in humanity that every person was following the guidelines that had been suggested especially when compromised or dealing with someone compromised (I don’t even disclose my situation to most people so that part is my own fault). I didn’t want to be there but since I don’t qualify for unemployment felt I had no choice but to work when I absolutely could.
I couldn’t live like that anymore.
While I had physically been present for therapy sessions of the past, this was the first time I was actually ready for therapy. This was me wanting to be a better version of myself and admitting that I would need help to get there. This was me surrendering to the fact that I already operate at a max capacity majority of the time (physically/mentally/emotionally) and adding on the mental fuckery the virus was doing to me, was just too much. This was me truly committing to the hard work I knew it would take to make myself healthy from the inside out (I anticipated this being a much more difficult venture than taking my pills on time, eating better, and exercising when I could). After the 2019 I had, I felt I owed it to myself and those around me to better myself where I could and continue to strive to be the best version of myself.
Therapy, this time around, has truly been life-changing. I’ve always had people I could vent to throughout life and I’ve always utilized that option the most (in hindsight-probably NOT the most conducive avenues since those around me, who love me, also likely fear me most of the time and don’t always say what they probably should or would want to). I always appreciated the fact that my sounding boards were just a simple phone call away or a short drive down the road and conveniently always available but everyone knows you are drawn to the support source that makes you feel better (instant gratification) and unfortunately, truly getting better and healing deep wounds usually takes hearing a harsh truth you don’t want to face and definitely won’t happen overnight and without work… So while I would end up feeling better about whatever was bothering me for that moment, I wasn’t getting the true push or hard dose of reality to really take the steps to wake up and work on myself-to really look within and commit to doing the work (whatever that looked like) and truly heal instead of quickly moving on and adding more resentment onto the mountain of suppression I already carried. In addition to the smoke up my ass I had been filled with for years (thanks to those around me who love me), I was putting a lot of things behind me but not actually working through anything so, therefore, ZERO resolution in reality… Moreso just a lot of moving from one toxic situation to the next with my same baggage in tow (I’ve learned people with many “options” can tend to have the hardest time to look within because what one person won’t tell you, someone else will and what one person won’t give you, someone else will-grass is greener syndrome). Plus, as I mentioned previously, I had been to therapy years ago when I had filed for divorce… Obviously, I ended up divorced anyway, so my faith in “therapy” was weary due to this fact as I’m sure you can imagine. I looked at people who heavily relied on therapists as a weakness and I battled with my own level of self-guilt when I found myself wanting to reach out to my own therapist between sessions because now I was feeling overly reliant on a crutch I had looked at as negative for so long. This entire process has been so humbling but more importantly very healing for me and it has taught me so much. Now I even find myself feeling accomplished at times because I was finally able to see how much I stood in my own way (if you are looking for excuses, you will find them).
Since starting therapy, there has been many highs and lows. I have reached my witts ends at times where I found myself begging and pleading for things to “just get easier” or to let me off of this roller coaster that seemed to have no end or days where I just talk to God constantly for guidance and strength. I had never imagined starting therapy for my paranoia of a virus and that turning into a complete overhaul and cleanse of my entire life-being-and existence. Situationally, I have re-visited dark chapters of my life at times… Ya know, things occur in our everyday lives and they trigger some painful past event and you re-live those emotions and pain temporarily but NEVER did I imagine allowing myself to surrender completely and opening the flood gates completely of every past pain, disappointment, or resentment that I had until now. I have now processed many of my childhood traumas (most of which I didn’t want to remember and many of which I would’ve never imagined sharing with anyone especially with a stranger) and this process led to talking about, working through, and reliving many of my painful failed adult relationships as well as a result of everything I’ve always denied myself of feeling. At this point, I wasn’t having relationship problems currently per se but starting a new relationship during a global pandemic/lockdown can have its own challenges and I am so happy therapy has helped us both to grow individually as well as to get closer than ever as a couple. I always imagined what starting a healthy relationship built on a strong foundation would look like and while I don’t have a crystal ball-feel the MOST confident I have ever felt in a budding relationship. I feel confident that I have my first healthy relationship and am happy to build something without starting in a deficit for the first time in my life. I know therapy has helped me to become a better version of myself and I am beyond thrilled that this is the person I am presenting versus the version of me in my past. I no longer look at therapy as a weakness but rather a beautiful bridge between childhood traumas that no one asked for and living each current moment as your best one-allowing yourself the freedom to live your best life. Cutting the ties to many of my childhood traumas and actually working through and processing these events in healthy ways has resulted in me learning to react less overall, control my anger and anxious ways, think more about what I’m actually feeling in that moment, react appropriately for whatever is happening just in front of me, stop the fight-or-flight auto-responses, and get my wound responses under control so I am not making some innocent person in front of me pay for my painful past that I chose to carry with me. I feel healthier and a whole lot lighter. I know I always carry MS with me but the load of my overall stresses became so much easier to carry when my hands weren’t full of past pain preoccupying my whole life. I no longer feel like a ticking time bomb.
I don’t know what lockdown or covid would’ve looked like if I wasn’t compromised. I imagine I would’ve gone without the extreme paranoia but would have continued to try to live as normal as possible so I can empathize with those who feel stir-crazy and crave social environments and interaction with others. I never considered myself a very outgoing or social person and enjoyed being a homebody even prior to my diagnosis but I understand much better the true differences between the choice to leave your comfort zone or not and having orders to completely isolate in your home because you cannot leave. I don’t know what the world will be like when the panic passes or if it will ever really completely subside (especially for me), but what I do know is that I wouldn’t change anything that’s happened because it brought me to where I’m at and there’s no place I’d rather be. I can actually say I am proud of the person I am becoming and will continue to strive and work to be better with each day and that I am right where I belong. For the first time in my life, I feel like I can exhale. I have had chapters in my life where money was no object and I’ve been overwhelmed with material things but nothing compares to the true fulfilment I feel since I’ve started the healing journey back to myself.