I remember starting therapy over 2 years ago for severe anxiety and depression, but more specifically with a life-altering diagnosis of OCD. As she reviewed the physiology of OCD and the treatment plan with me, I sat there and asked, shocked at the possibility,
“So what do I do and what will I think about when these thoughts aren’t there?”
She smiled with that kind of half-smile, half-smirk that let me know I had just asked the magic question. The “aha! good question!” kinda look. And she replied, “that’s when you know you have gotten better. You can’t think about what the thoughts will be right now just that they will shift.”
I nodded in a way that was trying to convince myself she might be right, but really, I struggled to believe that with my current situation and the pain I caused others might be worked through. I wanted to believe that my mind wouldn’t exhaust me with daily ping-pong matches of fears, doubts, and thoughts, but at that moment allowing myself to believe it felt wrong.
I half-smiled, said “ok” and knew what I had to do.
I had to start.
I had to trust.
I had to be open.
I had to struggle.
I had to learn.
I had to confront.
I had to expose.
I had to cry.
I had to withdraw.
I had to work.
All of that….
To learn. To smile. To grow. To Change. To fight. To mature. To laugh. To be a daughter, a sister, a friend. To believe. To hope. To recover.
She was right. I got more time. Time for life. Time for work. Time for family. Time for fun, adventure, and friends. More time for me; more time to BE me.
Time is like the last thing you want to hear from people as their answer to any question hinting at suffering but that one word does so much. I now have an understanding of why I suffered so much, what triggered me and why, what still triggers me and why, how to handle triggers and triggering situations, and what being my best self means and how to do that each day.
There is so much to continue to learn but the absolute joy and lightness that comes with finding a stable sense of comfort and peace in yourself is amazing!
You can do it and I am happy to help!