My session yesterday went much, much better than the previous one. I felt like we were communicating, I didn't feel defensive, and when she reiterated what she felt like she was hearing, it didn't sound like it came out of left field but that it was still something new for me to consider. So, I am going to see this month's appointments out and see how I feel about the therapist. If I am still ambivalent in a couple of weeks, then I am going to go therapist shopping. I deserve it, yes?
The past couple of weeks have been , well, exciting as well as a total relief. What has surprised me the most, in "coming out" to you and to others in my life, is the realization of just how much damned energy it took to hide this from so many for so long. (Not the least of whom, myself. DUH.) I feel so fucking REFRESHED, like I just woke up from a perfect, cool nap on a spring afternoon.
It has been exhausting, finding excuses to avoid everyone and to so carefully perform this version of myself for everyone so as to not be found out. I am simply, genuinely, tremendously exhausted. I was so terrified that everyone would find out that no, I don't have it all together, no I not on top of everything in my life -- hell most things in my life -- and that I just generally feel like shit. If I did work up the energy and courage to engage with anyone, then I put massive amounts of energy into "faking it." Not faking my personality - what you see is what you get, there. But faking the togetherness, the energy. (Which, I have done poorly. Fantastic!) Sweet geezuz, that energy could have gone into so much else.
Why do I have totally ridiculous, utterly unattainable, achingly cruel standards for myself that I do not hold for others?
For the record, I do not, and never have, thought that others who suffer from depression and anxiety are somehow less, lazy or broken. I reserve those mean-ass judgments for myself. If anything, I've always felt tremendous compassion for people suffering from this, and always thought they were so brave and courageous to get out there and live their life.
So, mcuh of the work at hand is to see why I felt like I had to hide. Why my first instinct continues to be to hide, to put up a wall, a mask, or any other cliched defense mechanism at the slightest fear someone might FIND OUT. Find out anything and everything. Find out that I am depressed and having a bad day or freaking out because of what (to others) is an irrational fear. Find out that my house is not clean. Find out that I don't know as much as I pretend to about The Thesis topic. Find out that I beat the shit out of myself for not knowing more about said topic and that I have a constant running commentary in my head telling me I should know more, I should read more, I should study more, I should, I should, I should... Find out I am not as smart as I want to be, as smart that I used to think I was. Blah, blah blah.
Find out that I am not the person I want to be.
Find out, I am not entirely happy with the person I am, that for whatever reason(s).
Which brings me to the next super awesome realization as of late: I carry guilt with me about EVERYTHING. I need to just ban the phrase, "I should..." completely. Holy hell, that phrase has is killing me.
Overwhelmingly, I felt guilt for being so "lazy." I felt guilty that A. had the unfortunate luck to fall in love with such a lazy, worthless person. I felt guilty for being such a difficult person to live with. I felt guilty that it took so much energy to engage with people. I felt guilty that I couldn't remember to floss everyday. I felt guilty if I didn't remember to have lunches ready for the week. I felt guilty for hating to fold the laundry. I felt guilty, I felt guilty, I felt guilty.
I only realized recently (with the help of the therapist, so not all bad, yes?), I felt tremendously guilty that I was well, lying, to everyone, people who mean a lot to me, just in an effort to hide, to receed, to disappear.
Unfortuntely, that last paragraph does not exist solely in the past tense. Again, lot of work to do.
But, with this incredible weight lifted from my shoulders, I feel ready, willing, and yes, grateful, to bear the burden of this work. To dig in. Turn the soil over. For myself. For my family. For my friends. Yes, yes, yes. For myself.
Let us see what we can unearth and grow, shall we? Maybe I will find some lovely wild purple irises...