I started my journey with regularly scheduled phone therapy a month into quarantine. The biggest area that I have been working towards healing is my inability to connect with my emotions, to identify them, to feel them properly. I am a slow learner, and I’ve been given guidance and assistance to walk me through this.
Today, after spending too many hours – hours I hadn’t intended – in bed, sleeping or reading for leisure, I finally sat at my desk and was suddenly overcome with sadness. I had connected to the discord server where my friends were chatting in the study hours channel, typing fast, and I couldn’t keep up because I was sad and unmotivated for reasons I couldn’t explain to myself, let alone to anyone else. The default move is to keep this to myself, bottle it up so that no one who isn’t looking sees.
On a whim, I guess, I said to my friends, I’m sad and I don’t know why.
Something I’ve been working on in therapy is this idea so deeply ingrained in my brain that dictates I am only a successful person if I can do it – whatever it is, and it could be everything, which is completely unrealistic, unsustainable – by myself. I would never say this to anyone else. I always encourage the opposite, so I am working to deconstruct this for myself. But, as I said, I am a slow learner.
Are you okay?
[privately] I’m here.
If it helps, stick around. I know being around friends like this cheered me up this morning, too.
So it’s only today, after months of therapy, that I learn and truly internalize that even this, feeling, is not something I have to do alone either. That does not make me weak. And that does not make me unsuccessful, or dangerously dependent, or incompetent.
And I learned today also that something as straightforward as acknowledging my feelings, having my feelings acknowledged, something that wasn’t common for me growing up, is really neat. Really goes a long way. There was almost an instant release, relief from the pressure building in my chest. It helped.
And I just think my friends are really neat, too.