We are all a bit fucked up aren’t we? As a 31 year old millennial I can safety say we’ve lived through some shit. I’m of course talking from the perspective of a white female who is from the UK and lives in Australia. I acknowledge there is a whole scale of levels of shit and I’m quite firmly on the privileged side.
There are so many things that have affected me throughout my life that I think may have had more of an impact on me than I realised at the time. There are embarrassing/upsetting/painful things that happened to me 15 years ago that suddenly pop into my head and I want to trample all over those memories, so they never get the liberty of occupying my headspace ever again. There are a lot of feelings I’ve suppressed and moments I’ve chosen not to relive, because the pain is just too much.
I’ve flirted with the idea of talking to a therapist and how they might help for a while. Wanting to speak to someone and try and seek some professional help isn’t a sign a weakness, it isn’t necessarily a sign of mental illness either. Sometimes you need a little bit of help digesting things and it makes sense to speak to someone objective who has trained many years to become a professional in this field.
Let’s be honest there are a whole range of feelings, incidents and obstacles that have probably muddled the brain over the years.
I’m not sure how to eloquently explain this, but do you ever feel (ironic) that you just feel things so deeply, that nobody else could possibly have such strong emotions to things that happen. When I feel joy, sometimes it feels like it is bursting out of my soul. I cry at TV adverts and worry about dying and freak accidents. I worry until I can’t worry any more and I spend 85% of the time catastrophising.
Dear therapist, potentially that is normal, potentially not.
I’ve always been overly sensitive, I think it comes from my deep-rooted issues around body image, dieting and my whole childhood and most of my adult life being fucked over by the way you ‘should’ look. I spent a large majority of my time either imagining that people laughing at what I wear, getting sensitive if someone suggests eating something healthy or someone giving honest feedback on an outfit…. When I have asked them to do exactly that.
I tried most of the diets when I was at my dieting pinnacle and they never worked, because they never do. Spending your whole life trying to look a certain way, fit into those fashionable outfits, picking up 7 things to try on in Zara/H&M knowing that 3 of them wont fit over your tits and the other 4 won’t quite skim over those hips is damn soul destroying. Deciding you will wear what you want and not care, but then glimpsing a side view of yourself in those mom jeans and throwing yourself into a state of despair.
This all relates to dieting and body image and never feeling like I was good enough. Not being able to wear the same bikini as my friends because of my massive boobs. Being told in high school my legs were the size of tree trunks and actually believing that stupid girl and never ever forgetting it. I can report that upon reflection my legs were never and will never be the size of tree trunks, well maybe a really small tree, but that’s okay.
It’s hard for females, especially when you’re young and so very impressionable. Not being enough, being too much, liking someone based on how pretty their face is, rather than celebrating how intelligent, passionate, loving, kind-souled or full of sunshine they are.
Over the last few years I’ve tried to dedicate time and energy on accepting myself, loving myself was the original goal, but when you’ve hated yourself for so long, sometimes acceptance is all you can ask for. Feelings come in peaks and troughs and it isn’t always easy to start to unravel the 31 years of feelings that have come with feeling ashamed of who you are and what you look like.
Dear therapist, help me reevaluate my worth and esteem myself higher.
I have an unhealthy relationship with relationships. I have an obsessive personality, cue me spending around 18 hours last week trying to find the perfect planner. If I like a person, friend, family, partner, colleague I want to spend all of my time with them. I want to buy them things, write them cute notes, go on fun adventures and spend ALL of my time with them, it is just the way I’m wired. This can sometimes be problematic in relationships and I imagine dating too. So rather than just put myself out there and chat to a few people and arrange a date, I instead just pretend that part of my life doesn’t need to exist and to be quite honest, it would be really nice to have an ally. Yes, I am a strong and independent, successful lone warrior, doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to want another wonderful warrior to walk alongside with. Although herein lies the issue as soon as someone appears I become focused on them and the whole world around me crumbles into non-existence.
Dear therapist, how do I toe the line between daring to put myself out there, rejection, balancing my obsessiveness with my independence and retaining every part of me, whilst being open to letting someone else in.
It leaves me begging the question? Does talking help, will it help me? Will I be able to actually trust someone and open myself up to being honest about how I actually feel?
I’m 98% sure it isn’t as simple as typing “find therapist” into goggle booking an appointment and being fixed after an hour. I imagine it’s an arduous task of finding someone right for you, who is available to take patients, investing a lot of money and a lot of time into unpacking years of life and trying to rebuild. Although I think it may be something I need to be open to. Because sometimes money is best invested in yourself.