Therapy And Growth – Some Disassembly Required

I’ve been seeing a Psychologist on the regular, since February of this year. It’s been really good, in the worst way possible – ha! Anyone who’s been brave enough to dive into all that stuff, knows exactly what I’m talking about. But I’m sincerely proud of myself for the commitment and progress I’ve made so far. 

It’s so strange to think that when I was young and growing up, my main objective was to just try and put all the pieces of myself together – in any way, shape, or form – so that I could feel ok, and seem ok, even if I wasn’t. 

So much time and energy was taken up by sewing the broken parts of myself together, and patching up areas that, for one reason or another, just seemed to continually wear out. It was one of the greatest masterpieces out there, and yet there was a lot of faulty workmanship behind it. 

Then as I grew up and got older, my thread started to pull a little, some parts began to unravel, and my patches started to fall off. And just like a lot of other people, (yes, it’s incredible how many people will share with you that they’re in therapy, when you share first) I thought, fuck, I’ve got to do something about this, so I finally decided to bite the bullet and ask for help. 

And ironically, this was when all of my ridiculously hard work – all of the layers of protection, and armour, and ways of thinking, and ways of processing the world – started to crumble into a million pieces, as my therapist essentially handed me a hammer and said, unfortunately, some disassembly is required. Ok, he didn’t actually say that, but you get the idea. 

And oh man. It felt fucking awful at first. 

“Personal growth is misleading, because it sounds like it’s going to be fun, but if we called it, ‘deliberately making yourself feel so uncomfortable it’ll feel like you’re dying’, nobody would do it.” – Emily McDowell 

In my case, the parts of myself that use to function as one seemingly happy, cohesive unit, have now begun to run off into all sorts of weird ass directions – often in extreme opposition to one another, and more polarized than ever before. 

And even though this divide in myself has felt like an additional child, an adolescent, and a couple new adults have taken up residence in our home for the past few months, it all makes perfect sense, because feelings don’t like to pretend. 

The longer I tried to be ok, and the longer I tried to hold on to all of it – without actually truly feeling it on a deeper, darker level – the messier it all got. Louder and angrier versions of myself ended up crawling out of the woodwork looking for blood. 

But since I have started to take the time to feel what I actually need to feel – and I’m not talking about logical, adult feelings, but rather the unfiltered, raw emotions I would have felt as a kid – and because I sought out people who could listen to me and validate me. 

And because I’ve taken the time to really look at myself, and I’ve had the opportunity to get close and examine my ingrained defences and insecurities – without judgment, but instead, with an open and understanding heart – I think I might start to heal and feel a little bit better soon…or at least that’s what I’m banking on. 

Yet I know that the parts of myself that I still don’t quite understand, the parts that I have a harder time relating to, or even the parts that I feel slightly ashamed of, were all developed for a reason. And yes, there might be a lot of faulty workmanship in there, but they have served a purpose, and it was in the name of protection and survival. 

But as time goes by, and you start to know more, you also start to do more. 

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou 

So even though it was incredibly uncomfortable, straight up scary as hell, and completely counter intuitive to everything I had thought before, I grabbed the hammer anyways. And yes, it was brutally hard to fall apart, but I know that when I do eventually put all these pieces of myself back together, it will feel more stable, more complete, and just really fucking good…or least that’s my hope – ha! 

So for all the brave ones who are trying, for all the fearless ones that have already grabbed the hammer, and for all the daring ones who are currently falling apart, I just want to say that I’m with you, and I’m proud of you.

In solidarity – let’s keep smashing.

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