Progress…and patience.

If you know me at all beyond a casual acquaintance, you probably know that I do not  have patience. It is just not my strong suit!

One of my struggles over the last few months is that I just am not progressing fast enough for my patience level. I go to counseling and expect to leave all better…but the reality is that it is just not going to happen overnight!

The result though, is that I get really good at beating myself up for not going fast enough–and, while I KNOW that this is dumb, it is so ingrained in my personality, that I am not totally sure how to stop!!

Last weekend was a REALLY bad weekend for me. I had an appointment on Monday and felt so frustrated and overwhelmed but, luckily, this appointment helped re-center me a little. Also, that day I had THREE summer classes open, which meant that I could direct my stress and anxiety towards a useful and productive outlet.

320px-Magnolia_tree
A magnolia tree–symbolic for me..and hopeful.

I was still feeling down, but I had agreed to table some of the “now” problems and just focus on working my way through childhood issues. So, on Wednesday, I did another EMDR session and tried walking my way through a lot of the feelings that I have towards my non-existent “real” dad, and the feelings of loneliness and not fitting in that I have struggled with my whole life. Really, I did a lot of work and went a looong way in this session–I had several important realizations that will, in the end, help with my healing. As a grown-up, I went back to the sad and confused little girl and gave her the comfort that she (I) needed.

But.

(There’s always a but!)

I still realized that I was longing for “that person.” That person that I could just totally open up to, cry and grieve to, and just receive comfort and zero judgment from in return. In that moment, in that office, I did not feel like I had that person out in the world. My counselor told me that I need to learn to be that person for myself–at least for the time being. I should be able to imagine the lost, little girl, and comfort her and thus, gain comfort NOW. After hearing this, though…I inwardly began to freak out.

As the session closed and I got up to leave, I felt the need to say more..but the thoughts were not forming coherently in my mind. Instead, I was just feeling this absolute sense of DOOM. I said goodbye in a shaky voice and turned to walk out the door, feeling the tears building up in my eyes…

“I don’t want to comfort myself!!” I thought angrily. “I have been doing it my whole life!! Clearly, it is not working for me!” It does not feel like enough. I really spent some time feeling pretty sorry for myself…WHY? Why is it so hard to connect with people? Why do I have to feel this way–alone, and like there must be something wrong with me?

Of course, none of these thoughts were very helpful for my depression or my anxiety. And, I kind of hated myself for spinning out of control. Again. Finally, after a day, I broke down and confided in my husband, and he is trying really hard to be “my person” and not just “my fixer.”

It ain’t perfect. Any of it. I am realizing that I push people away and withdraw when I am feeling this way, making it even harder for me to talk and confide what I am feeling. It all comes down to TRUST. I have been disappointed so many times that I put up a wall instead of trusting that those who love me will simply be there for me. And that makes everything worse!

So….I AM making progress. Really. I am not stuck on the couch, unable to do anything like I was for a brief period of time. I am up, I am active, I am happy sometimes. I am getting somewhere. I need to remember this. Really.

And, I need to have patience and realize that, over time, it will continue to get better…and better..and, hopefully, even better.

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