(pictured acquired via Google search)
A couple of years ago, I had what some people (my therapist) referred to as a total breakdown. I’d been bottling every emotion I had for 10+ years, and finally my body and my mind decided that it was time for a break. I’d been battling depression and anxiety for years. My mood was as unpredictable and extreme as the weather. I stopped eating and sleeping, until finally, I began having seizures. At that point, there was no more hiding the problem. I couldn’t work or drive or even be alone with my children for the first few months; my girls and I had to move in with my mom. I was forced to sit still and think. Something I was not very good at at the time. I was miserable. I was ashamed of what was going on in my head and of where I’d let myself and my girls end up. I laid around my mom’s in my pajamas for weeks until finally she opened my eyes to the opportunity that I wasn’t seeing. I’d been given the chance to start over. Yes, I was in a shitty place, but because of my support system, I didn’t have any responsibility left except to get well. I began writing in the form of journaling. I contacted a therapist, who I met with regularly for over a year, and that was the best decision I have ever made for myself. One very important thing that I learned from my sessions was that every emotion is valid. They aren’t all pretty and they don’t all feel nice, but they are all important and need validation. For years, I’d been preaching about positive vibes, and yeah positivity is important, but meanwhile I was slowly breaking down. If you’re sad, say you’re sad. Cry it out. Wail if you have to. If you’re mad, tell someone that you’re pissed and you aren’t going to put up with that bullshit. These aren’t negative vibes. These are heavy vibes. There is no positive or negative, there’s just light emotion and heavy emotion and some shit is heavier than other shit. That’s all the more reason to put it down. I do believe in being positive, but mostly I believe in being honest. Like, to be honest, most days I feel ridiculous typing all this down and sharing it on the world wide web. As if anyone cares or is even wondering what I might be thinking about today. I still do it though, mostly because I want to and I told myself I would, but also, because maybe someone does need to hear it. And hey, (positive thinking) maybe one day a group of people will want to hear it. And if not, oh well. I enjoy writing and it helps me to have a place to get things out. So yea, enjoy your happiness, laugh as much as possible, but don’t dismiss your sadness or your anger. Any real self-discovery I’ve ever made came after immense sadness and anger. I love the light times, but it’s the heavy times for which I’m most grateful.