Two Anniversaries Intertwined

It’s been tough to feel like writing lately. They say that the mark of a true writer is one who doesn’t only write when they are inspired, but will write even when they don’t feel like it. Some of the most popular writers write everyday. I haven’t gotten to that point, nor do I have a schedule that is so consistent that I can plan to write everyday. Not to mention, my mental illness plays a part. It may be realistic for some people to do it this way, but for me, it is a goal I cannot attain at this time. These are not excuses, just reasons, and reasons can be handled.

On January 6th, it was officially a year of therapy. A whole year of learning, regulating, and working. I’ve come really far, and I’m a lot better than I was at the start of 2017. Despite my 2017 seemingly starting off great, the night of New Years Eve ultimately prompted me to seek therapy. The heartbreak was productive though hard. It satisfied some shame that I had carried within me, and yet caused confusion and pain.

But, because of that event, I found a therapist who fits. In all the times before that I’ve sought therapy, I hadn’t found someone who clicked with me. And she does. I couldn’t ask for better luck. I was desperate in the first week of January 2017, and she responded within 20 minutes of my email. I will admit, I kept her at arms length the first few sessions, or rather, I tried to past the first session. She gave me hope. She gave me truth. She gave me validation and understanding. She was forthright about her goals, her qualifications, and her approach.

The first session was like any other initial session with a therapist. You go over history, the forms you filled out, if you are lucky they tell you more than just their name. It’s nearly impossible to know if you are going to be a good fit with an initial session. So I always tried to give them at least 2 before I dropped off the face of the Earth.

It just worked. We can crack jokes, be lighthearted about things, and at the same time, in those intense moments, she is warm and understanding. Like anyone, she can be tough, intimidating, flippant, but most of the time she channels this into a soft kick in the ass. We have similar personalities, and passions. Dialectic Behavioral Therapy allows therapists to share more about their own life in a productive way. It’s a part of the therapy that I really like because I feel like I’m not talking to a robot. Her human experience is important as well, and I’m grateful to bond over our cats, cool places in St. Louis, and being smart introverts.

I am grateful that she contacted me first, and that I didn’t have to shop around. I think I was truly ready to get help. Even now, however, I know it to be true that not every therapist will be right for you. My therapist now works out of a house with another therapist who is a strong advocate for LGBTQ people, might even be a part of the community, and would definitely be someone that would look great on paper for someone like me. I have no basis to go on as to what she is like as a therapist. I’ve never met with her, and we have only exchanged a handful of words. I do know that her mannerisms exude confidence, empowerment, and extroversion. Her voice is brash, and elicits a very passive manner in me. To others, this may be what they need, or find appealing. To me, it would be counterproductive. I’m sure she is a very cool person, and I would like to formally meet her one day, but as a therapist, I need someone different, someone like the therapist I have. It would be hard to find another therapist, and I don’t intend to unless necessary.

Yesterday was my blog’s anniversary. Over the course of the year, I’ve shared a lot of things that have scared me, perspective and passion, and a lot of raw thoughts and feelings. I’m happy to have started this blog, it’s given me an outlet to practice my writing, and think. It can be hard to find the time, but I do want to find more time to write this coming year. Share more stories. Explore more outside of my comfort zone.

It’s funny to me, two different intertwined anniversaries so close together. It says to me that I was indeed ready to go to therapy. My therapist didn’t make me open up, and encourage me to be more vulnerable. I was already on that path. It did help, of course, to take that first step and email her. The next step of attending my appointment was an easy follow-up. And then, I started my blog, curiously testing the waters of what it would be like to have a place to pour my soul out in small doses for the rest of the world.

I want to write more. I want to be more vulnerable. I want to shed light on things most people keep in the dark. I want to show people that what indeed looks like a monster in the dark, is actually a jacket hanging on a chair. I want to be a trailblazer like so many before me. Making the world a better place by simply being here.

As far as I remember, I had very minimal “resolutions” for the new year last year. I’ve continued a lot of big endeavors this year:

  • Therapy
  • Writing
  • Fitness
  • Financial Stability
  • Vulnerability

I’ve knocked a lot of these out of the park in terms of progress. I truly hope to find new limits in all of these this coming year, and have more anniversaries of good things, of progress.

Thank you all for sticking around for a year. Reading, liking, and sharing my blog posts. I can confidently say that I am a lot better from where I started last year. I am incredibly proud of my accomplishments over the past year, and I can’t wait to accomplish more this year. Thank you for being a part of the progress.

 

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