A year.

It’s been over a year since I began going to a therapist. I always knew that I had to go to one, I just was too afraid to make that jump. It’s also hard to find a very good therapist these days, so that was somewhat discouraging when I thought about it. I found my therapist in one shot. One phone call, and he was able to find a slot for me even though it was pretty much last minute. I jumped over one hurdle and the next one was evident – actually speak and not be afraid to do so. What I kept in mind was that he is unbiased, he doesn’t know me or anyone else in my life, so he wasn’t there to judge me or to placate me.

It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. In fact, he got some initial questions out of the way and it opened up the channel for more topics to be discussed. I left feeling a little better, I had gotten some weight off of my shoulders and I was definitely happy to have found a therapist this quickly. I continued to go weekly, my conversations range from personal things to current events. It doesn’t always have to be about my depression and anxiety, my past with sexual abuse, my issues that still linger thanks to my birth parents. It’s a safe place for me, somewhere that I can go and talk freely. Sometimes, my therapist says things in response, he’ll give me some advice or ask me some more questions.

On the weeks I don’t go because he’s on vacation or I have to skip a week due to my own schedule (that’s very rare), something always happens where I hit complete meltdown mode. And then I have to save it all up for the next week until I sit down on the couch and (probably) begin crying. Going to therapy for the past year has helped me immensely. I am able to deal with situations a lot better than I had before. I know that I can’t control what people say/do, I can only control how I react to it. I have been able to go through the grieving process of my older brother and grandmother, even if they passed many years ago. I’ve been able to overcome a lot of my fears. There’s still bad days, but they’re not as frequent as they used to be.

Let me backtrack for a second about the grieving thing. Every year on August 9th, I am a complete waste of space. I cry all day, I’m sensitive, I’m absolutely miserable. I hated the day so much because it was a reminder of another year without Andy. Another year we’re not celebrating his birthday, another year I have to say, “Andy would have been ______ today if he were still alive.” Last year, that all changed for me. Sure, I was miserable and sad but thanks to therapy, I knew that sitting around the house wasn’t going to do me any favors. I began to go through the motions and process the fact that my brother is never coming back, and that I need to keep living. I see him every time I look at my son, I have a picture of him at my desk and on my mirror at home. I don’t know if I could have his picture everywhere I look, but when I do see the ones I have I no longer sob. It still hurts, I still miss him terribly, nothing can ever change that. I can only continue to keep living my life.

I have dealt with a lot of death in my life. My birth parents are dead, my grandmother is dead, my brother is dead. I have other family members that have passed on, as well as friends. It’s not an easy pill to swallow, but I think it’s been somewhat easier since being able to openly discuss my brother and grandmother with someone who just will listen and help me sort out my feelings. I have dealt with a lot of things in my life that would cause most to turn to a life of drugs, alcohol, and other things you read about in the news. I blamed myself for many years for a lot of the things that happened to me, but now I know that none of it is my fault, nor did I deserve it. I have always questioned whether or not I deserve to be loved, I felt that everyone gets sick of my shit and leaves anyway – and I always attribute that to my father never wanting to be clean so he can be my father. I always attribute that to my mother who could never be sober to be my mother. So to this day, I often question if I deserve my husband’s love. Last year, I would have said absolutely not, I’m the worst and everyone should just stay away. But not anymore.

I am worthy of a lot of things, I’ve made my mistakes and I’ve learned from them. I have done some pretty craptacular things in my past and I take ownership of it, but it doesn’t make me the person that I am today. I know that now, and it’s only taken a year out of my 37 years of life to realize that. I know that I can change my appointments to once a month or every other week – but I truly don’t want to. I know that the only way that I can continue down this path is to stay consistent with what I’ve been doing for the past year. As I go over the past 365 days, I have to say that I am finally in a place where I can admit that the good days are going to happen as well as the bad, I have a very good life and it’s one that I deserve to have, and that no matter what – the life that I have is worth every second of living and to make the most of it.

Honestly,
Marie

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