Last night I got some real soul nourishment. We met up with friends and saw a show in the West End. It was hilarious and uplifting. And it was so good to meet up with those guys. They are friends I made in hospital and I love that after being in group together every day for weeks we know each other so well. Nobody has to pretend to be normal, no topic is off limits. It’s bloody refreshing.
My body is still angry with me after the weekend. I was feeling a bit better yesterday, but the trip to London and the late night were a too much. I woke up feeling like crap today. It’s the most epic hangover. I feel nauseous, tired and achey. I was meant to work at home today, but I just went to bed.
I woke up just in time to get to therapy. I decided I’d walk there to try and clear my head from all the sleep. That was a mistake. I thought I might pass out half way.
I always take my journal to therapy sessions with me. Often I write in it when I’m feeling really low, or if I can’t share whatever I’m writing here. In the past, I’ve read a few things from it to J. It’s an effective way for me to talk about difficult stuff; my anxiety and fear don’t get in the way of me explaining myself if I’m reading. The words are already there.
After reflecting on our Tuesday session, I realised I need to push myself in therapy. I need to take more risks and I need to tell J what is happening for me. I’ve got so much in the habit of shutting down when things feel difficult that it has become automatic. I go into this hole where words just run away from me. So today I made a concerted effort to try and find the words, even if they made no sense, just to communicate something.
To make this easier for myself, I decided to read a no send letter I wrote in my journal to my dad. I felt anxious about it, but I deliberately told J that’s what I wanted to do with the session so I wouldn’t back out. It felt good to read it, to liberate those words from the pages where I put them down weeks ago.
One of the things I like most about J is that she has real empathy. It reassures me because I often feel things aren’t as bad as I think they are. But if I read to her and she cries, like she did today, it makes me think I’m justified. It is all as sad as I think. I’m not being melodramatic.
The frustrating thing is that even when I feel deeply sad, and she feels it too, I can’t let myself cry. I’m scared of it. I don’t know why. I feel it as a tightness in my throat, stuck there. It hurts and I want to let it go. I know I wouldn’t be judged for it but I feel ashamed. By default I am embarrassed by my emotions.
I talked about this with J today and I felt sad even having the conversation. At the same time it felt good to acknowledge it. I know that our relationship is central to the work we’re doing, and we’ve renegotiated it slightly in recent weeks. I feel like I can be open again; we’ve overcome some obstacles and I am relieved to reconnect with her.
Photo from Creative Commons: fdecomite.