This past year I experienced something of a break down. Things that I know should have brought me joy, like family and work left me empty. I thought I just need to “suck it up” “push through”. I began to get afraid and negotiate. Okay, I can have this breakdown, but only while the kids are at school or only when it’s private and convenient. I will schedule it, experience it, and move on. Yeah, right.
After reading tons of books to try to find answers, writing, talking with Scott and trusted friends, I reached out to a therapist. I showed up for my 1pm appointment in my pajamas.
Me: “I thought about changing, but if you can’t look like shit in front of your therapist, who can you look like shit in front of?”
Therapist: “You wear your depression well.”
We were off to a great start.
And we began the unraveling and the most grueling work of my life (so far). I kept asking for assignments, homework, reading, any sort of “3 step process” so we could just bang this out and I could get back to being “me”. She gave me homework like, “Sit with your loneliness.” And “Notice your anger.”
I broke my finger in an attempt to remember how to “have fun” (long story). Couldn’t write, which is often my go-to place for clarity. My neck stopped working. Made it difficult to sleep and read. When I described it to my therapist, I put my hands to my neck as if I was choking. There was something bigger going on and I didn’t like it.
And then I lost my hearing. Not suddenly. Very gradually I noticed waking up in the morning feeling like I was under water. I didn’t hate this feeling. I sort of welcomed the respite from a world that seemed really loud lately. It got worse. I ignored it. No time. Too inconvenient. It will go away. Just have to push through. No big deal. Can you talk a little louder please?
Me: “I can’t write. It hurts to turn or read. I can’t hear. My work is all about listening. Who am I if I can’t listen???”
Therapist: “Hmmm. You are not listening.”
And there it was. The Light entered right then and there. I wasn’t listening. My go to place, my sweet spot is to listen to others. But I wasn’t listening to myself. I wasn’t listening to The Light. I had pushed through all the emotional signs, all the red flags that were waving because I just didn’t have time. I would get to it later. God had to literally physically stop me to show me The Way.
Now I am on the journey of listening. I’m not as sweet, but I am more honest. There is more disagreement, and less stuffing of feelings. I have things I require now. I am a “woman who has needs” as my therapist says. And that’s ok (apparently I have “issues with being needy”). I have no patience for “fitting in”. I am in search of belonging. This journey began with a breakdown, but it might just become a break through.