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Monday, April 19, 2010

insights: to shrink or not to shrink?

I am not the person I was.

That is a fact that I finally have come to accept.

Two years ago my life was completely different than what it is now. I had a job I was crazy about, working 7 days a week for 7+ years. I was busy, I slept like a baby, I was starting a family with my husband, life was wonderfully amazingly good. Then it wasn't.

There comes a point when complaining to your husband or your mom or your best friend about your problems is not helping and in fact it hurts your relationship. I realized last May/June when I was in the throes of "The Year That Was Going Badly" that I needed help. That talking to L. constantly about everything bad that was happening was actually hurting the little safe spot in my life. I needed to keep my relationship with my husband and the safe zone, as the place that has nothing to do with what was going on.  I had so much guilt for getting laid off on the day we were signing the papers for our dream house (and subsequently not buying it) that my heart was heavy every time I looked at L. It was my fault that I was not bringing any money in. It was just all my fault and my thoughts just became this cyclone, all swirling into each other.

I called my therapist I had seen a few years ago to work on my food issues and made an appointment. I felt guilty because of the cost but it was either that or my sanity, literally. And so I saw her weekly, sometimes twice a week for awhile and I got through it. I made it through the sadness and the guilt, even when things got so much worse and I lost the babies.

I realized there is very little that actually matters.

What matters is this: The love that L., my husband and I have for each other and our dog Emma. We have a roof over our heads and we are healthy and L. has a job he loves and is great at. L.'s family is loving and there is no drama. We have a few close friends.

The lesson here is this: There is no shame in seeking help. The one thing to keep in mind is that your family and friends love you BUT even they will get sick of hearing about how miserable you are. Luckily, there is someone you can pay to not only listen to you but actually try to help you. The best thing my therapist did was to call me on my bullshit. I was in her office one afternoon crying, sniffling, eyes sealed shut from the tears, nursing a crying headache and hyperventilating on how much everything sucked and it wasn't fair that someone else got to keep their job when I loved the company so much and it wasn't fair. . .round and round and round I went.

Until finally my therapist quietly and firmly said said "ENOUGH! Yes, it sucked what happened but move past this. You are not a victim and WHAT HAPPENED OR DIDN'T HAPPEN TO SOMEONE ELSE IS NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS!"

I remember stopping in mid-cry and looking at her. I thought "You're not supposed to yell at me when I am miserable." But she shocked me enough that I stopped crying and she was right. The fact that I was laid off when someone else wasn't was none of my business. What happened to me, happened and I can move on or obsess and never move on.

I chose to move on. I still see my therapist. She gets me. She keeps blueberry tea just for me. She makes me feel safe and one day I realized I wasn't so sad when I was arriving at her door. I was thinking ahead about plans and I knew that seeing someone about your problems is not something to be ashamed of, rather it is a healthy sign, especially when she breaks through the ugly cry.

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