This is about to be so honest that I struggled with the idea of posting it, because I don’t want to be judged on one rough patch that I’m going through, and I generally frown upon oversharing. But fuck it. Our problems are a part of who we are, and I think we all just want to be understood. I know I do.
I’ve been in and out of therapy several times in my life. As a kid because of the horrifying things going on in my house, again after my dad died, and I attempted again shortly after I moved to LA and found myself lonely and depressed. Recently I decided to try again because I realized I have an eating problem. I stuff myself to the point of wanting to explode, and it happens often enough that I’m getting concerned with myself.
So I’m only a few weeks in, and naturally I’m confronting all sorts of issues. I’m revisiting all the scary things I witnessed my dad do, I’m revisiting his mental illness and suicide, I’m revisiting all the teasing and manipulation I endured in school, I’m trying to talk my way through why my first instinct is to be a nasty bitch to men if they dare to try to talk to me, I’m exploring resentment towards different people in my family, I’m realizing the effects of not having a male figure in crucial periods of my life, I’m confronting my social anxiety and crippling self-awareness and insecurity, and I’ve been feeling extremely overwhelmed. I thought I had dealt with and worked through a lot of major issues I’ve faced, because most of the time I really do feel fine, but if there were no loose ends to contend with I likely wouldn’t be trying to fill some gaping hole with cheeseburgers and ice cream. In counseling, the pot is being stirred, and I’m having trouble figuring out if talking about all this heinous shit that undoubtedly led me to choose food as a consolation method is helping the problem or just adding to it.
Can we ever really resolve the crappy things that have happened in our lives and make peace with them? Yes, I absolutely think that’s possible. But how? Is it something that happens because you crack it all open and expose the throbbing bloody mass of shit and horror and take a long swim in it in hopes of making it to clean water on the other side? Or does that just pull you down and suffocate you?
My therapist recommended that I start trying to write things to get them out. Obviously she meant for me to do this for myself, and not for my friends on the internet to read it. I know that others out there, probably even a lot of you, have dealt with worse and aren’t whining about it in a public forum. But here I am, not only writing this but posting it, because I spend most of my time internalizing and hiding all of my problems from people who care about me. Any serious shit I share with anyone I make jokes about, in hopes of giving a glimpse of the truth without making anyone too uncomfortable and also making it seem like it doesn’t matter/there’s nothing to worry about. Covering real feelings up with humor and self-deprecation is clearly my other coping method. (Don’t think for a minute I’ll stop doing that, either. Sometimes I really AM just acting like a drama queen to make you laugh – so it’s okay to laugh, if you want to.)
I don’t talk to people about things because I want to come off as strong, as someone who can take care of herself, as someone who doesn’t really get bogged down by all the loneliness she so frequently jokes about and doubts of her own self-worth. Dwelling on negativity doesn’t lead to anything good, and I do not want to be pitied. But ask the 18 pounds of junk food I am putting down in a week (slight exaggeration) how well whatever I’m doing now is working.
I don’t know whether to talk about things or not talk about things, but I know the desire to figure out some sort of path to go down is there. And I know I’ll be okay.
I know being honest enough with yourself to call a therapist and say you need help with some shit is a big deal in and of itself.
I know that anyone who is determined enough to put in the work can be a better version of themselves and that things really can improve. I also realize how monumental of a task it is to make honest, difficult changes in your life. Especially on aspects of yourself that seem so hard-wired into your personality you don’t know where the fuck to start.
We are all, for better or worse, the product of our own experiences, and it’s up to us to figure out how to accept who we are, flaws and all, and function as the most sane and healthy versions of ourselves that we can be.
Some times are more difficult than others. And if any of this resonates with any of you, please accept a virtual hug from me.