Plodding through life whilst sticking your head in the sand is something so many of us do, because quite frankly it’s the easiest option. However, it can only get you so far. At least that is what I have found, and I’m sure it is the case for many like me. That’s where therapy comes in.
I’ve known for quite a while that there are many (and I repeat: maaaaaaany) things I need work on – from repressed trauma to coping mechanisms. But for so long I’ve always had other things going on, so have continued to be an ostrich and avoided dealing with them. The truth is though, that there is never a good time to face these things. There’s never the perfect time to recover. Life is busy and there will always be something going on, whether that be a deadline, an important meeting, an event – and I guess getting past that life in itself will always be an obstacle is a big thing. There is never a perfect time to confront pain – thing that have left you broken in more ways than one. Why? Because it’s terrifying, it hurts, and it makes you vulnerable.
Since finishing university and trying to claw my way out of the latest relapse, I’ve decided that I need to go back to therapy. To work through everything I have avoided for so long and develop coping mechanisms that aren’t self-destructive. The waiting lists are long, but the only way to get the help is to be on the waiting list, right?
I knew I wanted to go back to therapy to work through things, but it was only the other day that I realised how much I need it. For myself, for those I care about and to let go of the past. So that when if and when I choose to do a PhD, I’m able to go wherever I want without the constant fear of relapse looming in the back of my mind. To finally work through some of the PTSD that still lingers and I have yet to face.
It hit me like a led balloon right in the face that I’m like a sitting duck waiting for history to repeat itself. If good things happen to me, I’m waiting for it to all go wrong. For others to be like my dad, my ex, my old friends. I wait for people to hurt me when I have a grand total of 0 reasons to think they will – and that’s completely on me, not them. I want to be able to build relationships, make new friendships, grow academically and professionally – I want to be able to move away from my comfort zone and truly live.
I want to be able to let my guard down and trust people. I want to be able to believe someone when they compliment me. I want to not need to take to restriction as a coping mechanism. I want to be able to travel the world without the fear of spiralling downwards. And to do that, I need to actually face everything I really don’t want to face.
It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but I need to do this for myself and those I care about. I need to do it so I can live the life I ultimately want to live – rather than taking to short-term relief by avoiding painful memories and taking to restriction.
So remember ladybugs: life you ultimately want to live > short-term relief x