heather

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For the last seven years I knew I needed to talk to someone about the thoughts constantly swirling in my head. I knew I needed to see a therapist but made up excuses or maybe deemed I was okay and not really needing to go after all. I was quick to come to conclusions, quick to succumb to stress, quick to explode.

There was so much anger that it was a surprise to me that I hadn’t caused a war within myself or with anyone close to me sooner. I had been holding on to self-destructive anger for so long that I knew I was carrying a dark cloud above me everywhere I went and it was affecting my relationships with the people who surrounded me.

I didn’t have any real direction or a distinctive push to seek the help I knew was necessary to get everything off my chest until the end of my most recent relationship.

Therapy…it doesn’t very sound appealing, especially at 27 going on 28 when I thought maybe I’d have my life figured out…I never thought I wouldn’t have anything figured out or going the way I planned. Currently, I’m working on trying to loosen the reigns on my life and let it take it’s natural course. I find it tough when all my life I clung so tightly to the ability to carefully curate each aspect of my life.

Like having the past year be over with, I am grateful that the things I encountered gave me the final push to seek the help I had been needing for over two decades.

Unfortunately, I mistakenly used my former relationship as a therapy session. I would let him know of every single thing I was upset about, my fears, excuses for not doing things. Basically I sucked him into my little dark cloud and it started to affect him. Again, something to add to the list of reasons our relationship ended. I know, I know. I need to stop talking about it but I feel like it’s affected me so much that I’m slow to wean myself off the topic. It’ll happen though, I promise. When? Who the hell knows.

For over 20 years I’ve been holding on to anger that I felt I could do nothing about and with ten sessions under my belt I have noticed I don’t explode at trivial hiccups life brings. I’m free to express how I’m feeling, [for the most part] shake off the unnecessary stress my brain creates and let things that bother me roll off my shoulders. I try not to let things bother me.

I’ll be honest, it’s an ongoing process and there are times I’m riding the highs so hard because my mood is good that the lows feel like I punch in the gut and then I’m in tears again. I can admit that I’m a lot better than I had been in so long.

I remember talking to my mom after my panic attack this past summer about needing to go to therapy because I felt like I was angry all the time. I rolled my eyes at what my mom said in response to me, “It’s just how you are. Look at your dad, he has a short temper sometimes.” I knew this was not the person I wanted to be since I hadn’t always been like this.

In 2011 therapy had been on my radar since I had always known that the way I handled stress or anger was unhealthy. I knew exactly where the match hit the line of gasoline. I had to start from the beginning, bring up things from my childhood I wish I could bury in the past and let it rot there. It’s sad to know that it took the break up and a trip to urgent care to get the help I needed.

After my visit to urgent care + a visit to my physician my preliminary diagnosis was that I was having adjustment issues with life on my own. This was true but it wasn’t the whole truth. There were also many other uncovered factors that were necessary for me to face in therapy – or really just talking to someone extensively about my issues. I kept a lid on my secrets for so long and pretended to have everything in my life tightly organized.

It was scary to come into an office and know someone was going to pick apart your thoughts and hear your deepest darkest secrets. During my sessions I was diagnosed with a multitude of things that I think about every so often: PTSD, depression, anxiety, avoidance among other things. After talking to someone extensively about the trauma I had experienced, things make so much more sense to me now. I make sense to myself. There aren’t really any excuses I can make and I shouldn’t have made any to begin with. I can only accept what happened and move on. What being the trauma and the effects it had on my relationships.

I get upset with myself for not seeking the help I needed back then. I can’t salvage the mess I made and I have to be okay with that. I have to try to be okay with it. I can only take what I learned and make sure that the relationships I currently have and any future relationships I may have don’t fall down the same rabbit hole.

xx/jack

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