Break down, or step up... Which is it?
Hey, how are ya? Ah sure I'm grand.
Yep. I think we all have answered that question with the word 'grand' or 'fine' in the past. But the thing was, we were not, grand or fine. Well, I know I wasn't either of those. But who wants to hear me moan and talk about my small problems when there is a war going on and a planet to save, things much bigger than me?
I don't want to inconvenience anyone by telling them about my thoughts or feelings.
Yet when I didn't talk about them, they festered and got worse. I came up with scenarios that you wouldn't even see for a plot twist in a suspense film! My mind would race to the worst ending possible.
I can only presume it was my body trying to prepare me for the worst to keep me safe. And it was, what I learned it to be a trauma response to a trigger. A bad experience that had happened before in previous years. A feeling I couldn't deal with at the time.
When things got hard, I buried my emotions, had a glass of wine and thought, "everyone has problems" so I'll just have to get on with it. Following two major panic attacks, accompanied by hospital visits later in the year, I decided that my sister was right - I should talk to a therapist.
It felt like I was giving up, like I was weak.
"I must be crazy if I need to see one of those people, right?". The stigma that came with talking to someone also held me back and is why it took so long for me to go. But now I wish I went sooner.
Two years on, and I haven't looked back since. I have found peace.
Now don't get me wrong, it's not all plain sailing as soon as you get a few sessions behind you... it's hard work, accompanied with tears, remembering, decisions, realising who you are and why you do the things you do. It's a healing journey that will make the rest of my life worth living every single minute. I now wake up in the morning and I am grateful for everything and everyone in my life. I see the stars most nights, the sunrise and breathe the fresh air that every day brings.
Once I was able to understand "me" in my head - the science behind the nervous system, vagus nerve, thoughts, memories, triggers and safety, it all came very clear. The three things humans strive for in live besides safety are: to be seen, to be heard and to be loved. The internal work I have done has also aided me in being able to understand other people and their reactions to certain situations giving me more compassion and understanding for others.
If you are lucky to have someone in your life to talk to , please do. Opening up is scary but you just don't know how many people feel the way you do until you talk about it. Therapy, counselling or psychology, what ever you may call it - Make the call.
I hope it changes your life the way it did mine.