Monday, August 2, 2010

The Journey: Rediscovering Self

 "You must dare to disassociate yourself from those who would delay your journey... Leave, depart, if not physically, then mentally. Go your own way, quietly, undramatically, and venture toward trueness at last." ~ Vernon Howard
I have been on a journey of sorts for the last several months. Trying to remember who I am... my values... my beliefs... my true self. It's been upsetting. Challenging. Unnerving. And I'm not finished yet. In fact, the real work is just beginning. 
Last fall I learned some things, and re-remembered things, about my past that have had an unexpected affect on my present. I've shared before that I have always been the one to take care of everyone else and in doing that I have neglected to take care of myself. I didn't think that was a problem. Then the irrational anger started, followed by spontaneous cry-fests, leading up to a glorious two months of not sleeping or having night terrors when I've always been a sleeping pro. (They would be called night terrors if I was two, I don't know what the term is when you're 25, so we'll just go with that.) Now I have all of it.

After several months of fighting against it, I have heeded the advice of people who love me and have started the path to counseling. I met with a professional last Friday and have decided to try working with her starting this Wednesday. 
When I first realized there were bigger issues than I could handle on my own, or with the love of my support system, my husband and I knew this may be where the path led. I have held my cards, so to speak, very close to the vest for a number of reasons, none of which were shame. I want to be very clear on that: there is absolutely no shame in admitting you need help and if talking to a counselor is where your path takes you, embrace it. 
I told my husband at the beginning of this journey that if/when I began counseling it would not be a secret, but until then I felt more comfortable with as few people knowing what was going on as possible. As I recently told K, "I can't be an advocate for reducing mental health stigma if I am not honest about my own struggles."
That is not to say I'm not struggling with an onslaught of emotions. I'm still pissed to be in this place to being with. The rational people in my life are telling me those feelings are valid. I want to forget and move on, but that hasn't worked out so well the last few months. My foundation has a fracture in it and its put everything else helter skelter as well. 
I'm hopeful that seeing this counselor will help me move past this to a place of healing. I'm terrified of what else might come out over the next several months, but mostly hopeful. I know the work I need to do, I just really need direction to get it done. (I know ya'll just said, "Git R done," admit it... okay, bad joke.) Most of all, I am feeling so blessed to have a husband who has stuck by me through the roller coaster of emotions and such a wonderful support system. That makes all the difference.     


Aki Mori said...

I am so moved by your courage! Thank you, and I wish you the best in your journey!

george rede said...

I so admire your honesty and courage in trying to confront what's upsetting you and doing it in this public way.

As you travel this path toward rediscovery of your self, I hope you will take comfort and draw strength from the knowledge that you have many, many people in your corner.

I've been in counseling sessions, both solo and involving other family members, and they proved to be very helpful in identifying issues, drawing out what I was afraid or reluctant to express and, ultimately, changing behaviors for the better.

Having a supportive spouse is No. 1. Good to know that's a big positive for you.